According to sources, the Bryant estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products after his retirement and his tragic death in January 2020.
The source says the estate was also displeased with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids’ sizes.
Apparently, the extension Nike offered Vanessa and the Bryant estate did not meet the expectations of an ongoing “lifetime” structure similar to the deals Michael Jordan and LeBron James have with the company.
Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram writing:
Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21 Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe. My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.
See her post below:
It’s believed that Nike will halt all future releases of Kobe Bryant-branded footwear and apparel.
I’m sure the Bryant estate will have no problem finding another brand to partner with.