The Kobe Bryant estate has ended its nearly two-decade partnership with Nike.
According to reporting by ESPN, sources say the Bryant Estate was expecting a lifetime deal similar to those of Lebron James and Michael Jordan. That offer never came from Nike and eventually, the Bryant Estate decided it was best to part ways.
“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,” Vannessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, told ESPN.
The estate owns the rights to Kobe’s “Mamba” logo as well as his signature, both essential components of the athlete’s apparel line. That leaves the door open for the estate to form a new partnership with another shoe company.
It is expected all future Kobe releases with Nike will be canceled, unless a deal can be reached with the estate.
Nike released the following statement:
“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers. He pushed us and made everyone around him better. Though our contractual relationship has ended, he remains a deeply loved member of the Nike family”
Read our story on Kobe’s strategy for success – click here.