Report: Vanessa Bryant not renewing Kobe’s Nike contract
Kobe Bryant’s long-standing association with Nike appears to be over.
According to ESPN’s NBA sneaker expert Nick DePaula, Bryant’s wife Vanessa, who controls Kobe’s Trust, decided not to renew her late husband’s contract with Nike. DePaula says the partnership between the Bryants and Nike is “done.” It is unclear if this is temporary or permanent, but for now, there are no plans for any further Bryant-related merchandise releases by the company.
At 6:36 AM today I received a text:
“Vanessa Bryant did not renew contract. Kobe and Nike are done.”
I’ve been working since to confirm what this means ahead for the Nike / Kobe Bryant partnership.
As of right now — there is no ongoing contract for future Kobe releases. pic.twitter.com/5vuyQg6Gw6
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) April 19, 2021
Bryant had been with Nike for 17 years leading up to his death in January 2020. It was recently claimed that Bryant had been planning to leave Nike prior to his passing and start his own shoe company. Perhaps that is what Vanessa plans to do in an effort to comply with her late husband’s wishes.
It’s still surprising to hear about Bryant’s association with Nike ending. He was, after all, famously loyal to the brand during his career.