Bryant Family Parts Ways with Nike

Evan Frazier, Sports Editor

In mid-April, the Bryant family decided to part ways with Nike. The long relationship between the two finally came to an end after the contract was up. Vanessa Bryant announced her decision not to renew the contract on the day it expired. 

One of the main reasons that Bryant decided to end the relationship was because of the lack of production on kids’ basketball shoes under the Kobe brand. Bryant was very upset over the matter. 

“My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products,” Vanessa Bryant wrote. “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 [daughter] Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”

Another reason the widowed Bryant decided to part ways was because of the shoe sales in the time between Kobe’s retirement and his death. The shoes were at an all-time low during that time, not being prioritized like the big names in the NBA. When Kobe died in the helicopter crash, his sales went up astronomically. Sales went up so much, Nike had to ban the word “Kobe” on their website for two weeks after the crash. Nike failed to recover from this, losing the Bryant family millions of dollars.

Bryant has recently announced that she is open to other sponsorships.