Nike Releases Statement After Vanessa Bryant Doesn’t Renew Kobe’s Contract With Company

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Social media was buzzing on Monday when the news was passed down that the estate of former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Nike did not agree to a contract extension.

Ever since his passing on Jan. 26, 2020, Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, has overseen his various business affairs.

On Monday evening, the footwear and apparel giant released the following statement on the matter:

“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers,” Nike wrote. “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.”

Here is what Vanessa had to say:

“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21,” Vanessa Bryant told ESPN. “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,” Vanessa Bryant said. “I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything.

Nike will still release new editions of the Bryant’s signature sneakers at some point in 2021.

Bryant first signed a deal with Nike in 2003, after spending the first seven years of his professional career in a partnership with Adidas.