Vanessa Bryant reaches new deal with Nike on Kobe Bryant shoes
Vanessa Bryant, widow of the late Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, has reached an agreement with Nike, after she said last year the shoe company made sneakers dedicated to her daughter without her consent.
"We are so excited to announce our partnership with Nike is going to continue," Bryant, 39, said in an Instagram post Thursday.
Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, 13, were killed in a plane crash, along with seven others in January 2020.
Shoes honoring the father and daughter, affectionately known as the Mamba and Mambacita, will be available. Vanessa Bryant said 100% of the proceeds from Gigi's shoes will be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, the nonprofit charitable foundation that in 2020 was renamed to honor Gianna.
Nike will also work with Vanessa Bryant to develop "a youth basketball center in Southern California that will share the Mamba Mentality with youth athletes for generations to come," she said.
The new agreement marks a turning point for Vanessa Bryant's relationship with Nike.
In June 2021, Bryant said on Instagram that after she designed the MAMBACITA shoe, she decided not to sell it and did not re-sign a contract with Nike.
Yet Vanessa Bryant said she later saw photos of people in possession of the distinctive sneaker.
"Nike has NOT sent any of these pairs to me and my girls," she wrote. "I do not know how someone else has their hands on shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi and we don't. I hope these shoes did not get sold."
On Wednesday, though, she rejoiced: "I know this is an inspiring moment for my husband and daughter's global fans, and I am very appreciative of each and every one of you!"
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