In news that made sneakerheads and Kobe stans around the world rejoice; Nike and the Kobe Bryant estate, led by his widow Vanessa, have entered into a new partnership that will make the late basketball legend’s sneakers available again, and honor his commitment to encouraging the next generation of young athletes and fans.
The first new shoe from the partnership, the Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita Sweet 16” will honor Gigi Bryant. All net proceeds from the shoe will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. Vanessa Bryant released a statement on social media announcing the agreement:
“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Nike is going to continue! I am so proud that my husband’s shoes are still the most worn by players on NBA courts and that the demand for his shoes remain so desired by his fans around the world. With this new partnership, fans will soon be able to have access to Kobe and Gigi Nike product for years to come and with Nike donating 100% of the net proceeds yearly for Gianna’s shoes to our Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation (M&MSF). I am also grateful that Nike and I will work together to establish a youth basketball center in Southern California that will share the Mamba Mentality with youth athletes for generations to come. 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! With Gratitude for every fan around the world supporting Kobe and Gigis Legacy,
When the partnership between Nike and the Kobe Bryant estate ended in 2021, fans and sneakerheads were unsure if sneaker giant would ever release Kobe’s iconic shoes again. No doubt it would be a tremendous profit generator, but for Vanessa it’s clear that she wanted her daughter Gigi’s legacy to be a part of the deal.
The 1st shoe to release in the new Kobe & Nike partnership will honor his daughter Gianna, who would have turned 16 on May 1, 2022
“The Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’ will honor Gigi Bryant. All proceeds from the shoe will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.” pic.twitter.com/pgT4Ab4s5g
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) March 24, 2022
Kobe Bryant was an international sports icon and meant so much to millions of people around the world. But for Vanessa, the loss of her daughter was just as brutal as the loss of her husband. Gigi’s legacy is just as important to her. She wasn’t going to allow Nike to profit off selling her husbands sneaker line and not have her daughter honored as well.
“Kobe Bryant means so much to so many of us, not just NBA fans but globally beyond the game,” said John Donahoe, president & CEO of Nike, Inc. said in statement. “His impact in growing the sport, particularly encouraging women and young people to pick it up, endures as one of his deepest, lasting legacies. Together with Vanessa, we hope to honor Kobe and Gigi by championing a new generation for many years to come.”
As part of the new partnership, Vanessa and Nike will work together to establish a youth basketball center in Southern California and Nike and the Bryant family will continue to outfit the NBA and WNBA athletes who carry the legacy of the Mamba Mentality.
The Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation was founded on the belief that a positive impact can be made on underserved boys and girls through sports. Something Kobe was committed to in his post playing career.
Kobe and Gigi Bryant died on January 26, 2020 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, but their memory and legacy will endure.