The 39-year-old former model took to Instagram on Thursday, March 24, to announce that she entered a new partnership with the sports retailer to honor her late husband and daughter Gianna’s legacy.
“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,” Vanessa wrote via Instagram.
That being said, the new deal will have key difference from the one that was terminated in April 2021. Per the new agreement, Nike will donate 100 percent of the net proceeds yearly for Gianna’s shoes to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. What’s more, Nike will team up with Vanessa to “establish a youth basketball center in Southern California that will share the Mamba Mentality with youth athletes for generations to come.”
Vanessa continued: “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, Vanessa Bryant.”
The announcement was met with rounds of applause from fans and famous friends, as everyone was excited for the return of the collaboration.
“Vanessa. Your strength and resilience is admirable! You are INCREDIBLE,” Patty Rodriguez wrote, while Dwyane Wade said, “How it should be!!!!” Kelly Rowland chimed in, “BOSS!!!!! Legacy!! Great job V,” while Lala Anthony added, “Let’s gooooooo!!!! Amazing news V!!”
This announcement follows Bryant’s April 2021 decision to not renew the late Laker’s contract with Nike, which first started in 2003. “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 signature shoe,” the widow wrote in her statement.
She went on to explain that while she will “continue to fight” for fans to be able to wear the products, the “lifelong partnership” would be ending.
Following the announcement, Nike released the following statement to Us Weekly: “Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers. 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.”