The partnership between Nike and Kobe Bryant (and his estate) has ended, and while the future of Bryant products is unknown, we may have a clue about what could be next.
The Nice Kicks Twitter account, tipped off by Sneaker Law Firm, tweeted images of trademarks that have been filed by Kobe Bryant, LLC over the past 11 months. They include trademarks for "Play Gigi's Way," Mamba, Mambacita, Baby Mambas, Lady Mambas and other similar iterations. They cover a wide variety of apparel and, importantly, footwear.
Could new Kobe products focus on kids?
Of the 13 trademarks featured in the image, nearly half of them focus on kids or Gianna Bryant, Kobe's 13-year-old daughter who died with him in the January 2020 helicopter crash. Nicknamed "Gigi," she was an aspiring basketball player who had been given the nickname "Mambacita," which came from her dad's nickname "Mamba." No. 2 was her jersey number.
It's possible that these trademark filings could mean that future Kobe Bryant products could focus on kids, and might feature Gigi or Mambacita. In fact, the lack of focus on kids' products and sizes reportedly contributed to the Bryant estate's decision not to renew their partnership with Nike.
According to a source, Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash. There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids' sizes, according to sources.
The Bryant estate's next moves are currently a mystery, but there are a lot of options. It could sign a deal with another sportswear brand, like Adidas, or might even decide to strike out on its own and build a new Kobe brand. Whatever it chooses to do it appears that Bryant's widow, Vanessa, and the estate want more control over what's being produced and when.
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