Nike has decided to suspend all Kobe Bryant gear from their online store, Nike.com, following his tragic death last Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
As reported by ESPN, the remaining Kobe-related item on the website is a purple and yellow gift card featuring the Los Angeles Lakers logo.
It was reported that the multinational company is taking steps to reassess its current strategy for releasing the basketball legend’s signature shoe series. They are also looking into ways on how to limit re-sellers’ profiting off this unfortunate event.
Kobe has been endorsing the brand since 2003 and has been one of consumers’ favorite endorsers ever since, with millions of sales every year. As per the same publication, Kobe was not only an endorser for the brand, he had also worked closely with the company’s executives, designers, developers, and employees. This was especially evident when he collaborated with them on improving the Nike Kobe series from year to year, as he was meticulous and had an eye for detail.
It was also revealed that Kobe loved Nike. In a past interview, he mentioned that Nike was like Hogwarts and that he was Harry Potter — the brand felt like home. He loved working with people with the same vision as him and said that they had the same goals in perfecting each product.
It was revealed that thousands gathered around a 35-foot poster of Kobe at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon on Monday, January 27, to commemorate the late Lakers star. According to the same report, the people who attended sported a variety of Kobe sneakers, and employees made a makeshift vigil where mourners left flowers and some memorabilia.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to those closest to Kobe, especially his family and friends,” Nike said in a statement. “He was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sports and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever.”
In a report by The Inquisitr, Kobe signed a $40 million contract with Nike, and that through his deal, he earned roughly $8 million annually.
On January 26, in the early morning hours, Kobe, his daughter Gianna, and seven others were flying from John Wayne Airport to Thousand Oaks to the Mamba Sports Academy. It was repannorted that they were heading to a basketball game where Kobe’s daughter was supposed to play. The seven others who died in the tragic accident include pilot Ara Zobayan, basketball coach Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and daughter Alyssa Altobelli.