Kobe Bryant’s Wife Vanessa Scorches Nike For ‘Unauthorized’ Shoes Exploiting Daughter Gianna’s Memory
Without permission or a contract, Nike apparently manufactured the shoes Vanessa Bryant designed to honor her late daughter Gigi.
The latest black eye for Nike comes from Vanessa Bryant who is pushing back on the giant company for releasing “unauthorized” shoes honoring her late daughter Gianna.
Gianna, “Gigi” and Kobe Bryant were killed in a helicopter accident this year in January. The grieving mother designed black and white shoes honoring Gigi and benefittingd their charity Mamba and Mamabacita Sports Foundation.
However, Vanessa did not renew the family’s contract with Nike. But, the athletic apparel company went ahead and manufactured the shoes for sale anyhow and marketing has begun.
An on-feet look at the Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Mamba Forever” releasing later this year 🙏 pic.twitter.com/4vlIH1xnca
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) June 2, 2021
Shoes Coordinate With Kobe’s Protro 6 Model
Nike felt entitled to take the shoes Vanessa designed and create them despite not having a contract.
These shoes were very personal and were designed to coordinate with Kobe’s Protro 6 Model shoes that sell out in minutes.
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Vanessa posted about this on Instagram. She included a photo of someone holding up a pair of the shoes she designed.
She is asking for help in finding out how someone got a pair of the Mambacita shoes when she doesn’t even have them.
The grieving widow and mother also issued a statement.
Vanessa Bryant’s Instagram Post About Gigi’s Shoes
“This is a shoe I worked on in honor of my daughter, Gianna. It was going to be called the MAMBACITA shoe as an exclusive black and white colorway on her daddy’s shoes,” Bryant’s Instagram statement began.
“I picked the colors in honor of her uniform, the number 2 she wore just like her uniform, the inside pattern, Kobe and Gigi in the back in gold instead of Kobe’s signature, the inside shoe details (butterfly, wings, halo, etc,” her statement continued.
“The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale. I wanted it to be sold to honor my daughter with ALL of the proceeds benefitting our @mambamambacitasports foundation, but I did not re-sign the Nike contract and decided not to sell these shoes. The MAMBACITA shoes were not approved to be made in the first place),” she wrote. “I do not know how someone else has their hands on the shoes I designed for my daughter, Gigi and we don’t. I hope these shoes do not get sold,” she concluded.
View this post on Instagram
Trademark Issues For Nike
In addition to the disgraceful move to steal a grieving mother’s design for her daughter, Nike also overlooked a legal problem.
Earlier this year, Vanessa reportedly filed a trademark for the “M” logo in the back of the shoe.
In February, Vanessa Bryant filed a trademark for the “M” logo on the back of the shoes.
In April, she elected not to renew Kobe’s contract with Nike. pic.twitter.com/ywypGtyVtp
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) June 3, 2021
This latest public relations fiasco for Nike comes on the heels of veteran sports columnist Jason Whitlock highlighting Nike’s embrace of Communist China.
There are other shoe companies willing to fill the gap if customers leave Nikes on store shelves.