Following the news that Kobe Bryant’s estate ended its partnership with Nike, many speculated what the future of the late NBA player’s brand would look like.
Given an influx in trademark filings made by the estate since Kobe’s passing (including Mamba, Herovillain and Play Gigi’s Way), it’s possible that Vanessa Bryant and family are planning to launch independent Kobe branded goods and services.
Josh Gerben spoke with AdAge about the significance of recent trademark filings made by Kobe Bryant’s estate:
“In today’s world, there are a lot more options than there were 20 or 30 years ago, and one of the advantages of building out an IP portfolio is that they own and can license out the brand as they see fit.”
“The number of trademarks his companies applied for and secured ‘shows they were aware this moment was probably coming and they needed the proper IP ownership so they could be ready and have all their trademarks in place.’”
“Going forward, the estate could enter into either a megadeal with another brand on the level of Nike or piecemeal licensing deals with other companies.”
“The Kobe estate could even do another deal with Nike – which, when it comes to athlete-branded athletic apparel and footwear, remains ‘the elephant in the room.’ It may not be all about the money. If there are other things that are important to Vanessa and the family – say, a shoe line for young girls – they can make that happen if they’re no longer constrained by Nike’s plans for the product.”
Source: Case, Tony. AdAge.com. “WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE KOBE BRYANT BRAND AFTER NIKE SPLIT”. 22 April 2021.