In Honor of Gigi’s 16th Posthumous Birthday, Nike Released New Shoes
On her 16th posthumous birthday, Nike released a custom pair of “Mambacita Sweet 16” shoes to celebrate Gianna “Gigi” Bryant.
The Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’
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The Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’ was created by Nike to mark the enduring legacy of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. According to a statement released by Nike, the legacy is one that “propelled all generations to continue their quest to be better, for themselves and for the game that unites us all.”
On Jan. 26, 2020, Gianna and her father, celebrated basketball legend Kobe Bryant, were killed in a helicopter crash. Bryant and Gianna were close, and both shared a love for the game of basketball. Like her father, Gianna was a gifted basketball player who dreamed of playing ball professionally someday.
Stamp of Approval
In the wake of the Nike release, Vanessa Bryant, Gianna’s mother and Kobe’s widow, took to Instagram to give her stamp of approval on the release.
“I’m so happy with the way these Mambacita shoes came out in honor of my daughter, Gigi, “Vanessa wrote on Instagram. The shoes feature a black snakeskin pattern to represent Gigi’s “Mambacita mentality.”
In April 2021, Vanessa told ESPN’s Nick DePaula that she and Kobe’s estate had decided not to renew their partnership with Nike when it expired due to some ongoing frustrations and unmet expectations.
Last month, Vanessa announced on her Instagram platform that the estate agreed to terms on a new deal with Nike that stipulated that the company would donate 100 percent of the profit from the sales to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
According to Nike, the profit from the shoes will go towards the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. This not-for-profit organization focuses on heralding Kobe’s and Gianna’s remarkable legacy by supporting athletes who don’t have the resources they need to be successful.
According to the foundation’s Instagram account, the shoes were a massive success and sold out within two minutes.