Nike kicked off its initiative, “Mamba Week,” honoring Kobe Bryant with a new film honoring the late basketball star and his Mamba Mentality. Narrated by Grammy Award-winning artist Kendrick Lamar, the Nike film “Better” released today on what would have been Bryant’s 42nd birthday.
The tribute to the NBA pro, who tragically died in a helicopter accident in January, is part of with “Mamba Week,” a seven-day event filled with programming and retail launches inspired by Bryant’s career and life. “Mamba Week” starts today, Aug. 23, and runs until Aug. 30.
The film “Better” runs 1 minute and 30 seconds and highlights important moments from Bryant’s all-star story in addition to features of his daughter Gianna, who also died in the accident. There are also cameos from Megan Rapinoe, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Michael Jordan and more familiar Nike athletes. The clip ends with the chants of Kobe Bryant’s name with a simple but poignant message displayed across the screen: “Mamba Forever.”
Watch the new video below.
In addition to the film, Nike will continue to release the athlete’s signature line of Kobe Proto sneakers. The brand will also continue to collaborate with the NBA for “Mamba Week,” releasing limited quantities of the All-Star’s famous Los Angeles Lakers jersey.
Beyond product releases, this week honors Bryant’s legacy of “Mamba Mentality” with a $1 million donation to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, an organization Bryant founded before he passed that has since been renamed to include Mambacita in the title in honor of his daughter Gianna. The organization works to bring sports into all kids’ lives, despite gender or financial burdens, keeping them active and on a successful path.
The brand will also continue to support the Mamba League as part of this special event. Bryant patterned with Nike in 2017 to create this league in a joint effort with local Boys & Girls Clubs in Los Angeles; the league brings together girls and boys as well as engages female coaches as a way for all to learn the fundamentals of the game and the life lessons that accompany it.
Bryant along with his daughter, Gianna, six other passengers and a pilot all died in a tragic helicopter accident in January. The unexpected loss of the basketball giant left a hole in the sports world, especially at Nike, where the pro baller had been an ambassador since 2003 following a partnership with Adidas.