Nike introduced a new initiative on Wednesday in honor of the late Kobe Bryant.
The brand is paying tribute to the NBA pro, who tragically passed during a helicopter accident in January, with “Mamba Week,” a seven-day event filled with programming and retail launches inspired by Bryant’s career and life. “Mamba Week” starts on Aug. 23 and runs until Aug. 30.
As part of the event, Nike will continue to release the athlete’s signature line of Kobe Proto sneakers — images of unreleased Nike Kobe 5 Proto pairs surfaced earlier this week as potential designs for the initiative. 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.
In addition to product releases, the 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 who also lost her life in the accident. The organization works to bring sports into all kids’ lives, despite gender or financial burdens, keeping them active and on a successful path.
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Finally, the brand will 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 lost their lives in a tragic helicopter accident at the beginning of the year. 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.
“Kobe’s relentless determination to be the best at anything he touched continues to live on through the millions of fans that he influenced during, and after, his 20-year NBA career,” said the brand in a release about “Mamba Week.”