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Nike set to relaunch Kobe Bryant line

Nike CEO revealed Kobe brand to return during Q4 earnings call on Thursday.

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After coming to terms on a new deal last year with the late Kobe Bryant’s estate, Nike has shown great restraint with how much Kobe Bryant product they’ve put into the marketplace. However, that looks like that could be about to change as Nike’s CEO revealed on Thursday during an investor call that the Kobe line will be returning in advance of Kobe Day on August 24.

Since getting back into the Kobe business after a brief falling out, Nike has only released a pair of Kobes in honor of his late daughter Gigi, who tragically died in the same helicopter crash that claimed his life. The Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita Sweet 16” and Kobe 4 Protro “Mambacita” is all we’ve seen thus far from the renewed partnership, but Nike CEO John Donahoe indicated during the company’s Q4 earnings call that we’ll be seeing more Kobe product very soon.

“It’s going to be an exciting summer as we set the stage to relaunch the Kobe brand in advance of Kobe Day on 8.24,” Donahoe said.

No further details were given about what that could mean, but it should be noted that the Kobe 4 Protro “Mambacita” launch in May was accompanied by a pair of Gigi Bryant jerseys, so one can only assume apparel will likely be part of the line going forward. Additionally, prior to Kobe’s death in 2020, the Kobe line had been seeing a new form of retroing called “protros” for the last several years — re-releasing popular models from Kobe’s past but with new technology to keep them in line with current performance trends. This included models such as the Kobe 6 Protro “Grinch,” the Nike x Undefeated Kobe Protro 5 “What If” Pack, the Kobe 5 Protro “Bruce Lee” and the Kobe 5 Protro “Chaos.”

It’s been clear from both the Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita Sweet 16” and the Kobe 4 Protro “Mambacita,” as well as secondary market prices for previous Kobe protros, that demand is still high for Kobe product. Perhaps part of that has been due to scarcity and demand being greater than supply, but I think it’s clear the return of the Kobe line is a big win for his fans, Nike and sneakerheads in general. We’ll just have to be patient and keep our eyes open for what will come in the future from the relaunched Kobe line, which is rumored to include an all-white Kobe 8 Protro on Kobe Day.

To see more of this month’s releases, check out our release date calendar.