The relationship between Vanessa Bryant and Nike has entered the NIL world. On Tuesday, Bryant announced five schools — Duke, LSU, Oregon, UConn, and USC — will partner with the Mamba & Mambacity Sports Foundation for this upcoming season.
Players from all five programs will be wearing Kobe Bryant and Gigi Bryant shoes throughout the 2023-2024 season. Duke, LSU, Oregon, UConn, and USC all have one thing in common, their athletic departments are sponsored by Nike. A cool way to honor the legacies of both Kobe and Gigi.
“We are grateful for the amazing support of these prestigious universities (in no particular order) toward the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation — to further the legacies of Kobe and Gigi,” Bryant said in an Instagram post. “So excited to see their players wearing Kobe and Gigi’s NIKE shoes this upcoming season!!!”
When combining the men’s and women’s programs between the five schools, there were seven NCAA Tournament appearances. Both national champions are present as well, with UConn cutting down the nets in Houston for the men, while the LSU women’s team was not too far away in Dallas.
Plenty of NIL stars will feature for the Mamba & Mambacity Sports Foundation. None more so than USC freshman Bronny James. He currently sits at No. 1 in the On3 NIL 100, which is the first of its kind and defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by their On3 NIL Valuation.
LSU’s Angel Reese is not too far behind, slotting in at No. 9. Both she and James will be wearing Kobe/Gigi shoes when taking the court this year.
More on the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation
The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation was made in honor of the late great Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi Bryant. The goal is to help underserved boy and girl athletes, helping them play sports. Having a positive impact on their lives is how the foundation plans to make a difference.
“The Mamba & Mamvacity Sports Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and boys and girls in sports Found through the vision and loving memory of Kobe and Gianna “Gigi” Bryant,” the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation mission statement reads.
There are four partners working with the foundation, with Nike being one of them. The Los Angeles Lakers, Body Armor, and Spectrum Sportsnet are involved as well. All four played a role in the Hall of Fame career of Kobe Bryant.