Nike Tribute To Kobe Bryant: His Lasting Effect On Pop Culture

Yesterday marked the last public tribute for Kobe Bryant after his passing alongside his daughter Gianna and 7 other people. The event was held at the Staples Center and some of the biggest names in the world of sports and entertainment were on hand to pay their respects.

In the event one of Kobe’s long time sponsors Nike, also took got the chance to reveal a new commercial that they made specially to honor the life and the legacy of Kobe Bryant.

Kobe had been sponsored by Nike since 2003. This was coincidentally around the same time that Kobe was in a major legal battle with a woman that had accused him of rape. It also followed a buyout that Kobe had done of his Adidas deal. All of those kids in the early 2000s will surely remember those oddly looking gray or black Adidas Kobe shoes.

Much like how they handled the Tiger Woods scandal Nike did not leave Kobe’s side through the ordeal. That may have been one of the reasons why stuck around.

For around 20 years Kobe has been a main staple within the mainstream media. He had been in all sorts of ads and TV shows. He was a regular on Jimmy Kimmel whom he would visit at least once a year. That could be one of the main reasons even people who were not mayor basketball fans were so affected by the news.

Nike was not the only brand that he was involved with. Here are some of the most memorable commercials that he appeared in over his life.

Pretty much as soon as the death of Kobe Bryant was confirmed Nike decided that they were going to be taking all of their Kobe endorsed products of the shelves. Even though, they would have probably profited mightily from all of these products in the wake of his passing.

There may have been a legal issue involved with this. Where their contract with Kobe would be voided in the event of his death. On the other hand, the issue may have been a more humane one. In that, they felt did not want to profit from the tragedy.

What is the difference between a tribute and a marketing stunt? The line has grown very thin in the modern world. Designer Philipp Plein thought it would be a great idea to “honor” Kobe Bryant with fashion designs inspired by Kobe’s Laker jersey. He got Jada Pinkett Smith to pose with him as well as other models. On a runway that was decorated with helicopters. Something that has understandably outraged the fans. Whom, have obviously labeled this stunt as insensitive and distasteful to say the least.