Nike Site Sells Out of Kobe Bryant Merchandise in Wake of Star’s Death

Sneaker giant says it didn’t remove Kobe Bryant sneakers or merchandise from its website

Nike Inc.’s website sold out of Kobe Bryant merchandise in the wake of the basketball superstar’s sudden death, the sportswear giant said, rebutting media reports it had pulled the products.

Searches for such items Tuesday on Nike’s NKE 0.17% website return a tribute message from the sneaker and apparel giant. The company’s app delivers no search results for “Kobe.”

A Nike spokesman said on Tuesday that the merchandise had sold out and clarified the company didn’t remove Kobe Bryant products or ask retailers to send them back. Several media outlets earlier reported Nike pulled the items to thwart buyers seeking to resell them at higher prices.

Kobe Bryant, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar and one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association history, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. He was 41 years old. Photo: Associated Press

Mr. Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash, was one of Nike’s biggest basketball stars after it signed him to an endorsement contract in 2003. Even after his 2016 retirement from the NBA, Nike continued to release signature Kobe sneakers.

In its message, Nike said, “He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly.”

Mr. Bryrant’s signature sneakers are still widely available on many other retail sites, including sneaker reselling marketplaces like StockX. His Los Angeles Lakers jerseys are still available for sale on many outlets, including the NBA’s online store.

wsj.com / balkantimes.press

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