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 Breaking Headlines

Nike To Release Kobe Bryant Signature Shoe/Apparel Line

DECEMBER 23, 2005 -- Nike will release Zoom Kobe 1 in stores, as well as a Bryant-inspired signature apparel line.

Both the footwear and apparel line, which features which features a Bryant-inspired logo, will launch in mid February, around the NBA All-Star break. The move marks Nike's return to marketing the superstar after Bryant's highly-publicized rape trial.

The Los Angeles Lakers guard will wear the signature show on Christmas day in a game against the Miami Heat. The shoe will also immediately appear on a limited basis in select stores in the Los Angeles area the following day.

"Nike celebrates the athletic achievements of our elite competitors," said Nike spokesman Rodney Knox, in a statement. "Kobe's inclusion in marketing and promotional material is an acknowledgement of his elevated level of sports performance."

Bryant was accused of sexual assault in early July 2003 only a few weeks after the ink had dried on the contract. Charges were dropped in the criminal case and the civil suit was eventually settled. But, over a period of two years, Bryant's endorsers, including McDonald's, Nutella, Spalding and Coca-Cola, distanced themselves from him and allowed their deals to expire without renewal.

Bryant had signed a $45 million deal with Nike shortly before his arrest.

Nike has slowly and quietly brought back Bryant into its advertising plans. In July, Nike featured Bryant's name in its advertising for the first time and released a sneaker with a specially created logo. The shoe wasn't a Bryant's signature shoe, but fans could learn about the association Nike's Web site. Ads featuring Bryant's image have just started appearing in Sports Illustrated.


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Categories
Branded entertainment
Advertisements
Arrests
Apparel manufacturing
Rape

Companies
Nike Inc.
National Basketball Association
All-Star Inc.
Los Angeles Lakers
Miami Heat

Concepts
apparel line
signature apparel line
signature show
highly-publicized rape trial
sports performance

People
Bryant
Zoom Kobe
Rodney Knox





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