Jan. 28 (UPI) — Sportswear giant Nike said Tuesday it has sold out of its Kobe Bryant merchandise after the Lakers legend’s death, contradicting a report it pulled the products.
A company spokesman said a Monday report on ESPN that Nike had removed the items from its website is false. A search for Kobe Bryant’s name on the Nike website redirects customers to a memorial page for the 41-year-old, who died along with his daughter Gianna Bryant in a helicopter crash Sunday.
“He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever,” the Nike website says, referencing one of the player’s nicknames.
Nike told USA Today that in addition to selling out of Kobe Bryant products online, it saw an increase in sales at physical stores. The company said it will consider how to handle his branded merchandise going forward.
Kobe Bryant joined with Nike and Adidas to create a variety of sneakers during his career. More collaborations were in the works at the time of his death.
Bids for some of his branded shoes shot up from $200 to $1,000 after his death on resale site StockX, Business Insider reported.
“As is the case for any live marketplace, real-life events have ramifications on market performance,” the company said in a statement to CNBC. “Following the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, there was a surge in interest in products related to the basketball legend, including some of his most noted sneaker collaborations. The increased interest is a testament to his impact both on and off the court.”