6 of Kobe Bryant’s Most Notable Endorsements That Paid Him Millions a Year

Joseph Washington “Jellybeans” Bryant (Kobe Bryant) was a successful NBA player prior to his death in a helicopter crash.

ALSO READ:  What You Need To Know About The End Of Nike’s Deal With Kobe Bryant’s Estate

The Black Mamba’s face became synonymous with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won five championships alongside Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Nash. Bryant’s NBA career began in 1996, when the Charlotte Hornets selected him as the 13th pick in the draft.

Bryant, then 17, became the first guard picked out of high school. However, behind the scenes of the draft, the LA Lakers had agreed with the Hornets to take Bryant in exchange for Vlade Divac. Bryant’s parents had to cosign with him at the Lakers since he was underage. His rookie contract was worth $3.5 million.

READ ALSO: Kobe Bryant’s Wife Vanessa Wins $1.5 Million in Attorney Fees After Legal Battle over Late Husband’s BodyArmor Earnings

Bryant became the NBA’s youngest player to achieve 20,000 points in December 2007, when he scored 39 points against the New York Knicks. Bryant had been alive for 29 years and 122 days. However, throughout the course of the decade, LeBron James (28 years and 17 days) and Kevin Durant (29 years 103 days) would break Bryant’s record.

Bryant’s success extended beyond the playing field. His celebrity in the NBA earned him various sponsorship deals, which increased his net worth. Six of his most notable endorsement deals are listed here.

1. Adidas

Bryant earned a multimillion-dollar contract with Adidas before joining Nike in 1996. He reportedly signed the contract before being drafted. By 2002, his partnership with Adidas had come to an end. He reportedly paid $8 million to exit his Adidas contract after the summer of 2002. The clause for the deal’s cancellation stated that he would not sign with any brand until 2003.

In 2003, he signed a four-year, $40 million dollar deal with Nike at age 24.

2. Nike

Bryant first signed with Nike after leaving Adidas in 2003. It was one of Nike’s largest basketball contracts. The company created several lines of Kobe shoes and apparel. In April 2016, he inked an endorsement extension.

Bryant’s estate opted to sever its long-standing association with Nike in 2021, according to Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. The estate made the decision after becoming dissatisfied with Nike’s decision to limit the availability of Kobe items throughout his retirement and after his death.

READ ALSO: How Kobe Bryant Turned One Sip of a New Drink into a $400 Million Fortune

Vanessa Bryant told ESPN: “Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21. Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”

3. Call of Duty: Black Ops

Bryant was a good time. In 2010, he starred in a commercial promoting the video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” shooting a gun with the word “Mamba” printed on the side.

According to, the game became one of the year’s biggest hits, selling over 7 million copies globally in the first 24 hours. Some critics attacked Bryant over the commercial, claiming he was promoting gun violence.

4. Nintendo

He also secured an endorsement contract with Nintendo in addition to Call of Duty: Black Ops. Kobe Bryant: NBA Courtside was released by Nintendo. The game was launched in 1998, during Bryant’s second season in the NBA, and was exclusive to the Nintendo 64 gaming device. He became one of the youngest athletes to have his name immortalized in a video game.

5. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola and Bryant formed a relationship in 1998. The NBA player was signed as an endorsement for Sprite by the worldwide beverage behemoth. He appears in several Sprite TV commercials. According to several sources, sales increased dramatically following the endorsement.

READ ALSO: Bidder Offers $800K For A Piece Of The Late Kobe Bryant’s Final Game Floor

6. McDonald’s

In 2001, Kobe Bryant secured a $10 million contract with McDonald’s. However, the three-year contract was not renewed following the NBA star’s sexual misconduct claims. “It would be inappropriate at this time to comment or speculate about any future sponsorship relationship,” a company spokesman stated at the time.

Paris Barclay Becomes the First Black Director Nominated for an Emmy in All Narrative Categories

Los Angeles Man Who Underwent Historic Face Transplant Going Strong After Four Years