Kobe Bryant’s sudden death has turned into big business, especially for resellers who are being criticized for capitalizing on the tragedy.
Since the helicopter crash Sunday that killed the former L.A. Lakers star and his daughter Gianna, prices have jumped significantly for Kobe Bryant’s Nike-made sneakers on resale sites. On StockX, the popular Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’ colorway that debuted in 2010 sold for $850 last Wednesday in a size 9.5, but $2,999 in a size 12 on Monday evening. The Protro Undefeated sneaker that launched in 2018 sold in a size 12 for $1,500 in November but on Sunday, a size 9.5 sold for $5,500 (a follow-up sneaker is rumored to launch this year) and the Premium Low Elite from 2014 sold in a size 13 for $2,325 in July 2019 while a size 12 sold for $4,411 on Sunday.
The quandary that Bryant’s death presents for some retailers and consumers is one that his fairy tale career helped to create. Starting out with Adidas as a high school senior in 1996 and later switching camps to a more lucrative multimillion dollar deal with Nike, Bryant had various shoes named in his honor during his 20-year career.
The sneakers Adidas made for Kobe
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