Kobe Bryant is a professional basketball player who plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Kobe Bryant is a 15-time All-Star, 14-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. As of June 2012, he ranks third and fifth on the league’s all-time post-season scoring and all-time regular season scoring lists, respectively.
Before starting the 1996–97 NBA season, Bryant signed a 6-year contract with Adidas worth approximately $48 million. His first signature shoe was the Equipment KB 8. Bryant’s other earlier endorsements included deals with The Coca-Cola Company to endorse their Sprite soft drink, appearing in advertisements for McDonald’s, promoting Spalding’s new NBA Infusion Ball, Upper Deck, Italian chocolate company Ferrero SpA’s brand Nutella, Russell Corporation, and appearing on his own series of video games by Nintendo. Many companies like McDonald’s and Ferrero SpA terminated his contracts when rape allegations against him became public. A notable exception was Nike, Inc., who had signed him to a 5-year, $40–45 million contract just before the incident. However, they refused to use his image or market a new shoe of his for the year, but eventually did start promoting Bryant once his image recovered 2 years later. He has since resumed endorsement deals with The Coca-Cola Company, through their subsidiary Energy Brands to promote their Vitamin Water brand of drinks. Bryant was also the cover athlete for NBA ’07: Featuring the Life Vol. 2 and appeared in commercials for the video games Guitar Hero World Tour (with Tony Hawk, Michael Phelps, and Alex Rodriguez) in 2008 and Call of Duty: Black Ops (alongside Jimmy Kimmel) in 2010.
In a 2008 video promoting Nike’s Hyperdunk shoes, Bryant appears to jump over a speeding Aston Martin. The stunt was considered to be fake, and the Los Angeles Times said a real stunt would probably be a violation of Bryant’s Lakers contract. After promoting Nike’s Hyperdunk shoes, Bryant came out with the fourth edition of his signature line by Nike, the Zoom Kobe IV. In 2010 Nike launched another shoe, Nike Zoom Kobe V. In 2009, Bryant signed a deal with Nubeo to market the “Black Mamba collection”, a line of sports/luxury watches that range from $25,000 to $285,000. On February 9, 2009, Bryant was featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. However, it was not for anything basketball related, rather it was about Bryant being a big fan of FC Barcelona. CNN estimated Bryant’s endorsement deals in 2007 to be worth $16 million a year. In 2010, Bryant was ranked third behind Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan in Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes with $48 million.
On December 13, 2010, Bryant signed a two-year endorsement deal with Turkey’s national airline, Turkish Airlines. The deal involved Bryant being in a promotional film to be aired in over 80 countries in addition to his being used in digital, print and billboard advertising.
Bryant has appeared as the cover athlete for the following video games:
Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside
NBA Courtside 2: Featuring Kobe Bryant
NBA Courtside 2002
NBA 3 On 3 Featuring Kobe Bryant
NBA ’07: Featuring the Life Vol. 2
NBA ’09: The Inside
How Kobe Bryant Made His Money – Basketball
Estimated Net Worth: $200 Million
Birthday: August 23, 1978