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Nike sells out of Kobe Bryant merchandise online after death

Kobe Bryant

Ezra Shaw | Getty Images

Nike has sold out of all of its Kobe Bryant merchandise online, following the tragic death of the basketball legend on Sunday, a spokesperson confirmed to CNBC.

Reports that said Nike had pulled the merchandise from its website are false, the person said.

Now, a search for Kobe Bryant-related items on Nike.com will show a tribute message that extends sympathies to the Bryant family and their friends. “He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever,” it says, in part.

Bryant, who died along with one of his daughters in a helicopter crash over the weekend, was one of the most prominent basketball players to sign on with Nike. He inked an endorsement deal with the sneaker maker in 2003. Nike has been releasing Kobe sneakers ever since, even following his retirement from the sport in 2016.

Nike is currently evaluating how it will proceed with selling Kobe merchandise. The company had other Kobe sneaker launches in the works prior to the accident.

Resale sites such as StockX still have Kobe sneakers for sale, and interest in those items has surged since Sunday afternoon. Some pairs are being bid on for more than $1,000.

A StockX spokesperson said in a statement: “As is the case for any live marketplace, real-life events have ramifications on market performance. 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.”

Another resale company, Urban Necessities, started telling sellers that they would not be allowed to increase the price of Kobe merchandise in the wake of his death.

Nike shares were up less than 1% on Tuesday afternoon. The stock has rallied a little more than 25% over the past 12 months. Nike has a market cap of about $156.4 billion.

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