The world lost much more than a basketball legend with the passing of Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter yesterday in Southern California. While he inspired sports fans around the world with his athletic feats during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he was also a master marketer and writer, appearing in—and helping create—numerous campaigns. Here, we look back on the mark Bryant made on the ad world, both in front of the camera and behind it.
Not only was #24 a five-time NBA champion. He was an Oscar winning storyteller too. Bryant was executive producer and narrator of the Academy Award-winning short film “Dear Basketball,” an animated version of the poetic love letter and farewell to basketball he penned in The Player's Tribune when he announced his retirement in 2015. He created the film out of his own content company, Granity Studios, alongside animator and film director Glen Keane, with music from Hollywood legend John Williams. It aired during his jersey retirement ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in December 2017 and also ran exclusively on limited outlets, including Verizon’s now-defunct streaming service Go90.