Kobe Bryant-Partnered 'Mamba Sports Academy' Rebranded as 'Sports Academy'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

Wearing a Kobe Bryant No. 8 Lakers jersey, Olivia Tyler, 19, of Simi Valley, Calif., and others view the memorial at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and pray for the families of the victims of the Sunday helicopter crash that took the lives of the former Lakers star and eight others, Monday morning, Jan. 27, 2020. Tyler said she has idolized Bryant for years and that she previously played at the sports academy but before Bryant bought it. She met him at a UCLA basketball game in 2017 and he gave her a high-five.
Stefanie Dazio/Associated Press

The Mamba Sports Academy announced Tuesday it will revert to its original name, Sports Academy, after its partnership with the family of Kobe Bryant ended after 14 months of "extraordinary" success.

In a statement, the company said:

"Like tens of millions of fans around the globe, Sports Academy's world drastically changed on Jan. 26, 2020. Today, with respect for an unparalleled legacy, the Academy will retire the 'Mamba' in the Mamba Sports Academy name—to raise it to the rafters, where it belongs. In doing so, Sports Academy will carry on the vision it curated during that special partnership."

Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 26.

He partnered with Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner in 2018 to help create a "full-circle facility" dedicated to maximizing human performance.

The company, which was founded by Faulkner in 2016, was rebranded based on the "Mamba Mentality," a term Bryant used throughout his career to help explain how he became one of the best players in NBA history.

"Mamba Mentality isn't about seeking a result. It's about the journey and the approach. It's a way of life," the five-time NBA champion said.

He served as coach of the academy's girls basketball team that featured his daughter Gianna Bryant, who also died in January's crash.

Although the partnership has ended, the company said its "mission remains unchanged."