Arts and Entertainment
Kobe Bryant’s final game breaks Led Zeppelin’s record for merchandise sales
Kobe Bryant set many records on the court in his storied career as a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. But on his final NBA game on Wednesday night (April 13), he added another, breaking Led Zeppelin‘s record for most money earned through merchandise sales in a one-day event at an arena.
ESPN is reporting that the Staples Center in Los Angeles took in $1.2 million, with the average fan spending $61 and the average bill being $230. Another $2 million worth of merchandise was sold online. Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion at the O2 Arena in London, which was captured in the movie Celebration Day, took in $1 million.
Had Led Zeppelin’s notorious manager, Peter Grant, lived long enough — he died in 1995 — he’d be kicking himself at the missed opportunities. ESPN’s article goes into detail about the high-end, limited-edition “24 Collection” that was created for the occasion. This includes cashmere, diamond-studded hats that sold for $24,008, snakeskin jerseys (up to $824) and leather jackets with Swarovski crystals ($5,824). The unusual prices were likely a nod to the two numbers Bryant wore in his career, 8 and 24. This is in addition to the free commemorative goods that every attendee received just for being in the building. For once, we feel bad for the guys selling bootleg t-shirts in the parking lot.
The collection, says Sean Ryan of AEG, “started with a vision of gold and diamonds and how this translated with the fans of Los Angeles. We wanted every person who purchased with us the opportunity to have a piece which was special for the moment. The support and buy-in exceeded our expectations.”
At least Bryant rose to the occasion. Despite struggling all year long — putting up 17.6 points per game against a career average of 25 — he scored 60 points as the Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 101-96. The Lakers missed the playoffs with a record of 17-65, which put them in last place in the Western Conference and was the second-worst record in the NBA.