Business / Industry News

Kobe Bryant a Big Winner in Coke-BodyArmor Deal

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Aug 16, 2018

Our Aug. 14 report on Coca-Cola Co. buying a stake in sports drink company BodyArmor has one more big winner we should note: Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, a future hall of fame basketball player who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016, has invested about $6 million in upstart Body Armor since 2014. That stake is now worth around $200 million, according to ESPN, a 3,300 percent return on investment in just 4.5 years. Not bad.

That's the value figured for his share of ownership, at least according to ESPN's sources, although the exact price paid by Coca-Cola and its and ownership share have not been publicized.

That amount almost equals the $328 million Bryant earned on the court in his 20-year NBA career, said ESPN.

Bryant announced his investment in BodyArmor on the same day he revealed his own equity investment firm, Kobe Inc., with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel and $100 million in initial funding.

As other athletes were signed up for BodyArmor endorsement deals, many of them also got equity stakes in the drink company. Sources told ESPN that as many as a dozen superstar athletes could also have stakes worth more than $1 million each, including James Harden, Dustin Johnson and Andrew Luck.

When Bryant invested in BodyArmor, the brand had just come off a year of $10 million in sales. The company is projected to top $400 million in sales in 2018.