Until his demise in a helicopter crash in 2020, Kobe Bryant was among some of the highest-earning retired NBA players of all time. He built a successful career as an NBA player, plying his trade for the Golden State Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the San Diego Clippers.
He soon became one of the most outstanding NBA stars to ever play, thanks to a series of decisions, his brilliant skills, grit, dedication to the game, and the numbers he garnered.
His success on the court saw him rake in several endorsement deals in addition to his NBA earnings, which totaled $323.3 million. His endorsement deals formed the bulk of his net worth, which included deals with multinational firms like Nike, Sprite, McDonald’s, Turkish Airlines, Lenovo, Hublot, and Panini. He also signed lucrative deals with Chinese firms like Alibaba, Sina.com, and Mercedes Benz, which reportedly amounted to $350 million.
However, his most significant deal and biggest earning move was his investment in a sports drink called ‘BodyArmor,’ which he decided to invest in after just one sip.
In 2015, he reportedly acquired a 10% stake in the firm, which would later be acquired by Coca-Cola in phases. Prior to Kobe’s acquisition, the company was making $10 million in annual revenue.
By 2014, it was generating over $250 million in revenue, prompting Coca-Cola to acquire 15% of the company for $300 million. When BodyArmor’s evaluation hit $6 billion, Kobe’s initial $6 million investment turned into a $200 million valuation.
Coca-cola would later acquire 30% of the company and its remaining $70 percent subsequently, which saw the company’s value move from $1.4 billion to $8 million. Kobe reportedly made $400 million for the complete acquisition of the firm by Coca-Cola, according to CBSNews.
The NBA Hall of Famer and one of the world’s most celebrated basketball icons died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. Bryant was flying along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, John Altobelli, head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, and a few others.
In a career that spanned two decades, the Black Mamba’s face became synonymous with the LA Lakers, where he won five Championship titles playing with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Nash.