Money Moves November 02, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Kobe Bryant estate makes $400 million from sale of BodyArmor, the No.2 sports drink in U.S.

Abu Mubarik November 02, 2021 at 12:00 pm

November 02, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Money Moves

Kobe Bryant invested $6 million in the company in 2014 in return for 10% ownership. Photo: BodyArmor

On Monday, Coca-Cola announced the purchase of sports drink BodyArmor for $5.6 billion, constituting 85% of the company’s stake, according to CBS News. Coke bought a 15% stake in the beverage company back in 2018.

Coke made Monday’s announcement at exactly 8:24 am, a time many sports fans use to mark the two numbers Kobe wore during his NBA tenure. According to CBS News, this is the largest single amount Coke has ever paid for a beverage brand, superseding past purchases of Glaceau water for $4.1 billion in 2007 and $5.1 billion in 2018 for Costa Coffee.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the purchase of BodyArmor is the Kobe Bryant estate. The ex-NBA star, while alive, invested in BodyAmor, which has grown to become the number 2 sports drink in the U.S. after Gatorade, which is owned by PepsiCo. Also, the decade-old company has grown to have over 400 staff.

And according to the co-founder, Mike Repole, it was the vision and belief of Bryant that enabled the company to achieve success.

“If it wasn’t for Kobe Bryant’s vision and belief, BodyArmor would not have been able to achieve the success we had,” Repole, who also developed Fuze Beverage and Smartwater, said in a statement.

The Bryant estate is expected to make $400 million from selling its BodyArmor stake, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The NBA legend first invested in the company in 2014 for 10% of the company, about $6 million, making him the third-largest investor at the time, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Earlier, Face2Face Africa reported that the Bryant estate ended its long-standing partnership with Nike, widow of the Lakers legend Vanessa Bryant said. The estate decided after growing frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his death.

Bryant first signed a deal with Nike in 2003 after leaving Adidas when he entered the league in 1996. It was one of the biggest basketball deals Nike had signed. The company produced multiple lines of Kobe shoes and gear. He signed an endorsement extension in April 2016.

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, and John Altobelli, head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, who was also with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa.

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.

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