Kobe Bryant’s Smart Investments Pay Off | Estate To Reportedly Receive $400 Million From BodyArmor Sale To Coca-Cola

Kobe Bryant's Estate Nets $400 Million in Cocoa-Cola Acquisition of Body Armor. Image Credit: Screen Shot Twitter @FOS

The late Kobe Bryant’s clairvoyance in business pays solid dividends for his family and legacy as beverage BodyArmor sold to Coca-Cola.

The sale was announced on Monday for $5.6 billion in a cash deal. According to The Wall Street Journal, BodyArmor has an $8 billion valuation.

Kobe’s Clairvoyance

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Bryant family estate will receive roughly $400 million from the sale.

In honor of Bryant, according to CBS News, Coca-Cola revealed the purchase on Monday at precisely 8:24 a.m., commemorating Bryant’s two jersey numbers he wore during his time in the league.

The BodyArmor sale is now the most significant acquisition to date for Coca-Cola. The deal bests the company’s 2018 purchase of Costa Coffee for $5.1 billion.

BodyArmor began in 2011, and Bryant, an early investor, began backing the BodyArmor brand in 2013. Marketed as an electrolyte-filled premium beverage brand, the purchase of BodyArmor marks Coke’s effort to try to make more inroads against competitor PepsiCo’s domination of the sports drink market with its Gatorade brand.

Pandemic Shift

Back in July, according to Reuters, Coca-Cola planned to focus on more prominent brands to avoid a sales hit from the ravaged global pandemic economy.

Coke’s finance chief said to Reuters that the strategy doubled down on its supply chain to avoid a potential negative impact from the many variants of the coronavirus.

“When things get more constrained, the bigger brands are the ones you focus on,” Murphy told Reuters.

Coca-Cola reportedly bought a 15 percent stake in BodyArmor in 2018 to become its second-largest shareholder. During that time, according to reports, Bryant was the third-largest shareholder in BodyArmor.

Smart Investments

Bryant’s stake is reminiscent of former huge beverage sales that created wealth for entertainers like Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

In 2004, Glacéau offered 50 Cent a minority stake as a pitchman for the VitaminWater brand. Focusing on younger consumers, Glacèau saw 50 Cent as a conversation starter during a time when his music buzz was at its zenith.

Glacèau, which was founded by Michael Repole, was sold to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion in 2007. As a result, 50 Cent walked away with close to $100 million. Repole went on to co-found BodyArmor four years later and repeat his Glacèau success with the new brand.

Additionally, Bryant is notable for becoming an owner with BodyArmor as an active player. It set him on a path to wealth for having the foresight to invest in a company in an immense growth category like sports hydration beverages. James Harden, then with the Houston Rockets, joined the BodyArmor team as a pitchman in 2014, and he also got an equity stake in the brand, it was announced then, although the amount of his stake was not announced.

Ownership vs. Sponsorship

While the focus on many athletes is on their high-value endorsements deals like LeBron James’ lifetime Nike deal valued at $1 billion, or Steph Curry’s reported $42 million per year Under Armour deal, in some cases these athletes are also getting actual equity in the companies they endorse, which has the potential for huge rewards when the deals work out like Kobe’s BodyArmor investment.

This week’s BodyArmor announcement is a portal into the ownership deal versus the endorsement deal for athletes and entertainers, and how the pitchman out front can be an owner behind the scenes.

 

 

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.