In March of 2014, Kobe Bryant made a $6M investment for approximately 10% of the sports drink BodyArmour. According to reports, that $6M investment is now worth an estimated $200M, after Coca-Cola announced it had purchased a minority stake in the company.
According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the Coca-Cola deal puts BodyArmor in Coke's distribution network on their delivery trucks throughout most of the United States. Rovell reports that Kobe is now the fourth-largest investor in BodyArmour, behind the brand's co-founder Mike Repole, Coca-Cola and Keurig Dr Pepper. The sports drink is projected to eclipse $400 million in sales in 2018, up from just $10 million in sales when Kobe first invested.
The Wall Street Journal notes the following:
"Gatorade still dominates the market, capturing about three-quarters of the $8 billion in U.S. sports drinks sales, but its sales have declined in recent quarters. BodyArmor has grown quickly in the last year but is still a distant third, behind Powerade, with less than 6% of the market, according to a Wells Fargo analysis of Nielsen data."
Repole believes the Coca-Cola deal will lay the groundwork for distributing BodyArmor internationally, including in China, which would put them in a position to truly challenge brands like Gatorade and Powerade.
“To me, Gatorade is Blockbuster Video, and BodyArmor is Netflix,” he said in an interview, according to the WSJ. “If you don’t evolve, you’re not going to be around much longer.”
There are reportedly a dozen athletes that have now stakes in BodyArmor worth more than $1 million, including NBA MVP James Harden, #1 PGA Tour golfer Dustin Johnson and Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck.