Kobe, Incorporated: Investments, Not Endorsements, Key to Star's Retirement Plan
Los Angeles Lakers guard and superstar Kobe Bryant revealed to ESPN he started his own company Kobe Inc. It will be different than the way Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson grew their names outside of basketball.
"I have always had ideas and always had a vision of where I wanted to go going back to 2000, but they are just ideas," Bryant said. "Now, once the Achilles injury took place, I'm sitting at home for months not moving, a couple things set in. One is that there is only so many Modern Family episodes a person can watch. And then two, what do I do now?"
"We want to own and help grow brands and ideas that challenge and redefine the sports industry while inspiring," Bryant said. "If it doesn't have the limbs of the sports industry, which I understand extremely well, then I probably won't touch it."
Kobe, Inc. will invest in the sports drink BODYARMOR. It is unique because of its coconut water and “boasts of delivering more potassium to an athlete’s body while offering less sodium than its competitors.” Most athletes rely on Gatorade or Powerade. Bryant believes it is time for a new drink.
"From a standpoint of innovation, if you look at the category, the category itself has been a dormant one for years," Bryant said. "They have become accustom to drinking one product because that's been the only one available to them. There hasn't been a product that has come to them and said, 'There's another way to upgrade your sports drink.' "
BODYARMOR is endorsed by Mike Trout and Andrew Luck. Founder Michael Repole is pleased to have Bryant aboard.
"That Kobe chose us helps validate what we bring to the table as a brand," Repole said. "We're honored to have one of the most elite players of all time on our team and I'm confident, given all the conversations that I've had with Kobe over the last month, that once his career is done, he will be as successful of an entrepreneur as he was a basketball player."
BODYARMOR may help Kobe quench his thirst and fatten his wallet. Can it help the Lakers win?