SBD/April 19, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Protect Your Investment: Kobe Bryant Directs, Narrates New Ad Campaign For BodyArmor

Sports drink BodyArmor is launching its "largest ad campaign to date, including its first TV ad," and the "creative director and narrator of the campaign" is brand investor Kobe Bryant, according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. Bryant is "intimately involved in BodyArmor's marketing, just like he has provided his creative input on Nike ads over the years." He even had a "major role in crafting BodyArmor's tagline, 'Obsession is Natural.'" The theme of the campaign is the "role obsession plays for athletes." The spot includes appearances by fellow investors, including golfer Dustin Johnson, Rockets G James Harden, Angels CF Mike Trout, Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo, Colts QB Andrew Luck, Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, Cowboys WR Dez Bryant, Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis and WNBA Dallas Wings G Skylar Diggins. The ad is "shot in black-in-white with the exception of bottles of BodyArmor." BodyArmor's challenge is to "chip away at Gatorade's domination." Data from research firm IRI shows that Gatorade controls "more than 75%" of the energy drink category, followed by Powerade at "roughly 20%." BodyArmor has "less than 2% share, but sales grew by more than 140%" to $122.9M in the 52 weeks ending March 19. For the BodyArmor spot Bryant "collaborated" with former Wieden & Kennedy copywriter Brian Ford. The ad will "air during the NBA Playoffs on TNT, ESPN and ABC" (ADAGE.com, 4/18). BodyArmor co-Founder Mike Repole said, "Kobe is the most creative person I have ever met. I think he is going to be more successful as a businessman than he was on the basketball court." The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Futterman noted BodyArmor’s second-largest investor is Dr Pepper Snapple Group (WSJ.com, 4/18).
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