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Volume 24 No. 114
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Kobe Bryant Looks To Grow BodyArmor In Ultra-Competitive Sports Drink Market

Kobe Bryant since retiring from the NBA has been "working tirelessly" to turn sports drink BodyArmor into a "competitor for industry titans" Gatorade and Powerade, according to Golden & Chemi of CNBC.com. BodyArmor has set an "ambitious goal of being the number one sports drink" by '25. Five years ago, Bryant met with BodyArmor co-Founder Mike Repole, and after a season-ending injury in '13, Bryant "knew he needed to think beyond basketball." He had been an endorser of Coca-Cola (Powerade parent company) for many years, but the idea of "starting a company from the ground up was just the challenge he wanted." Bryant, who wrote a seven-figure check to become BodyArmor's third largest investor, said, "The best way for me to learn is to actually jump into something." Today, BodyArmor is "nationally distributed, available in convenience stores, grocery chains and sports clubs." Revenues are "on track to hit" $200M this year. The company said that it saw 110% "year-over-year growth in convenience stores." Just this month, UFC "signed BodyArmor as the league's official sports drink." According to Nielsen, Gatorade has a 78% "share of the market," while Powerade has 19%. BodyArmor sits at a 3% share. While many athletes "finish their careers and become pitchmen, Bryant is more than that." From "securing sponsorship deals with international soccer tournaments to being creative director on BodyArmor's advertising campaign, he is involved in nearly ever facet large and small of the company" (CNBC.com, 10/19).