Kobe's Star Power An Added Bonus For Coca-Cola In BodyArmor Deal
For Coca-Cola, it "doesn’t much matter whether BodyArmor overtakes Powerade or ends up as a niche product," because the beverage giant is "happy to have a [Kobe Bryant] jockeying for space in the cooler with the same sharp elbows he once brought to the court," according to Ira Boudway of BLOOMBERG NEWS. It was Bryant who "came up with the concept" for BodyArmor’s recent ad campaign with the "cheeky tagline: 'Thanks Gatorade, we’ll take it from here.'" Bryant invested about $6M into BodyArmor and "owns roughly" 10% of the brand, which is a "distant but fast-rising third in the U.S. sports-drink market dominated by PepsiCo’s Gatorade and Coca-Cola’s Powerade." Coke acquired a "path to full ownership" of BodyArmor with its deal in August to buy a minority stake that also gives BodyArmor access to its bottling and distribution network." That Coke deal "made Bryant the brand’s fourth-largest shareholder," behind BodyArmor co-Founder & Chair Mike Repole, Coke and Keurig Dr Pepper. Repole said that the BodyArmor is "on pace" for $400M in sales this year. He said that the goal is to reach $1B in sales in the "next three years and become the No. 1 sports drink" by '25. Coca-Cola North America President Jim Dinkins said that the idea is for BodyArmor to be a "premium offering while Powerade occupies the mainstream." This vision "varies from Bryant and Repole’s plan to topple the market leaders" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/12).