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Volume 27 No. 5
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BodyArmor Investor Kobe Bryant Helps Introduce MLS Partnership

Kobe Bryant yesterday was on hand at Banc of California Stadium as BodyArmor and MLS "kicked off a multi-year partnership that will make the company the official sports drink of the league," according to Ryan Tolmich of GOAL.com. Bryant owns a 10% stake in the drink brand, which has "exclusive team partnerships with 19 different MLS clubs as part of the biggest sponsorship deal in the company's history" (GOAL.com, 1/15). PRO SOCCER USA's Julia Poe noted Bryant is "helping tout" the new partnership, having been an investor in BodyArmor since '14. His 10% stake now is valued at $200M. A long-time soccer fan, Bryant first began tracking MLS when Inter Miami co-Owner David Beckham joined the Galaxy in '07. However, Bryant "doesn't plan on becoming an MLS owner any time soon, stating a lack of interest in owning any type of sports franchise." Instead, he "prefers to utilize his presence in sports to boost MLS from a marketing perspective." Bryant's business and creative interests "led to his support" of the BodyArmor-MLS deal. His involvement will "include exclusive branded bottles fans can get through social media contests." Bryant: "Hopefully what my involvement will do is help with some of the marketing and storytelling of the game." Poe noted as part of the partnership, BodyArmor also will "provide equipment and support to MLS academy programs" (PROSOCCERUSA.com, 1/15).