Coke buys stake in Kobe Bryant-backed BodyArmor

Coke buys stake in Kobe Bryant-backed BodyArmor

"BodyArmor is projected to top $400 million in sales in 2018".

Gatorade and PepsiCo's other sports drinks account for almost a third of a $20 billion US market, according to Euromonitor International. In 2013, Bryant invested millions in BodyArmor, a rehydrating drink for athletes.

This is the second time Repole has sold a company to Coca-Cola.

Bryant, who earned $328 million on the court in his 20-year National Basketball Association career and a similar amount off of it over that time, announced his investment in BodyArmor on the same day he announced the start of his new company, Kobe Inc. The stake has since been diluted to 12.5 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal. The product's founder and CEO Mike Repole expressed his gratitude over the Lakers legend's influence on the brand.

"Gatorade is Blockbuster Video, and BodyArmor is Netflix", Repole boasted. "We are confident that this agreement gives us the best opportunity to significantly accelerate our mission to make BodyArmor the world's best premium sports performance and hydration brand". "Although the timing and mechanism by which distribution will transition over to Coca-Cola's bottling system is still uncertain".

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One reason for that, clearly, is an overall wise investment strategy.

Bryant made $323 million over the course of his career, according to Rovell's report.

Herzog also wrote that BodyArmor has notified KDP of its intention to terminate their existing contract, but no further details on timing or procedure for the transition to Coke have been given. She said the transaction was a negative for KDP, noting that other allied brands could also be at risk of leaving also.

Bryant is now the fourth largest investor in the brand that markets itself as a healthier competitor to Gatorade - he only sits behind the brand's co-founder Mike Repole, Keurig Dr Pepper and Coca-Cola. The deal puts BodyArmor in Coke's powerful distribution network, on their delivery trucks throughout most of the United States.

Together, BodyArmor and Coca-Cola could launch a serious challenge to Gatorade, which has long held off competitors.

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