- Last year, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant established Kobe Inc., with a mission "to own and grow brands and ideas that challenge and redefine the sports industry while inspiring the world.”
- The first investment for Kobe Inc. is the emerging sports drink BodyArmor. Bryant sits on the board of directors and owns more than 10%, making him the third biggest shareholder, an amount, he says constitutes "skin in the game."
- BodyArmor distinguishes itself in the sports drink category by offering two and a half times the electrolytes of standard drinks, as well as the benefits of coconut water with low sodium content.
As we saw a few months back, the sports drink market is close to $7 billion and keeps growing. Bryant discovered BodyArmor last year while rehabbing from his torn Achilles tendon: “This product can be very disruptive,” says Bryant, who thinks the current sports drink market dominated by Gatorade and Powerade has become “bland with no innovation.”
BodyArmor launched in 2011 and generated $10 million in revenue over the past 12 months with sales more than doubling each of the past two years. Currently available in 20 states, BodyArmor is seeking to expand to locations throughout the country within two years. Perhaps investors will have to keep an eye on Bryant for future product picks.