Kobe Bryant had a 20-year career in the NBA. During that two-decade run of excellence, he earned $328 million in salary from the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 2014, Kobe invested six million into a sports drink called BodyArmor, believing it provided a great alternative to Pepsi-owned Gatorade and feeling the startup had a chance to take over the sports drink market.
Like he was with many hunches he had, Kobe was right.
In 2018, Coca-Cola saw the potential of BodyArmor and bought a 15% stake in it. Now Coca-Cola is coming to the table with a much bigger check, being out the rest of the company, and taking on full ownership. Coca-Cola spent a total of $5.6 billion on the acquisition, which meant Kobe’s return on that investment seven years ago would pay off in a big way.
With the value of SportsArmor increased in value by 67-fold since his initial investment, Kobe’s estate is set to make $400 million.
It was the first investment Kobe made when he started his business career in 2014, two years before retiring from the NBA.
Back in 2014, Bryant told ESPN this regarding his interest in making the initial investment in BodyArmor.
“There hasn’t been a product that has come to them and said, ‘There’s another way to upgrade your sports drink.’”
Kobe’s bet on his instincts and in the BodyArmor brand paid off in a huge way.