Business after basketball continues to flourish for Kobe Bryant. And this time, it’s due to a big assist from Coca-Cola.
According to CNN Money, Coca-Cola is set to make a huge investment in the retired five-time NBA champion-backed sports drink, BodyArmor. The investment will make Coke the second-largest shareholder in BodyArmor and give the sports drink maker access to Coca-Cola’s bottling facilities.
That being said, Bryant, BodyArmor’s third-biggest shareholder, eagerly shared the news via his Twitter account, while taking a shot at Gatorade for good measure.
Proud of our team at @DrinkBODYARMOR & our new partnership with the @CocaColaCo who believes in our mission of becoming the #1 Global Sports Drink. Thanks @Gatorade, we’ll take it from here… #ObsessedWithBetter https://t.co/fLVnBxWfDE— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 14, 2018
Mike Repole, BodyArmor’s co-founder and chairman told the Wall Street Journal that the partnership with Coca-Cola will pave the way for the sports drink to be distributed internationally, further pressuring Gatorade.
"To me, Gatorade is Blockbuster Video, and BodyArmor is Netflix," said Repole. "If you don’t evolve, you’re not going to be around much longer."
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Repole has a rich history with Coca-Cola — emphasis on rich. He also helped create Glaceau, the maker of Vitaminwater, which was bought by Coke for $4.1 billion in 2007.
And speaking to Repole’s point, BodyArmor has been able to bite into the market relying on low-calorie drinks that utilize natural flavors and even coconut water, featuring flavors such as Orange Mango, Blackout Berry and Fruit Punch.
In addition to Bryant, reigning NBA MVP James Harden and MLB All-Star Mike Trout are also investors.
The Journal’s report estimates BodyArmor’s revenue to be roughly $400 million this year with an overall value between $1 billion and $2 billion. Although Gatorade is the industry leader, locking down a reported estimate of about 75 percent of the $8 billion in U.S. sports drink sales, Coke’s partnership with BodyArmor should concern Gatorade.