In 2014, Kobe Bryant made a major investment through his company Kobe Inc. in the sports drink BodyArmor worth $6 million. The deal meant that he would own around 10 percent of BodyArmor, and sit on the board of directors. At the time, his team was hoping to capitalize on the success of the sports drink company which reportedly generated $10 million in revenue within the 12 months prior to striking their deal.
Bryant became aware of BodyArmor the year before investing in the company while rehabbing from a torn Achilles. "This product can be very disruptive," Kobe recalls, perForbes. He believed that the BodyArmor’s arrival on the marketplace came at a time when frontrunners, Gatorade and Powerade, had become "bland with no innovation."
On Wednesday, Coca-Cola announced a minority stake purchase in BodyArmor. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the valuation of the deal meant that Kobe’s stake became worth $200 million. You read that right.
The announcement of Coca-Cola purchasing a minority stake in BodyArmor shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the soft drink company’s previous relationship with BodyArmor founders Mike Repole and Lance Collins. Repole was co-founder of Vitaminwater, which was acquired by Coca-Cola in 2007 for $4.1 billion. That same year, Collins sold Fuze Beverage and NOS Energy Drink to Coca-Cola for $250 million.
Flipping a $6 million investment into a $200 million haul is just the latest in a series of victories Bryant has experienced since retiring from the NBA. Earlier this year, Kobe won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.