Kobe Bryant invests $6 million in sports drink, sees $200-million return

Less than four and a half years after purchasing 10% of the BodyArmor sports drink company, Kobe Bryant has received a return of more than 30 times his investment.  Bryant purchased a minority stake in the company for $6 million in 2014 and that has now yielded over $200 million following the announcement this week that Coca-Cola had also purchased a minority stake in BodyArmor. 

With Coca-Cola getting on board, Bryant is now the fourth-largest BodyArmor investor.  He follow's the company's co-founder, Mike Repole, Coca-Cola and Keurig Dr Pepper.  Bryant made his sizeable investment four years ago after the company enjoyed a $10-million sales year and, now, the company is expected to reach as much as $400 million in sales before the end of 2018. 

BodyArmor has been able to pick up some powerful endorsements over the years.  Around a dozen superstars have dumped at least $1 million into the company, including Andrew Luck, James Harden and Dustin Johnson. 

Not since PepsiCo acquired Gatorade through the purchase of Quaker Oats in 2000 has a sports drink deal produced as much news as the Coca-Cola/Body Armor deal.  It is the second time that Repole has sold a business to the world's leading soft drink supplier, following his sale of a smartwater company, Glaceau, to the company in 2007.  That deal was worth $4.1 billion. 

Bryant joins several other NBA stars to turn a nice profit from investments.  LeBron James bought into the Beats by Dre company, which was ultimately purchased by April in 2014.  For his participation, he was awarded $30 million.  He also invested $1 million into a pizza chain in 2012 that is now worth around $40 million.  

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