Sports drink company BodyArmor today announced Lakers G Kobe Bryant has made an investment in the company and will become the No. 3 investor, behind co-Founders Mike Repole and Lance Collins. Bryant will work closely with Repole and Collins to continue to build the brand. He will be involved in all facets of the business, including product development, innovation, marketing, expansion markets and overall growth strategy for the company. Bryant has been collaborating with the executive team for several months on marketing initiatives, innovation and roll-out of the recently launched BodyArmor flavors (BodyArmor). ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell noted Bryant “would only say that he invested millions of his own money” in Body Armour. Bryant’s investment came as he “formed his own company called Kobe Inc., and is building a team around him to start new businesses and evaluate investing in others.” Bryant said, “We want to own and help grow brands and ideas that challenge and redefine the sports industry while inspiring. If it doesn’t have the limbs of the sports industry, which I understand extremely well, then I probably won’t touch it.” Bryant said that he has “watched previous NBA greats like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson turn basketball careers into lucrative business relationships.” Jordan has “famously made money by licensing his name to Nike to make Air Jordan sneakers,” and Johnson has “made much of his money by allowing others to use his name as well.” But the “path Bryant seeks will be more hands-on.” He said, “I want to be a part of something and if you want to be a true entrepreneur you have to put skin in the game. At this stage in my life, I don’t have the interest in taking on any more endorsements” (ESPN.com, 3/23).

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