Apart from the basketball court, Kobe Bryant was known to the business world as a brand builder, an amazing coach to company founders and an investors. He achieved a lot of things by blending his remarkable talent with absolute devotion to winning.
Before leaving the NBA, Bryant co-founded venture capital firm Bryant Stibel with web.com founder Jeff Stibel.
Bryant followed the footprints of other sports legends and he was able to transform skills developed on the basketball court into business success. Bryant’s firm has invested in dozens of technology, data companies and media companies. The firm has more than $2 billion in assets all together. Bryant Stibel has investments in digital payment company Klarna, Fortnite creator Epic Games and household products firm, The Honest Company.
Aside the firm, Bryant invested in sports drink Body Amor where he made millions of dollars. In 2018, he sold a stake to Coca Cola thereby boosting the valuation. One of Bryant’s portfolio keys to success is his reputation as a brand builder.
Kobe created a media company that focuses on creative storytelling in sports was founded in 2016. He named the company Granity Studios. The company made serious impact on the world of sports. The strides visible to everyone across the spectrum of the sports industry.
Bryant narrated a short film “Dear Basketball”, through this company. The film won the academy award for best animated short film in 2018. The company has released many inspiring books for young talents, along with Bryant’s autobiography (Mamba Mentality: How I play).
In basketball, Bryant was well know as the Black Mamba. At the early part of his basketball carrier, he started building the Black Mamba brand as a Nike endorser. In 2003, he signed a deal with Nike. Apart from Bryant, other elites including LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony signed with the brand that year. Their signings helped Nike to solidify it’s position in the basketball world.
Nike brought out Bryant with their then-CEO to celebrate the launch of their new business strategy during its annual investors meeting.
In 2017, He partnered with Nike and the Los Angeles Boys and Girls club to launch a youth basketball league called the Mamba league. He gave several kids access to the basketball game. He later provided a better athletic and lifestyle training facility to competitors at all levels of sports, the Mamba Sports Academy.
Kobe Bryant has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and was one of the greatest athletes of his generation.
Through the Tmall Magic Box Tv in China, Kobe worked alongside the Alibaba group to release his documentary, Kobe Bryant’s Muse in 2015. Throughout the deal, he worked with Alibaba to create a new social media platform to bring new avenues to connecting China’s young people directly to Kobe and his philosophies”. This partnership was announced by Alibaba during a press release. Aliexpress, The Alibaba group’s retail platform sells many number of Kobe branded products inclusively.
Throughout his career, Kobe also had endorsement deals with some notable brands such as McDonalds, Sprite, Nintendo and Turkish airlines. Kobe would not only be remembered as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but a strategic investor who had created a well known business and investment empire. He built a global brand.
Forbes reports that when he retired in 2016, Bryant had earned a record USD$680 million. Bryant’s early independent USD $6 million investment in sports drink company Body Armor turned into $200 million after the firm received a 2018 investment from Coca-Cola.