Sports Business Journal

‘He was a creative force’

WHEN KOBE BRYANT was considering making an investment in BodyArmor late in his NBA career, co-founder Mike Repole had a message for the Los Angeles Lakers legend about the challenges a new business faces, especially one taking on an established Goliath like Gatorade.

“I kept telling him how impossible it would be. I told him that it has a 1% chance of succeeding,” said Repole. “He looked at me and said ‘I’ve won five NBA championships, an MVP, a Finals MVP, and Olympic gold medals. Your odds are the best I’ve ever had.’”

Bryant eventually made a $5 million investment in 2013, one that was later valued at around $200 million when Coca-Cola acquired a minority stake in BodyArmor in 2018. Bryant’s trademark confidence, combined with his fierce competitiveness and unrelenting work ethic — all part of his famed Mamba Mentality — had earned him athletic immortality and it was making him successful

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