Business and sports contracts changed a lot in recent years, and even decades. More and more athletes are looking for deals that surpass their contracts. This can be done if they put their stamp on all deals. Like this, many athletes today look for equity in endorsement when tying their name to a certain company, instead of money.
You could say that it all started with the famous rapper 50 Cent. Back in 2007, he earned $100 million from Vitaminwater-maker Glacéau. This company was bought by Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion, and with a share in the company, the rapper got himself a massive payday. Today we have a similar story as Coca-Cola is about to make another massive purchase.
Mike Repole who is the co-founder of Glacéau also has his hands on another popular energy drink, Body Armor. Coca-Cola announced that it’s getting its hands on the remaining 85% of Body Armor and that the whole deal could surpass $8 billion. Back in 2018, Coca-Cola bought only 15% of the brand for an estimated $300 million. When the initial purchase was made they added the “pre-determined discount” clause which has been activated now. Because of it, the famed brand is now going t own this company in its entirety.
With $8 billion to share, many athletes are going to see their pockets full due to endorsement deals they’ve signed with Body Armor. Some of the biggest active athletes that have a deal with this company are Buster Posey and James Harden who also invested money in the company, and the likes of Naomi Osaka, Mookie Betts, and Christian McCaffrey.
The brand was launched back in 2011 by Mike Repole and Lance Collins. They’ve advertised it as a healthier alternative to Gatorade rich in electrolytes, coconut water, and antioxidants, and low on sodium. In the past few years, the beverage gained popularity in the sports world and its name is now tied to UFC, MLS, and the U.S. Open. In addition to athletes, we also have musicians such as Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Lopez being endorsed by this company.
What’s even more interesting is that the late Kobe Bryant was one of the first and the biggest name that tied his brand to Body Armor. Back in 2014, he bought a 10% stake in the company which was then valued at $6 million. Once the sale is finalized the successors to the former Los Angeles Lakers legend will receive close to $400 million. The connection between Repole and Bryant was not only a business one but a personal one, as Mike was present at Bryant’s Hall of fame enshrinement in May.
It’s no wonder things are like this, as Bryant was the one to help to elevate the brand. Body Armor grew thanks to Kobe as he was a great advertiser and helped attract other names such as Osaka to the company. When Coca-Cola announced the purchase, Repole had this to say about Bryant’s influence: “If it wasn’t for Kobe Bryant’s vision and belief, BodyArmor would not have been able to achieve the success we had.”
Kobe Bryant keeps on wining outside of the court despite not being with us for almost two years.