The death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter accident has shocked the world of basketball. With him disappears a character that transcended the sport (although his two Olympic golds and five rings made him a legend of the NBA) and that leaves a great business legacy.
The Kobe figure is closely linked to that of Bryant Stibel, the company he created in 2013 (while still active) to “to provide strategy, capital and operational support to companies with a focus on technology, media and data.” This conglomerate accumulates dozens of investments that are around 1.8 billion euros.
The alliances of Bryant (who already made history when he retired for being the player with the highest profits in the NBA, more than 300 million euros) in these sectors have generated juicy benefits. The US press quantifies in a dozen operations that have reported capital gains after selling shares.
The most famous was his investment in BodyArmor, an energy drink that competes with Gatorade and went from five million dollars to about 200, at which time Coca-Cola bought most of its shares. After it, investments in firms known as Alibaba, Dell or The Players Tribune (a space for publications of athletes, a reference of which Gerard Piqué developed in Spain) gave benefits to the American athlete.
Despite this, the most important part of its management is the one that is articulated through Permira, an investment fund with which it has placed a bag of more than 1,500 million euros to look for “growing companies where a strategic investment , together with operational support, can generate extended results. “
The figure of Bryant was key for Nike, who was able to get into the Chinese market and paid him about 15 million euros annually for the sponsorship of his shoes
Although Bryant's entrepreneurial vein focused his activity during the last years of his life, he never ceased to make his image profitable after two decades of stardom in basketball. In that sense, his marriage to Nike, which he reached in 2003, has been lucrative … for both parties.
From the hand of Kobe, the Oregon brand managed to infiltrate a Chinese market that currently reports about 5.5 billion euros of annual turnover, according to the results published by the company. Famous in the Asian country, Bryant went there for a decade with the aim of doing commercial tours in summer and, periodically, made different advertising actions that went from the launch of specific models of shoes to even the production of audiovisual content.
The counterpart for Bryant was not trivial. Apart from its sponsorship contract (of which there are few data and began to be around 10 million euros per year there by 2003) According to the data of Forbes, the company of the 'swoosh' paid him about 15 million euros annually only for the sponsorship of his snookers, one of the most expensive in the category.