It has been exactly one year since NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter accident in Los Angeles. Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people died on their way to a youth basketball event at the Mamba Sports Academy.
Bryant will always be known as a basketball legend, but his legacy as a businessman is also impressive.
Bryant made $323,312,307 from the Los Angeles Lakers during his playing career, the third-most earnings in the history of the NBA behind LeBron James and Kevin Garnett. He also brought in tens of millions more from endorsements deals with high-profile brands like Nike
One of his most lucrative investments came while he was still playing in the NBA. Bryant put $6 million into sports drink company Body Armor in exchange for a 10% equity stake in the company, according to ESPN. He also became a spokesperson for the brand.
Body Armor is marketed as a healthier alternative to Gatorade and over the years has teamed up with many high-profile athletes, including James Harden, Mike Trout and Naomi Osaka. In 2018, about four years after Bryant’s initial investment, Coca-Cola
purchased a minority stake in Body Armor that valued Bryant’s shares at approximately $200 million. The move by Coca-Cola gave the company the ability to compete with the Pepsi-owned
Another successful investment for Bryant was the $100 million venture-capital firm he started with Jeff Stibel in 2013. Stibel had been an executive at LegalZoom, Web.com, Inc. and Dun & Bradstreet
before he and Bryant put their own money into the new VC firm Bryant Stibel.
According to its website, Bryant Stibel mainly invests in “businesses with a focus across technology, media, and data.” The firm has diversified its investments to include both companies in their early stages of growth as well as larger, more established companies.
Additionally, the firm was an early investor in The Players’ Tribune, a media company whose content is created by athletes, and the body care company Art of Sport. It also has invested in larger companies like Dell
and Epic Games.
Bryant’s 2019 investment in Epic Games came after the popular Fortnite game burst onto the scene, but before its global user base grew to hundreds of millions in 2020.
According to CNN business, the Bryant Stibel firm now has more than $2 billion in assets.
Bryant Stibel did not respond for comment on this story.
Bryant’s wife Vanessa is in charge of his estate, according to Fox. He is also survived by his daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
According to a trust modification lawsuit, Bryant created and updated his will several times, but did not update it following the birth of his youngest daughter in 2019, a year before his death.
Before his passing, Bryant started The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, which is “dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need.”
Bryant’s desire to be remembered for years to come meant that his successes had to be as big off the court as they were on it.
“Now, championships come and go. Right? There’s going to be another team that wins an NBA Championship, another player that wins another MVP award,” Bryant told CNBC in 2016. “But if you really want to create something that lasts generations, you have to help inspire the next generation.”