Earlier in the year, Kobe Bryant was announced as an investor and endorser for the nascent sports drink BODYARMOR, created in 2011 by Mike Repole and Lance Collins. According to Forbes, Bryant owns more than 10 percent of the company and is one of more than 100 investors. He is joined by fellow athletes James Harden, Mike Trout, Andrew Luck, Kevin Love, Buster Posey, Lesean McCoy and Rob Gronkowski as the major endorses for the sports drink.
Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman is the newest addition to the group. Like Bryant, he will also have a small stake in the company. To promote the product, Sherman will participate in social and digital activation initiatives and will be in a summer campaign featuring several other BODYARMOR athlete partners. He will also be seen in advertisements in Seattle and Portland.
BODYARMOR co-founder Mike Repole plans to add athletes from soccer and hockey, as well as female athletes, to the already impressive list of endorsers. In only its third year of existence, the company has made a strategic effort to enlist younger athlete pitchmen, in contrast to Gatorade, whose endorsement roster is laden with veterans such as Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter. BODYARMOR has its work cut out for it in the competition with Gatorade, which is valued at $4.8 billion and doing $3.3 billion in sales.
Sherman joins the growing list of athletes that maintain an ownership percentage in companies they endorse. This has typically been the way for small, upstart companies to entice high-profile endorsers. In addition to Bryant, Andrew Luck has a stake in BODYARMOR; Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has a stake in a company called Fuse Science; Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade has equity in Li Ning, the Chinese sneaker company; and the list goes on.