The “black mamba,” Kobe Bryant has a special place in the hearts of sports fans, far and wide. Unsurprisingly, he also has a special place in the heart of the financial world. With a reported $500 plus million net worth, Bryant has built quite a few nest eggs.
Kobe Bryant: The Basketball Legend and Investor
24 on his shirt. Victory in his eyes. His work speaks for itself. In 1996, 18-year-old Bryant was the youngest player in NBA history. He has two Olympic gold medals under his belt and is third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. If not for the inevitable challenges of age, he would have achieved much more than 5 NBA championships.
No man is an island. A bit of good fortune complemented the insane work ethic and talent of the basketball player. As a rookie, he was traded from the Charlotte Hornets to the Lakers. He signed a $2.5 million contract and got court time after another player’s injury. Phil Jackson joined the Lakers in 1999 and the rest is history.
Endorsements, Salaries, LA Lakers
Bryant made a lot of money through endorsements and on-court performances. From the Laker’s alone, he is said to have made $328 million over 20 years. Unsurprisingly, he had the highest salary in the NBA for the last 6 years of his career.
Endorsement deals with the likes of Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Spalding and Ferrero’s Nutella bagged the black mamba $280 million.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported on Bryant’s $6 million stake in the sports drink, BodyArmor which was endorsed by Dustin Johnson, Mike Trout, and James Harden. Following Coca-Cola’s investment in the company and other events, Bryant’s investment grew to $200 million.
In 2016, Bryant and entrepreneur Jeff Stibel set up a $100 million venture-capital fund. They invested in over 15 companies including sports media website The Players Tribune, legal-services company Legal Zoom, mobile game designer Scopely, Alibaba Group and others. While it has exited from its investment in Alibaba, its investment in Dell Technologies remains active.
In 2018 Bryant announced that he would be participating in the $30 million funding round of ringDNA, an enterprise sales management platform. Bryant and Stibel cited the great entrepreneur, strong team and a large and untapped market opportunity as reasons for the investment.
In addition to making profit after profit, Bryant engages in philanthropic activities. The Kobe and Vanessa family Foundation was established in 2006 by Bryant and his wife, Vanessa.
They have made a social impact through partnerships with organizations in Los-Angeles including Step Up on Second, My Friend’s Place and United Way. The foundation also operates a youth soccer club in Orange County for young athletes who want to become leaders and independent thinkers.
It takes more than just funds to build up a respectable portfolio of investments. Bryant has been able to prove that he not only has a great basketball IQ but also a great sense of finance and willingness to always be a student of the game. As a child, he would study basketball videos religiously. How you do something is how you do everything. Bryant proves that in more ways than one. Like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, he’s had a special touch on business both on and off the court.