Aside from the sad fact that the world has lost a basketball superstar, the business world is also in mourning because this NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, extends beyond the basketball court.
He is also a businessman, an investor, brand-builder, and coach to several athletes.
January 26, 2020, was a shocking day not only in the country but all over the world.
At the age of 41, he left the world together with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Bryant’s helicopter crashed into a hillside of Calabasas, California.
It was a foggy morning and had very low visibility. The helicopter was struggling to go up, and according to air controllers, the copter should go up. When they were 2000 feet above sea level, it started to descend, and it crashed into the hillside leaving nine people dead.
As of the writing, investigators and other authorities are still struggling to find clues of the cause of the crash and also recovering the bodies. They said that because of the condition in the area, it would take days before things would be cleared.
The NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made a statement and said, “He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share with future generations of players.”
Bryant wasn’t just a basketball player before he retired in the NBA. He co-founded a venture capital firm called Bryant Stibel with Jeff Stibel, founder of Web.com.
He followed the footsteps of Magic Johnson, who transformed their skills from the court and into a business success. He founded Magic Johnson Enterprises, which included different businesses, to name some Starbucks and the La Guardia airport in New York.
Bryant’s firm now has a $2 billion in assets, including dozens of investments in technology, media, and data companies. It exited Dell and Alibaba successfully.
During his interview with CNBC last year, Bryant said, “You’ve got to have strong entrepreneurs, that’s the key for us is looking at the people. Yes, it’s important to see those returns. But it’s also important to have a great opportunity, great relationships with our investors, great opportunities with our entrepreneurs to help them grow, and put them in situations where they can be successful.”
Aside from his firm, Bryant made millions of dollars for his investments in a sports drink, Body Armor. His reputation as a superstar athlete and brand builder paved his way to success.
Skincare brand founders made a statement about the company’s development before the tragedy. They said, When Kobe puts his stamp of approval on something and gets behind you as a partner, the world of sports and everyone across the spectrum of the sports industry takes note, and you’re suddenly validated in a way that most startups don’t experience until much further on,” this was posted on the Bryant Stibel’s website.
Bryant, who is also known as “Black Mamba,” started his career as a Nike endorser. He signed the deal in 2003. As he became more successful, his partnership with Nike also did grow. They put on several Kobe lines of shoes and gear.
This NBA legend also endorsed several brands throughout his careers like McDonald’s, Sprite, Nintendo, and Turkish Airlines.
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