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Kobe, The Entrepreneur

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Kobe Bryant reportedly died in a helicopter crash, along with eight other individuals. Among the dead was his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, a budding basketball talent. Kobe was known for his intense passion and obsessive, competitive spirit on the court. All of those attributes were carried over into his business ventures after retirement. The “Black Mamba” he remained, even in business.

In 2013 Bryant launched Kobe Inc. with the goal of becoming an investor, as opposed to a traditional athlete endorser. His first investment was a 10% stake in sports drink BodyArmor. After Coca-Cola purchased a majority stake in the company, his $6 million investment was worth roughly $200 million. In 2014 Kobe spent $5.8 million for a building that would house the offices of Kobe Inc. Shortly after his retirement, Bryant launched a production company, Kobe Studios (it was later rebranded as Granity Studios). The goal of the company was to find creative, new ways to tell stories related to sports. In 2017, Kobe’s animated short film “Dear Basketball” won an Academy Award.

Kobe was driven. He was prone to cold call other successful entrepreneurs to learn more about their success. He sought out billionaire investor Chris Sacca as a mentor. “For the next few months my phone never stops buzzing in the middle of the night. It’s Kobe, reading this article, checking out this tweet, following this guy, diving into this Ted Talk, diving into the Y Combinator Demo Day stuff,” Sacca once said. Kobe teamed up with current professional stars like James Harden and JuJu Smith-Schuster to launch a body care company for athletes called Art of Sport.

Kobe was a great basketball player. Kobe was also a savvy investor and determined entrepreneur. Kobe Bryant did far more than “just dribble” and continued to mentor young Black athletes in that spirit. His passing was untimely, to say it mildly. Along with Bryant and his daughter, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton perished in the crash. Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa and pilot Ara Zobayan were also aboard the helicopter.

About Post Author

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D'Juan Hopewell
D'Juan Hopewell
I care about Black Power. Period. Currently working on creating jobs and funding new startups on the South Side of Chicago and writing here and there at HopewellThought.com. Follow me @HopewellThought.
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