Kobe Bryant made a lot of money early in his career by playing basketball and taking on several endorsement deals. This undoubtedly brought a lot of money his way, but Bryant really began to make some money with his investments later in his career. Bryant's first investment also happens to be the best one he made to date, and it's still paying dividends for his companies and his estate to this day.
Kobe Bryant's investment in BodyArmor has made him hundreds of millions of dollars
Shortly after founding Kobe Inc., Bryant invested $6 million in a company called BodyArmor, which was an up-and-coming sports drink in 2014. Coca-Cola would eventually purchase BodyArmor in a massive $5.6 billion deal in 2021, and reports have it that Bryant's initial $6 million investment ended up becoming worth close to $800 million. That's a gain of over 13000 percent for those who are curious.
Bryant would eventually retire in 2016 but didn't stay inactive for long. Instead, he founded his own venture capital firm, Bryant Stibel and Co., which would invest in companies including Scopely and LegalZoom. They haven't paid off in the same ways as BodyArmor yet, but given how brilliant Bryant was, it wouldn't be surprising to see those pay off sometime soon.
Kobe Bryant's investment failures
Bryant's business career was just getting started when he passed away in a tragic helicopter accident on January 26, 2020. During that short time, though, Bryant built up the start of a business empire that his estate is still developing. Kobe played his cards right when it came to investing, and as a result, there isn't really an investment that stands out as an undeniable failure for him so far.
The noticeable stain on not only his legacy but his potential endorsement and investment opportunities was the sexual assault case in 2003. It should go without saying that the matter of the case was far more important than anything else Bryant found himself involved in. These matters should always be treated with total seriousness, even though the verdict ended up going in Bryant's favor.
But looking back on the scope of Bryant's career, this turned out to be the most damaging thing that could have happened to him. Kobe was already a superstar when this case was levied against him. He was about to become the face of the NBA if he already wasn't.
Once the accusation was made, though, Bryant lost pretty much everything. All his endorsements were gone, the league had to handle him with caution, and even his own team was considering the potential outcome of the case. It damaged Bryant's reputation, which he worked diligently to restore, but chances are it resulted in the biggest financial loss of his career.
While nothing is certain, chances are those endorsements would have continued to grow for Bryant, and maybe he could have started investing earlier. Bryant lost no money, but it was the potential for Bryant to make more money that he lost. Many more important issues were raised due to Kobe's sexual assault case, but when looking back at his career and earnings, this definitely put a hold on Bryant's progress for a few years.