Kobe Bryant just got a lot wealthier with Coca-Cola's purchase of sports drink

Coca-Cola purchased a minority stake in the BodyArmor sports drink Tuesday, and the acquisition has reportedly made former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant one of the product's biggest beneficiaries.

As ESPN's Darren Rovell reported, Bryant first invested in BodyArmor, which specializes in "SportWater" and "SuperDrink" as a competitor to PepsiCo-manufactured Gatorade, in March 2014 with a 10-percent, $6 million stake. After the Coca-Cola deal, Rovell said, Bryant's stake has skyrocketed to about $200 million, making the longtime basketball superstar "the fourth-largest investor in the brand" -- one that's "projected to top $400 million in sales in 2018."

In just over four years, Bryant's investment has increased almost 67 percent in value as the drink itself ups its sales. So it's safe to say that if the Lakers legend isn't coming back to the court as Shaquille O'Neal hinted, he's certainly coming up in the business world.

In fact, his return on investment is the biggest for a modern-day athlete, per Rovell, since former NBA counterpart LeBron James took home $30 million from a "small stake in Beats by Dre when it sold to Apple in May 2014."

And it's not the first time Bryant, 39, has made waves outside basketball since retiring as a five-time NBA champion after 2016. As Rovell said, he's used his 2014-founded Kobe Inc. to form "a $100 million joint venture investment firm with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel." And this March, his own animated short, "Dear Basketball," won an Oscar at the Academy Awards.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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