Sometimes, the shock of a sudden death can provide a sharp focus on things we did not appreciate soon enough, and what we know but don’t always act on. It’s always worthwhile to express our appreciation for those we care for.
With the recent tragic helicopter crash that led to the loss of Kobe Bryant, we learned things about Kobe’s success beyond his basketball career. We learned that his talent and work ethic went beyond the court, into all of the ventures in his life. They were many.
Garden State Trust company published an earlier blog post showing that the average football player earns far beyond the median lifetime career earnings of most, yet has a bankruptcy rate roughly three times that of the population at a comparable age. Many notable celebrities and actors find themselves in a similar situation. Creating a plan for the longevity of financial windfalls can help prevent this scenario.
Kobe Bryant made significantly more than the average athlete, earning $328 million on the court in his 20-year NBA career, so one would think it would be quite unlikely for to find him in the bankruptcy category. This earning power gave Kobe the opportunity to make some bets that may not be available to the conventional investor as well, especially because he could bank on his own involvement and work ethic to protect the investment.
One of those successes is the sports drink BodyArmor, which turned from a $6 million dollar investment in 2014 to a $200 million dollar stake based on an evaluation after Coca Cola purchased a minority stake in the company in 2018. See the full story here on ESPN.
This wasn’t just a passive investment – Bryant co-directed and wrote four advertisements for BodyArmor. Here are links to three of the commercials on Youtube:
This isn’t the only video that Kobe was involved with though, or the only business venture after exiting the court. In 2013, Kobe was a founding partner of Bryant Stibel, a venture capital group that has been involved in the success of small and large companies many will recognize in a variety of industries, such as Alibaba, Tile, LegalZoom, and Epic Games (creator of Fortnite). As we discussed in our blogpost last May, the global revenue from the video game Fortnite for 2018 was $2.4 billion, more than the highest grossing movie of 2018.
Kobe’s quote from Bryant Stibel’s website exemplifies the legacy he left behind with the success he’s passed on to others:
“The most important thing I enjoy now is helping others be successful. I enjoy doing that much more – that’s something that lasts forever – and hope they do that for the next generation.”
This impact may continue through the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, and through the creative works from Granity Studios, an award winning multimedia company focused on creating new ways to tell stories about sports that would inspire, educate, and entertain.
Kobe Bryant’s talents went well beyond his chosen vocation of basketball, and his legacy will continue to inspire many.
Though his estate information is not yet known, we should be reminded that death can come suddenly and without warning. Even though it seems like a helicopter crash is something that doesn’t affect most of us, car crashes do. It is worthwhile to prepare a will (or trust), and revisit it each year just to be on the safe side.