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The Margin: How Kobe Bryant made his $600 million fortune — and who is in charge of it now?

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NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others tragically died in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles in January 2020.

Bryant was an NBA Most Valuable Player, five-time NBA champion, and one of the most influential players who has ever picked up a basketball. He was also a savvy businessman. So in honor of his Aug. 23 birthday, here’s a look at how he dominated both on and off the court.

Bryant made $323,312,307 from the Los Angeles Lakers during his playing career, the fourth-highest earnings in NBA history behind LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Chris Paul.

And Bryant had great financial success off the court too, including lucrative endorsement deals with high-profile brands such as McDonald’s
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Nike
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and Mercedes-Benz
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See also: It’s not just Manchester United. These are the sports teams anyone can invest in on the public markets.

Bryant’s net worth at the time of his death on Jan. 26, 2020 was about $600 million, according to Forbes. Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, who is the executor of the Bryant estate, and his daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri.

One of Bryant’s most successful investments came while he was still playing in the NBA. He put $6 million into sports drink company Body Armor in exchange for a 10% equity stake in the company, according to ESPN. He also became a spokesperson for the brand and participated in recruiting other brand ambassadors.

Coca-Cola
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announced it would buy control of Body Armor in a $5.6 billion deal in November 2021, valuing the sports drink company at $8 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Bryant estate earned around $400 million from the deal, according to the WSJ report. 

See also: Odell Beckham Jr. took his $750K salary in bitcoin — how much did that end up costing him?

Another business win for Bryant was starting a $100 million venture capital firm in 2013 with Jeff Stibel, who had been an executive at LegalZoom, Web.com, Inc. and Dun & Bradstreet
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Their new VC firm, Bryant Stibel, mainly invested in “businesses with a focus across technology, media, and data,” according to its website. It diversified investments to include both companies in their early stages of growth, as well as larger, more established companies.

The firm was an early investor in The Players’ Tribune, a media company whose content is created by athletes, along with the body care company Art of Sport. Bryant Stibel has also invested in larger companies such as Dell
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 Alibaba
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 and “Fortnite” developer Epic Games. As of 2021, Bryant Stibel counted more than $2 billion in assets, according to CNN business.

In 2022, the Bryant estate reached a new agreement with Nike to continue producing the signature shoe of the late basketball star. The agreement with the swoosh also includes a shoe honoring Gianna “Gigi” Bryant.

“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Nike is going to continue,” Vanessa Bryant wrote on Instagram. “I am so proud that my husband’s shoes are still the most worn by players on NBA courts and that the demand for his shoes remain so desired by his fans around the world.”

See also: The highest-paid female athletes in the world include Naomi Osaka, and a million-dollar badminton star

On August 24, 2022, a jury awarded Vanessa Bryant $16 million as part of lawsuit against Los Angeles County for deputies and firefighters sharing grisly photos of helicopter crash involving her husband — the jurors said the photos invaded her privacy and caused emotional distress. When Kobe Bryant was selected as one of the 2020 inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Vanessa Bryant and NBA legend Michael Jordan spoke at the enshrinement.

Kobe Bryant had indicated that transitioning from a basketball player into a business mogul was a long-term goal that was important to him, especially given his goal-orientated mindset. In fact, he wanted to be remembered as an investor.

“We have to constantly learn,” Bryant said in 2016. “I mean, that’s why our mantra is value growth. Because to grow, you have to constantly learn. You have to constantly move, constantly improve. That’s the key. That’s what makes life fun, I think.”

This article has been republished to make Kobe Bryant’s Aug. 23 birthday.

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