You don’t just wake up one day and have a ridiculous fortune waiting for you. Kobe Bryant shed blood, sweat and tears to come away with the fortune that he has left behind for his family. It takes an incredible amount of effort to get to the point where he was at in his life.
How Does Kobe Bryant Make Money? Kobe made a large amount of money throughout his time in the NBA as a professional basketball player. However, his NBA contract was just one way he made money, he invested in a number of different products with two self-created companies that ventured out into all sorts of new categories. His estate continues to bring in money from his endorsements that he signed as well just to top it all off.
So, what are all of these things anyway? How much money did he earn as a professional basketball player? Did he have any big-time investments? Time to take a look.
Kobe’s money – NBA Days
Kobe Bryant spent his entire career as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Mind you the Lakers are a very large market and wanted to keep him around as long as they could, which is why he walked away from the sport with a lot of money in his pockets. He signed his initial contract with the team at three years, $3.5 million. His next deal was substantially larger, going for five years, $56 million. When it came to his third, he had already won championships. He inked a seven-year, $136 million deal then. His fourth deal was three years, $83 million and his final one with the Lakers was two years, $48 million. If you happen to be wondering how all of this comes together and don’t feel like doing all this math work, it comes out to a final total of $323 million dollars. That is precisely that amount of money that Kobe was able to earn from his salary as a basketball player. Not including all of these other endorsements and such that he had along with it. I think it’s very safe to say that Kobe was pretty successful in this area of his life.
It was a very big deal for Kobe to become a successful business mogul after his playing days came to an end. When he retired, he instantly got to work by creating both Bryant-Stibel and Kobe Inc, two companies that helped make him a boat load of revenue. Among those two companies came his largest investment ever. Kobe decided to place $6 million into Body Armor, a sports drink company. They were able to get a 10 percent equity stake after that original investment. Fast forward to 2021, and Body Armor just got bought out by Coca-Cola for a whopping $5.6 billion dollars. Body Armor is now estimated to be worth $8 billion and Kobe’s estate made roughly $200 to $400 million in return. It should go without saying but this is one of the greatest investments that we have seen from a professional athlete in recent history. It all just goes to show how much trust Kobe had in these guys to put forth a product that they believed in and had determination in making that investment worth it. As you could expect, this wasn’t the only investment that helped Kobe make more money. He invested in Epic Games, The Players Tribune, Dell and even Alibaba. He was always pouncing on new opportunities. It’s part of the reason that he was able to create such a fortune.
Kobe has been endorsed by a lot of different companies. Even though some of them decided to move on from him after a few years, it doesn’t mean that he didn’t end up getting paid for the work he did do with them. Starting off with McDonalds. The fast-food chain signed him to a $10 million contract but ended up dropping him from the deal two years later because of the sexual assault allegations. It didn’t stop Kobe from appearing in a few McDonald’s commercials throughout those years though. The next one is Adidas. This is one of the more popular ones. He signed a multi-million-dollar deal with them straight away and it ended up becoming a very large partnership. To really put this specific endorsement into perspective, Kobe agreed to terms with Adidas before he was even drafted into the NBA. Who knows how foolish Adidas would have looked if Kobe wound up being a total draft bust. Now, they look like geniuses who can see in the future. Then we have his endorsement with Call of Duty. He featured in a few commercials with them in order to promote their shooting game Call of Duty: Black Ops. You could even find a commercial of him shooting a gun in a war scene with the words Mamba written on the side of the weapon. Moving onto Nintendo now. He got this deal in just his second season in the league and because of it, he got a game created after him called Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside. At the time, it was almost unheard of for an athlete of his age to be getting a video game created after him on an exclusive console. Then finally, we have the infamous Nike deal. Nike was one of the few that chose to hold onto Kobe instead of drop him after the allegations came out in 2003 about him. They helped create shoes and market him as a brand while also putting him into commercials and other advertisements. Nowadays, his partnership with Nike is over after his wife Vanessa quoted their differences and didn’t extend their deal. There were reports coming out that she didn’t approve of the designs or the way that Nike was going about making shoes following his death. Either way, the Nike deal was a very wealthy contract that went on for nearly two decades.