New York - Coca-Cola
has taken a stake in BodyArmor, a sports drink supported by Kobe
Bryant, in the soda giant's latest bid to challenge market leader
Gatorade, the two companies announced on Tuesday.
Coca-Cola will take a minority stake in BodyArmor that could later be
increased and grant the smaller company access to the Coca-Cola
bottling system. Terms were not disclosed in a joint statement.
The move comes as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, which owns Gatorade, face
challenges growing soda sales because of concerns about obesity and
The joint press release emphasised that BodyArmor contains no
artificial colors or flavours and that a diet version of the drink is
BodyArmor will be "a strong offering to our system alongside our
already powerful hydration portfolio as we accelerate our position as a
total beverage company," said Coca-Cola North America President Jim
Retired basketball star Bryant, now the number three shareholder in BodyArmor, took a direct shot at the competition.
"Proud of our team at @DrinkBODYARMOR & our new partnership with
the @CocaColaCo who believes in our mission of becoming the #1 Global
Sports Drink," he said on Twitter.
"Thanks @Gatorade, we'll take it from here… #ObsessedWithBetter"