Dr Pepper is betting on this Gatorade killer backed by Kobe Bryant

Dr Pepper just bought a big stake in a Gatorade rival drink called BodyArmor that’s backed by basketball star Kobe Bryant.

The drink, launched by the cofounder of Vitaminwater, also counts NFL quarterback Andrew Luck and Major League Baseball outfielder Mike Trout as investors.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group said it paid $US20 million for an 11.7% stake in BA Sports Nutrition, the maker of BodyArmor.

BodyArmor is made with “potassium-packed electrolytes,” coconut water and vitamins, according to the company. It’s sweented with cane sugar and contains no artificial colours or flavours.

The drink comes in seven flavours, including strawberry banana, orange mango, fruit punch, tropical punch, lemon lime, grape, and mixed berry. The beverage has about 150 calories per bottle.

“We are very excited about the investment by Dr Pepper Snapple Group,” Mike Repole, the co-founder and chairman of BodyArmour, said in a statement. “Through our partnership with [Dr Pepper Snapple Group], we are continuing to gain distribution throughoutthe United States, and we are on our way to becoming a national brand.”

BodyArmor is the biggest newcomer in a sports drink market dominated by Pepsico’s Gatorade and Coca-Cola’s Powerade.

Gatorade had a 77% share of the $US6.81 billion sports drink market last year, while Powerade had a 20% share, according to data from Euromonitor International cited by the Wall Street Journal.

BodyArmor’s sales were $US30 million last year and revenue has increased 180% through the first nine months of this year, according to the Journal.

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