Kobe Bryant directed and wrote an ad campaign for a sports drink backed by some of the biggest names in sports and it takes a big shot at Gatorade

DrinkBODYARMOR / YouTubeKobe Bryant’s new ads for BodyArmor call out competitor Gatorade by name, and there’s a strong stable of athletes behind the campaign.
  • Kobe Bryant continues to stay busy in his post-basketball career, having written and directed a new series of ads from the sports drink BodyArmor.
  • The ads take a take a direct shot at Gatorade and feature other star athletes who are also investors in the brand, including James Harden and Kristaps Porzingis.
  • It’s just the lastest creative endeavour for Bryant, who has already won an Oscar and is now leading a show on ESPN’s new streaming service.

Fresh off his Oscar win, Kobe Bryant’s latest venture behind the camera is a new ad campaign for BodyArmor – the sports drink of which Bryant is the third-largest investor.

Bryant wrote and co-directed the series of ads that star other big-name athletes, including James Harden, Kristaps Porzingis, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Mike Trout. The athletes, who are also investors in the company, are all depicted doing something an old-fashioned way, such as Prozingis using a carrier pigeon to deliver mail, and James Harden entering an arena in Revolutionary War-era attire.

At the end of the spots, BodyArmor takes a direct shot at Gatorade, signing off with the tagline “Thanks Gatorade. We’ll take it from here,” suggesting that Gatorade is something people should no longer be drinking.

While Gatorade will undoubtedly remain the dominant sports drink, for now, it’s clear that with the star power behind BodyArmor, the brand is capable of punching above its weight. With the campaign, BodyArmor founder and CEO Mike Repole says the brand is aiming to inform consumers that BodyArmor represents the future of sports drinks.

“At the end of the day, we’ve seen so many things in sports evolve – from training to equipment to uniforms,” said Repole,according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. “How does it make sense to have the same exact sports drink we had 50 years ago? Athletes are more sophisticated than they have ever been. They train year round, they have chefs, and they read labels.”

Repole also said that Bryant had proved a valuable asset to the company regarding their creative direction. “When I teamed up with Kobe, I thought I was getting an elite basketball player with great vision,” Repole said. “I wound up with an Oscar winner who has his fingerprints all over our creative that we deeply benefited from.”

With Gatorade reportedly owning 80% of the sports drink market share, BodyArmor still has a long way to go if it hopes to take down the giant. But with endorsements from athletes who are invested in the product rather than merely paid spokespersons, the brand will no doubt continue to grow its presence.

As for Bryant, this is just the latest creative endeavour of his post-basketball career. He’s also started a show on ESPN’s new streaming service, ESPN Plus, called “Detail.” The show features Bryant breaking down game tape from the NBA playoffs.

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