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Kobe’s Legacy

The art of transition, a second act, and leading with passion


The long nightmare of 2020 started out with the shocking sudden loss of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven other people whose lives and contributions in their respective fields and families are irreplaceable. As an admirer of Bryant’s contributions on the court, I also enjoyed the evolving masterpiece of his second act as a businessman. It’s not easy for superstars in the sports arena to transition to the business arena. Not only were his moves beyond impressive, but his smart transition planning and business legacy will support his family for life.


Transitioning from the court – same mindset, different arena

Bryant’s work ethic was legendary and a major part of his storied legacy as one of the greatest to ever play basketball. He coined his disciplined approach as the “Mamba Mentality.” This mentality carried over to the business world as Bryant explored what made business leaders successful and distilled those learnings to his own ventures to transition his approach on the court to a new chapter in business with that same successful mentality.


Diversification as a business-owning mogul

Bryant, in partnership with Bryant Stibel, created an investment firm in 2013 to house their business owning interests. The duo invested in a vast portfolio of companies from technology, marketplaces and video games (such as Fortnite).


Bryant also channeled his love of story-telling and mentorship into a media company he founded called Granity Studios, which lead to the production of the Oscar-winning short- animated film, Dear Basketball.

Transitioning to adjacent industries

Bryant’s most lucrative investment proved to be in the performance sports drink company, BodyArmor. According to media reports, Bryant’s 10% stake in 2014 for $60 million was later purchased by Coca-Cola growing Bryant’s stake to over $200M.

A legacy for the ages

Bryant was always bigger than basketball, and his business success equally impressive. Certainly nothing will fill the void for the Bryant family by the loss of Bryant and their young daughter, but thanks to Bryant’s brilliant planning and transition off the court, his legacy will go on for lifetimes to come.


Credit: Harrison Hill, USA Today

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H. Barry Goodman of Birkdale Transition Partners is not, and has not been retained by those named in this article.Birkdale Transition Partners provides guidance to family-owned and privately held companies on complex business issues and transition matters.

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