Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed but Coca-Cola revealed plans to increase its ownership stake in the future under defined terms.
“In a fast-moving and dynamic industry, and during a time of unprecedented change at Coca-Cola, we’re challenging the status quo and bringing innovative, boundary-less thinking to our strategic relationships to ensure we are offering the products consumers want,” said Coca-Cola North America president Jim Dinkins.
BODYARMOR is a strong competitor in the sports drink sector to both Gatorade and Coke’s own Powerade. It has caught the attention of other big beverage companies and athletes including former professional basketball player, Kobe Bryant, who is the third-largest shareholder in the company. Bryant will still continue to be heavily involved in the brand as it expands to global markets in the future.
Under the new agreement, BODYARMOR can gain access to Coca-Cola’s expansive bottling system, enabling the fast-growing brand to accelerate its growth consumer demand for its premium line of sports performance and hydration drinks.
Co-founder and chairman Mike Repole and his management team will still continue to oversee BODYARMOR’s operations independently. The brand will still be under Coca-Cola North America Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB).
“BODYARMOR is revolutionising the beverage industry by providing the hydration that more and more of today’s athletes want and need … This is thanks to the strength and scale of Coca-Cola’s newly refranchised and energised bottling system in North America, as well as longer-term opportunities for international growth,” Repole commented.
BODYARMOR drinks portfolio includes BODYARMOR Sports Drink, BODYARMOR LYTE Sports Drink and BODYARMOR SportWater. It was created by co-founders Mike Repole and Lance Collins.
“I am extremely excited about this agreement because the Coca-Cola system has an amazing track record of growing explosive brands that consumers love and allowing entrepreneurial startups like BODYARMOR to continue to be independent and focused on achieving the aggressive growth goals that we set out to achieve when we launched this amazing brand in 2011,” Repole concluded.