The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is reportedly looking to take a controlling stake in BodyArmor, a popular sports drink brand endorsed by celebrity athletes including the late Kobe Bryant and current NFL champion Rob Gronkowski. A spokesperson for Coca-Cola confirmed to BevNet that it's indeed commenced working through the regulatory hurdles to acquire a controlling stake in BodyArmor.
These two companies are already well acquainted. Coca-Cola purchased a minority stake in BodyArmor back in August 2018.
Coca-Cola's interest in BodyArmor isn't surprising. According to Nielsen data cited by BevNet, BodyArmor's sales are up over 43% year over year and the brand has already grabbed a little more than 13% of the sport-drink market. For perspective, this market position already rivals that of Coca-Cola's Powerade brand, which has an estimated 16% of the pie. However, Powerade has been around for some time while BodyArmor was only founded 10 years ago.
If the deal is approved, Coca-Cola could help BodyArmor achieve its ambitious goal of dethroning PepsiCo's Gatorade by 2025. In a recent interview with CNBC, BodyArmor co-founder Mike Repole said, "This is either going to go bankrupt in five years or going to be the number one sports drink by 2025." He went on to say, "There is no in-between."
With the backing of a consumer goods titan like Coca-Cola, it seems unlikely BodyArmor would ever need to worry about bankruptcy again. However, whether it can surpass Gatorade as the top sports drink brand in the world remains to be seen.