BODYARMOR has made major waves since its inception in 2011. Founder Mike Repole has a track record of success having co-founded Glaceau (maker of Vitaminwater) and sold the company to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion in 2007. Utilizing that familiarity, Coca-Cola once again invested in Repole’s work, purchasing a $300 million stake in BODYARMOR in 2018.
According to Forbes, the late Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant invested $5 million (10% stake) in the company in 2013. The beverage brand has been able to separate from the traditional “endorsement deal” model by offering minority stakes in the company for its athlete investors. Since Bryant’s signing, BODYARMOR has positioned its brand so effectively and quickly by bringing on the biggest names in their respective sports. Sports stars such as Klay Thompson, Andrew Luck, Richard Sherman, Ronald Acuna Jr., Sabrina Ionescu, and Dustin Johnson bring big personalities and established name recognition to the ongoing “war” against Pepsico’s Gatorade brand.
Additionally, BODYARMOR has aligned to become the Official Sports Drink of Major League Soccer and UFC as well as their BODYARMOR LYTE line serving in the same capacity for the US Open. As of August 2020, the marketshare for the big three sports drink companies are as follows: Gatorade: ~70% BODYARMOR: ~15% Powerade: ~15%.
Here are the Top 8 BODYARMOR sponsored athletes in terms of social following:
8. Kyler Murray | NFL
7. Christian McCaffrey | NFL
Instagram Following: 1.4 million
Twitter Following: 285,000
Facebook Following: 86,000
Total Following: 1.7 million
Following the same mindset of other sports stars on this list, McCaffrey joined BODYARMOR as he “wants to endorse products that he’s passionate about and enjoys.” The Carolina Panthers’ running back was welcomed to BODYARMOR in August 2020 along with the who’s who cream-of-the-crop athletes from throughout the sports world.
6. Naomi Osaka| Tennis
Instagram Following: 1.8 million
Twitter Following: 815,000
Facebook Following: 496,000
Total Following: 3.1 million
One of the best tennis players in the world at the age of 23, Naomi Osaka draws a passionate fanbase to all of her sponsorship deals. She signed her athlete endorsement with BODYARMOR in 2019 after consulting with Kobe Bryant on the heels of her continued on-court success.
With the sports drink giant, Osaka has teamed up to refurbish public tennis courts in Jamaica, Queens where Osaka began playing the sport. Additionally, she has been involved in additional campaigns since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, featuring in commercials alongside WNBA superstar Skylar Diggins-Smith.
5. Megan Rapinoe | NWSL & USWNT:
Instagram Following: 2.2 million
Twitter Following: 913,000
Facebook Following: 710,000
Total Following: 3.8 million
As one of the most powerful socially-active athletes in the world, Megan Rapinoe is not afraid to infuse her beliefs and persona within her sponsorships. With BODYARMOR, the two produced a powerful advertising spot surrounding the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that highlighted Rapinoe’s accomplishments and diversity without uttering a single word. Powerful stuff.
4. Trae Young | NBA
3. Mike Trout | MLB
Twitter Following: 2.5 million
Instagram Following: 1.8 million
Facebook Following: 589,000
Total Following: 4.8 million
As one of, if the biggest, superstars in baseball, Mike Trout has been an OG user of the BODYARMOR sports drink. He received a small equity stake in the company upon signing his endorsement deal in 2014. In return, Trout has been featured in the brand’s tongue-in-cheek commercial spots.
2. Ja Morant | NBA
Instagram Following: 3.4 million
Facebook Following: 1.6 million
Twitter Following: 802,000
Total Following: 5.8 million
Morant inked a deal with the hydration brand in August 2020. Shortly thereafter, Morant won the 2019-2020 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year. And in true ever-evolving social media fashion, the star has capitalized on his achievement by running a limited-edition hologram poster giveaway sweepstakes in collaboration with BODYARMOR.
1. James Harden | NBA
Instagram Following: 11 million
Twitter Following: 6.8 million
Facebook Following: 3 million
Total Following: 20.8 million
James Harden has been one of the biggest believers and standard-bearers of BODYARMOR since signing on with the sports drink company in 2014. He has been a staple within the brand’s advertising spots, often interacting in hilarious skits with fellow BODYARMOR endorsers.
With a combined social following of over 44 million, these athletes help to transcend their sport as well as the traditional mold of copy and paste endorsement deals. With an actual stake in the game (athlete endorsement), they are compelled to highlight their passions and use their platform to further elevate the BODYARMOR brand within the ever- competitive sports drink landscape.