Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
April 4, 2016: The Dr Pepper Snapple Group, already an investor in and distributor of BodyArmor premium sports drinks, has increased its role with an additional $6 million stake and more support in national distribution.
With its initial $20 million investment last August, Dr Pepper Snapple Group raised its ownership position from 11.7% to 15.5%.
Its new stake in the BodyArmor business makes DPS the second-largest equity holder in the brand, behind chairman and co-founder, Mike Repole, who launched the brand in 2012.
In 2013, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, now concluding his NBA career, became a significant investor in the company. He has been public about his support for the brand via social media — including Twitter, where he has more than nine million followers — and elsewhere but does not actually appear in marketing efforts.
Earlier this year, BodyArmor launched its eighth flavor, Blackout Berry, inspired by Bryant.
Also in 2013, DPS began to carry BodyArmor as an allied brand.
"BodyArmor has revolutionized the sports drink category by creating a premium, better-for-you sports drink, and consumers are connecting with it," Repole said in a statement. "We are excited by our strong growth and our continued partnership with DPS, who shares our goal to become the No. 1 sports drink."
The category leader is Gatorade, a division of PepsiCo. BodyArmor is differentiating itself with the tag, "The natural sports drink" vs. calling competitors "artificial."
BodyArmor's roster of star athletes, who are also investors in the brand, include Andrew Luck, Mike Trout, Klay Thompson, James Harden, Kristaps Porzingas, Richard Sherman, Dez Bryant, Buster Posey, Sydney Leroux and Skylar Diggins.
According to Rodger Collins, DPS president of packaged beverages, "BodyArmor has been a winning addition to our allied brand lineup, enabling us to build our presence in the growing sports drink category with a great tasting and differentiated product.
"We're very pleased to be increasing our investment in BodyArmor while working closely with its strong management team to win more fans in more places in the coming months and years," said Collins.
In addition to its flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, the portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott's, Mr & Mrs T mixers, Peñafiel, Rose's, Schweppes, Squirt and Sunkist soda.
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