In 2018, the late basketball star Kobe Bryant founded skincare brand Art of Sport alongside Matthias Metternich and Brian Lee. The idea behind Art of Sport is to create products specifically formulated for athletes.
Fast forward two years and Art of Sport has just secured $6 million worth of funding which will help the brand expand into retail. With this money, the brand is planning to ramp up product production in order to roll out to retail partners next year.
And, according to Forbes, ultimately Art of Sport is hoping to do in grooming what Nike managed to do in apparel — “create a brand that is synonymous with sport excellence, that is purchased by lots of non-athletes.”
Kobe Bryant, who has killed in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter and seven others in January this year, was a founding partner of Art of Sport and helped to shape the identity of the brand. His investment firm, Bryant-Stibel, invested in the brand and still has a stake in it, says Forbes.
There are a number of other sports star investors in the brand including NBA player James Harden, World Cup Soccer champion Abby Dahlkemper, NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster as well as motocross racer Ken Roczen, baseball player Javier Baez and skateboarder Ryan Sheckler.
The brand is currently stocked at Target in the United States but for us in Australia, Art of Sport products can be purchased via Amazon. The full range includes antiperspirant, bar soap, face wash, sunscreen, lotions, body wash as well as shampoo, conditioner and body wipes.
While the brand focuses its marketing on men, it has also proven popular with women, who either use the products or buy them for their sons or partners. According to Forbes, the Art of Sport founders are keen to attract “both the 14-year-old who wants to grow up to be an NBA star, and the 40-something trying to reach the next level on his Peloton.
While it’s still relatively early days for Art of Sport, Metternich told Forbes that the brand quadrupled its revenue in its second year. And, with the recent injection of funds, here’s hoping we’ll eventually be able to get our hands on it in Australian retailers one day soon.