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Kobe to grow global brand in retirement

Reporter: May Lee 丨 CCTV.com

04-06-2016 16:00 BJT

With only a handful of games left in his basketball career, Kobe is planning for his life after retirement -- which means grand plans to grow his brand into a global empire.

Kobe Bryant is, without a doubt, the biggest NBA superstar on the planet and after 20 years as a Los Angeles Laker, he'll retire on April 13. 

Rabid fans are flying in from all over the world to catch one of his final games.

Kobe's list of achievements is staggering. Five NBA championships, 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team and two time Olympic gold medalist, just to name a few.

"He defines an era. He just kind of took the torch from Michael Jordan and kept it going. Won 5 championships, few players have been able to accomplish anything near what he's been able to do," said Ryan Ward, Examiner.com.

Throughout his career, Kobe has constantly been compared to basketball legend Michael Jordan, but when it comes to expanding his powerful brand, Kobe is blazing a new trail.

"There have been estimates that he's made over $600 million total whether it's on the court contracts or sponsorships, so I think when you look at that ability and you extrapolate that out to what he could do for his own brand where he has control or more control than he had before, I think the sky is almost the limit," said Courtney Brunious, USC Marshall School of Business.

Kobe Bryant's well-known brand goes way beyond the basketball courts here in the U.S. and into countries across the globe. In China, Kobe is the most popular NBA player by far, so it should come as no surprise that his post retirement plans include growing the Kobe brand in China.

Kobe has already formed partnerships in China. E-commerce giant Alibaba will work with Bryant's three-year-old company, Kobe Inc., to create branded products and new social media platforms.

China is just part of Kobe's grand plan. He's made a number of business investments from sports drinks to digital media platforms. And he plans to pursue his passion for story telling through movies, books and other media by way of newly formed "Kobe Studios."

This 37-year-old soon-to-be-retired NBA star is no where near slowing down.

"It never ends. You just keep growing and growing and growing and growing. And that's what's at the heart of my drive," Kobe said.

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