BodyArmor, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based sports drink company, announced that professional basketball player Kobe Bryant made a significant investment in the company and will become its No.3 investor, behind co-founders Mike Repole and Lance Collins.

With his investment, Bryant will become an influential partner and board member in the beverage start-up and will work closely with Repole and Collins to continue to build the brand, the company says. Bryant first discovered BodyArmor last summer during his rehab training and then, after contacting and connecting with Repole, he became interested in getting involved.

“I’ve had a long, successful career in basketball — one I’m excited to continue — but I also am planning for a long and successful career as an entrepreneur,” Bryant said in a statement. “BodyArmor is a brand that I wanted to be a part of in a big way. Today’s athletes understand how nutrition impacts performance, and there’s nothing that compares to BodyArmor, which is why I chose to invest and become a partner.

“I was already a fan of BodyArmor, but after a few conversations with Mike, I knew I wanted to be more than just a consumer,” he continued. “There is no other product like BodyArmor in the market.”

Bryant will be involved in all facets of the business, including product development, innovation, marketing, expansion markets, and overall growth strategy for the company. Bryant also has been collaborating with the executive team for several months on marketing initiatives, innovation and roll-out of the recently launched BodyArmor flavors.

“Kobe brings with him a relentless drive to win, and after our conversations, I realized his passion and intensity is not just on the court — it’s in everything he does,” Repole said in a statement. “I’d rather be on his team than compete against him, and his insight as an elite athlete will be invaluable to BodyArmor.

“Today’s athletes are demanding an upgraded sports drink, and BodyArmor is better than outdated, traditional sports drinks in every way,” Repole continued. “BodyArmor provides the premium nutrition and superior hydration that athletes need to perform at their best — and no one knows more about performing at their best than Kobe.”

BodyArmor contains vitamins, coconut water, and two and a half times the electrolytes of sports drinks, the company says. It also is low in sodium and high in potassium, making it an ideal option for professional athletes and amateur athletes nationwide, it says.