Coca-Cola Co. has acquired a minority stake in premium sports drink brand BODYARMOR. The beverage giant and BODYARMOR reached an agreement in which Coca-Cola Co. would receive minority ownership, while BODYARMOR would gain access to Coca-Cola’s bottling and distribution systems allowing for fast-growing brand acceleration.

Coca-Cola North America has been increasing its investment into more emerging brands such as BODYARMOR.

“In a fast-moving and dynamic industry, and during a time of unprecedented change at Coca-Cola, we’re challenging the status quo and bringing innovative, thinking to our strategic relationships to ensure we are offering the products consumers want,” said Coca-Cola North America President Jim Dinkins. “BODYARMOR is one of the fastest growing beverage trademarks in America and competes in exciting categories. I have no doubt it will prove to be a strong offering to our system alongside our already powerful hydration portfolio as we accelerate our position as a total beverage company.”

With the leadership of Co-founder Mike Repole, who had previously founded brands Vitaminwater and Smartwater, BODYARMOR will continue to operate independently with Coca-Cola being the second largest shareholder after Repole.

BODYARMOR has a range of trademarked sports drinks in 12 flavours. Some of the brand's success can be attributed to its alignment with any high-profile athletes. In 2013 NBL star Kobe Bryant became the third largest shareholder in the company. The star has since become an integral part of the business and will continue to be heavily involved.