Kobe Bryant has already made it abundantly clear that his next career venture after retiring from basketball at the end of this season is in media. He has been piling up assets as part of “Kobe Inc.”, a sort of creative warehouse for Bryant and his many ideas.
In order to help better tell stories in and outside of sports, he’s founded Kobe Studios, a part of Kobe Inc. based in Newport Beach. He teased this announcement with a Youtube video entitled, “Muse”.
“What my passion is now is creating the story,” Bryant told Janis Carr of the Orange-County Register. “Creating the story and finding the best possible way, the medium which that story can live.”
“Some stories will be created. Some stories will be fantasy in nature, others reality-based. But we will look for content that inspires a generation of people. The hardest part was finding what the passion was for me. It took me a long time to do that, searching for years. I was searching and asking questions of what I wanted to do since I was 21 years old. It’s taken me 15 years to crystallize it.”
In an interview with HBO’s Real Sports, he said that he wrote most of the Nike commercials he’s starred in. In his office, he has pictures of Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling and Steve Jobs to serve as creative inspiration. Most of his post basketball career will be spent on telling stories.
“I’ll be ready to do something else, take on that challenge and try to show that athletes are more than this,” Bryant said last summer. “That’s the challenge I’m ready to take on, too.”
After the success of Derek Jeter’s media venture The Players Tribune (which Bryant owns a stake in), it makes sense that another athlete with star power and brand cache would try to do the same in media and shake things up a bit. He’s just as passionate about telling stories as he is about basketball, and if he can match the success he had on the court in media, then he could do quite a bit in changing the athlete-media relationship.