Former NBA star Kobe Bryant has announced plans to include an esports training ground at the Mamba Sports Academy, a new joint venture between the retired National Basketball Association (NBA) icon and a 100,000 square-foot facility in California.
The 100,000 square foot facility will include a biomechanics lab, a cognitive training lab, and an esports training ground.
Opened in 2016 by the founder and CEO a Chad Faulkner, the academy will be rebranded to signify the Bryan association. The facility will also have five basketball courts, five volleyball courts, a turf field, a sports medicine practice, batting cages and pitching mounds, close quarters defence training, a jiu-jitsu school, a sprint track, a learning center for academic tutoring and training, and a yoga or cycling studio.
“Sports Academy has perfected the art and science of athletic training, from elite players to young kids getting started. MAMBA Sports Academy is a natural expansion of my commitment to educating and empowering the next generation of kids through sports,” Bryant said in a press release.
More than 50,000 young athletes have signed up for the academy since 2016. MAMBA Sports Academy will consist of three business divisions—physical training academies, a sports focused venture lab, and the MAMBA Sports charity foundation. The venture lab is focused on cognition in sports, strategic investments, and supporting science, technology, education, arts, and math education. According to the Mamba Sports Academy website, the organization has partnered with Axon Sports to create a line of digital cognition training products planned for release in early January 2019.
“We look forward to how Kobe’s involvement will move us forward in the areas of on-site training, digital cognitive training, content creation, investments and charitable endeavours,” Faulkner said in the press release. All new re-branding changes to the Mamba Training Facility are expected to be completed by January 2019. Former NBA star makes latest business move with 100,000 square-foot athlete training ground.
It is not yet clear what titles the esports training ground at Mamba Sports Academy will accommodate, but it would provide a suitable practice space for any competitive gaming team should Bryant look to invest in the future.
The academy marks Bryant’s latest business move, adding to a media and storytelling portfolio that was launched as part of a US$100 million joint venture with his business partner Jeff Stibel.
The Oscar-winning star had also made a $6 million investment in sports drink BodyArmor in 2014, just three years after the company was founded. Action Network’s Darren Rovell says Bryant’s investment is now worth more than US$200 million after Coca-Cola recently purchased a minority stake in the brand.