Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was recently seen on the campus of Apple in Cupertino, California. The Black Mamba was hanging out with Apple lead designer Jony Ive, which has brought up a big question. With Bryant already connected with Nike, could the basketball star be lining up to team-up with Apple to promote the expected iWatch and other health products expected from the iPhone maker?
At the beginning of June, Apple will be holding its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Expectations are building that the conference is where the anticipated iWatch and Healthbook will be announced by Apple. The Healthbook is an app that would collect a user’s health data, likely collected through the Nike+ program and through the speculated iWatch. Nike recently pulled out of the wearable technology market to focus on software, which has led to speculation that Apple will put the Fuelband technology into the upcoming iWatch.
Bryant is already the spokesperson for computer company Lenovo and the Lakers star has recently extended his relationship with the company. If Bryant was going to jump over to Apple, it could end up being a huge marketing coup. Bryant is more than just an NBA star. The NBA All-Star holds celebrity status worldwide. During the 2012 Olympics in London, Bryant drew more interest from international media than any of the other NBA stars. The Lakers superstar is immensely popular in the Asian market and the basketball stars love of soccer has also introduced the Black Mamba to the international soccer market. Nike recently capitalized on Bryant’s soccer popularity by giving him a cameo in a recent World Cup commercial.
Kobe Bryant may be a perfect team-up for Apple and the marketing for the company’s potential new health based products. The thought of Bryant sporting a new iWatch powered by Nike Fuelband technology could be Apple’s answer to rival Samsung’s marketing campaign with LeBron James of the Miami Heat. James has been peddling mobile electronics for Apple’s rival for some time now. The marketing campaign by Samsung with James has turned into a hit for the company. After the legal battles between the two companies, adding Bryant would continue the fight into the marketing arena.
With Bryant in a deal with Lenovo already, the Lakers star might have just been visiting the Apple campus for other reasons. If Bryant is not going to debut the iWatch at WWDC, Apple may want to look at another NBA superstar. Kevin Durant, this years NBA Most Valuable Player, might match up better for Apple to take on James and Samsung. While Bryant holds worldwide popularity, the Oklahoma City Thunder star is growing in international fame. Like Bryant, Durant is also connected with Nike. However, it was Bryant, not Durant who was eating lunch with the developers at Apple.
A Kobe Bryant team-up with Apple and Nike just seems right. Apple has been accused of having a corporate feel recently. Bringing in the Black Mamba would be a great step for the company in shaking up Apple’s image. The world will need to wait until June 2 to find out if Bryant will be sporting a new iWatch loaded with Healthbook and Nike Fuelband technology on stage at WWDC.
By Carl Auer