Kobe Bryant may be more popular in China than he is here in his home country of the United States.

With his career winding down, the Los Angeles Lakers star has begun to expand his presence in the country to help grow his enormous brand.

During last season’s NBA Finals, Bryant provided analysis for the China-based online community Sina, and now he has partnered with the Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba Group to create a social media site as well.

From CBS Sports:

Alibaba Group Holding Limited today announced an agreement with Kobe Inc., a newly formed company by the renowned basketball superstar Kobe Bryant. The Alibaba Group will release Kobe’s recent video narrative, Kobe Bryant’s Muse, exclusively through Tmall Magic Box on August 8, 2015. In addition, Alibaba Pictures, an affiliate of Alibaba Group, will work with Kobe Inc. to create a series of Kobe branded products and distribute them through Alibaba Group’s popular retail platforms including Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com, which are accessed by over 350 million active buyers throughout China.

To promote Kobe’s personal narrative, Alibaba Group and Sina will collaborate with Kobe Inc. to create a brand new social media platform, bringing new avenues of connecting China’s young people directly to Kobe and his philosophies.

Andrea Fairchild, President of Kobe Inc. commented: “As Kobe Inc. looks to expand in China, the partnership with Alibaba Group and Sina will help us reach a vast number of Chinese youth who are looking to reach their full potential and be inspired by others. They offer an opportunity for Kobe Inc. to bring content, products and services to a diverse crowd with various cultural backgrounds.”

“I believe there is power in understanding the journey of others to help create your own,” said Bryant. “This narrative is an intimate look at who I am as a person, not what I am. My dream is that others are inspired by my personal story and create epic life stories of their own.”

It will be interesting to see how Bryant will connect his philosophies to China’s young people. and what that will mean going forward.

Maybe Bryant is preparing to take his act global after his playing days.

By Glenn Erby


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