Kevin Hart jumps into the $12 billion sports-supplement market with investment in Nutrabolt

Key Points
  • Hart made the purchase through his private investment firm. Financial terms were not provided.
  • The comedian will also serve as a brand ambassador for the company's C4 products.
  • Nutrabolt CEO Doss Cunningham said C4 retail sales surged by 163% in 2020.
Kevin Hart investing in sports nutrition company Nutrabolt.
Source: Nutrabolt

Comedian Kevin Hart has taken an equity stake in sports nutrition-maker Nutrabolt, building on his investment portfolio.

Hart made the purchase through his private investment firm. Financial terms were not provided. Hart will also be a brand ambassador for the company's C4 products and will work to expand its presence partially through exclusive content.

In an interview with CNBC, Hart said the opportunity to take this stake came naturally because he uses C4 products daily. The brand focuses mainly on pre-workout products and energy drinks.

"This isn't a promo opportunity," Hart said. "This isn't just an ambassador play. This isn't one foot in, one foot out. This is really about merging my real lifestyle with a product that I genuinely use."

Nutrabolt CEO Doss Cunningham, citing data from research firm IRI, said retail sales for the C4 beverage line surged by 163% in 2020. Overall, Nutrabolt saw retail sales reach nearly $650 million last year.

"We have been looking for someone to help carry the brand story and exemplify everything that C4 stands for," Cunningham said. "We felt because he already uses our product, we could tell a great story about that achiever, the fitness moment, and even moments beyond fitness. So, it's just really a great partnership."

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The pre-workout supplements market has been valued at $12.6 billion in 2019 by Grand View Research. The firm also projected the market's compound annual growth rate at 8.3%, adding the sector could be valued at $22.7 billion by 2027.

Doss said its C4 products are sold at GNC, Walmart and Target and on Amazon. He added that the company is exploring launching a sports drink and lure more athletes as brand ambassadors.

"Everything is on the table," Cunningham said. "We're focused on continuing to broaden our reach and currently working on bringing a diverse group of athletes, artists, and other brand ambassadors into the fold. We're working on a lot of deals right now that are exciting. We'll see that roster in 2021 grow."

C4 ambassadors include Te'a Cooper, a player for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. The brand is also sponsoring a group of players entering the 2021 National Football League draft, including Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Nutrabolt said C4 will also sponsor Major League Soccer club Austin FC.

Kevin Hart and Jay-Z attend the Roc Nation Pre-GRAMMY Brunch presented by MAC Viva Glam at Private Residence on January 25, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
Kevin Mazur | Getty Images

Hart wants to return financial knowledge

Hart said his portfolio is "well diverse," noting it includes investments in health, wellness, lifestyle and technology companies.

"I watch the way the world moves and watch what people respond to," Hart said. "I try my best to stay on-trend. And also, you take risks. It's about seeing and believing in people that are innovative, creative and ambitious."

Coming off Black History Month, Hart said he wants to inspire more Black people to learn the world of business and taking ownership.

"The new trend should be about value," Hart said. "It should be about ownership. It should be about equity and understanding business and making that a new hobby."

"When you talk about us as Black men, we don't get the world of business and money taught to us," Hart added. "It's something that has to be figured out. It's not in our public school systems. It's not in our neighborhoods. Financial education just isn't given to us."

Hart referenced Jay-Z's new venture, selling a 50% stake in his champagne brand Armand de Brignac to luxury conglomerate LVMH.

Jay-Z bought 50% of the brand in 2006 and took a controlling stake in 2014. The champagne, known by the nickname "Ace of Spades," sold more than 500,000 bottles in 2019.

"I feel like it's our job to go back and inform, and that's what I'm trying to do," Hart said. "I'm trying to do my best at being an example by following the examples that have been put in front of me, and (Jay-Z) is one of them."

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