NBA superstar and LA Laker shooting guard Kobe Bryant recently paid a visit to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters to meet with Jony Ive’s team, though the purpose of the meeting is unclear. One anonymous tipster managed to snap a photo of the all-star player, which includes a geotag matching it to Apple’s campus according to 9to5Mac. Bryant’s watch is also clearly visible in the blurry photo.
If Apple and Kobe are planning on teaming up in the future it seems pretty likely it will have something to do with the company’s upcoming push into fitness. Cupertino is expected to announce its rumored Healthbook app next month at WWDC 2014, while the sensor-packed iWatch probably won’t launch until later this year. An endorsement from a major professional athlete will probably factor into Apple’s upcoming products, similar to the music industry endorsements it trotted out for the iPod and iTunes when they were first announced.
An Apple endorsement could be problematic for Bryant, who’s already connected to several companies working in similar markets. The NBA star signed an endorsement deal with Swiss watch-maker Hublot in March 2013, though it’s unclear how long that contract will last. He’s also a sponsor for competing device-maker Lenovo. Then again, Bryant has a huge endorsement deal with Nike, which is expected to work with Apple on the upcoming iWatch, so maybe a Kobe-Apple deal isn’t totally out of the question.
For now there’s no way to know why Kobe Bryant visited Apple HQ, though if he is preparing to sign some sort of endorsement deal it may not be long before the news comes out. Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are already expected to make an appearance at WWDC 2014, so maybe Bryant will appear onstage as well.
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