A recently retired American basketball icon has taken his talents overseas, where he’s apparently helping promote a Chinese startup. Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant appeared in an advertisement for a Chinese company that specializes in food delivery, reports AdAge.
While Bryant is no stranger to promotional activities — he's appeared in ads for Nike, Apple TV, and more — this is a bit of new territory for him.
In the ad, Bryant struggles with hunger pangs in the middle of a ping pong match, playing poorly as the sound of his stomach grumbling dominates the crowd at the game. However, after getting food delivered from Ele.me, which translates to "are you hungry" in Chinese, Bryant surges to success and even whips out some of his slick basketball moves to best his opponent.
The Alibaba Group is an apparent backer of the delivery startup, and Bryant himself has connections to Alibaba, with plans to release products into the Chinese markets. It’s not unusual for sports stars to appear in food-related ads, but many do so in the US, like David Ortiz and Rob Gronkowski for Dunkin’ Donuts.