NBA superstar LeBron James invests €30m in Canyon Bicycles

Canyon bikes factory
(Image credit: Canyon)

Germany-based direct-to-consumer bike brand, Canyon Bicycles, has today announced that it has received a duo of strategic investments from American companies LRMR Ventures and SC Holdings, as it looks to strengthen its presence in the US market and diversify its offering. 

The first of the two, LRMR Ventures, is described as the 'family office' of basketball icon (and star of the recent remake of Space Jam) LeBron James. The latter, SC Holdings, is run by James's lifelong friend and sports marketing businessman and media personality, Maverick Carter. 

As private investments, the exact figures have not been shared but reports suggest the investment sits at around €30 million. The two companies will join the majority shareholder Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (“GBL”) and the company’s founder, Roman Arnold on the board. 

Basketball star James has long been a public advocate of cycling. His business ventures have previously seen him as a minority stakeholder in Cannondale at just 22 years of age, but his actions have spoken equally loudly, too. 

His personal riding extended to the 2019 purchase of a 36-inch wheeled mountain bike, which follows his novel creation of the 29er before it was mainstream. More notably, in 2018 he gave a bike and helmet to each of the 240 new students upon the opening of a new public school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. 

Canyon is a market leader in both road on off-road disciplines. It is the bike sponsor to WorldTour outfits Movistar (both men's and women's) and Canyon SRAM, as well as Arkea Samsic and Mathieu van der Poel's Alpecin-Deceuninck. According to the brand, the move comes as part of a strategy to increase engagement in the US market and the e-bike category, elevate its global brand awareness, as well as improve the online shopping experience required when buying a Canyon bike.

“While we were not actively looking for new investors, LRMR and the SC team immediately understood our mission to build the world’s most inspiring and innovative bike company," explained Canyon founder Roman Arnold. "Their passion for what we are building will make them instrumental members of our team.”

With that said, the benefits of today's announcement could extend beyond Canyon's bottom line too. Having a name like LeBron James in the sport of cycling can only be positive for the sport's perception and growth in participation, which is only going to be positive.

SC Holdings founder and partner of Maverick Carter, Jason Stein added: “Canyon has been a leader in cycling and a pioneer in direct-to-consumer e-commerce for over 20 years. From professionals on tour to everyday riders on streets and trails around the world, Canyon’s impact on sports and culture is seen everywhere."

In a parallel announcement, the brand has also today announced the appointment of YouTube's Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl, as a board member as a means to "futher strengthen its digital capabilities". 

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