NBA All-Star LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter have both invested in German-based direct-to-consumer bike brand Canyon Bicycles. The two, who are also close friends, is believed to have separately dumped millions into the company via their businesses, LRMR Ventures and SC Holdings.
The European sporting company believes the strategic partnerships with the companies will help them make a larger impact in the United States. It is also looking to LRMR Ventures, described as James’ “family office,” and SC Holdings, the sports marketing expert’s entity, to diversify Canyon Bicycles’ offerings to the North American consumer based on their relationship with the landscape.
The company’s revenue in 2019 was $338.57 million.
The Canyon brand has sponsored WorldTour competition outfits like Movistar’s men’s and women’s teams. Other events connected to the brand are Canyon SRAM, Arkea Samsic, and Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Deceuninck.
By bringing on James and Carter, the company dreams of increasing engagement also in the e-bike category, heightening its international brand awareness, and improving the shopping experience when purchasing a Canyon bike online.
Canyon founder Roman Arnold said in a news release, “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.”
“Their passion for what we are building will make them instrumental members of our team,” he continued.
Carter’s company is just as excited about the investment.
“Canyon has been a leader in cycling and a pioneer in direct-to-consumer e-commerce for over 20 years,” SC Holdings founder and Maverick Carter partner Jason Stein stated. “From professionals on tour to everyday riders on streets and trails around the world, Canyon’s impact on sports and culture is seen everywhere.”
While the exact figures of their investment have not been shared, reports have said they rank at approximately $30 million. The stake joins both James and Carter to Arnold’s company, Bruxelles Lambert (“GBL”).
James has a long-documented passion for cycling, dating back 15 years when he lent his name and resources to bicycle manufacturer Cannondale, becoming a minority stakeholder at the age of 22.
In addition to his relationship with Cannondale, in 2012, when he played for the Miami Heat, he was known to ride his bike to practice and to games, saying it helped him stay in shape.
He also has a long-documented history of making sound investments, which has allowed him to curate a billion-dollar portfolio that includes basketball, endorsement, media, film, and more.
According to Forbes, he is the highest paid basketball active player, commanding more than $385 million in salary over his career that saw him the star of three team franchises.
When considering the income he has amassed from his various endorsement deals from brands like Nike, AT&T, PepsiCo, and Walmart, and other business ventures, he has earned close to $900 million, and he has become in 2022 the second-highest-earning athlete in the world.
His business savvy paired with his love for cycling is a win-win for the company.