canyon bicycles lebron james
(Photos/Tinseltown via Shutterstock; creative commons)

Slam Dunk: LeBron James Invests in Canyon Bicycles

The NBA legend’s strategic investment in Canyon underscores his demonstrated personal and financial interest in bikes.

LRMR Ventures, the Ohio-based office of basketball icon LeBron James and sports executive Maverick Carter today announced a strategic equity investment in Canyon Bicycles GmbH.

Another U.S.-based firm called SC Holdings joined LRMR Ventures in the investment. The groups joined majority stakeholder Groupe Bruxelles Lambert and the company’s founder, Roman Arnold, to support what Canyon called “ambitious growth plans” for U.S. markets.

The details of the investments were not made public, but Financial Times reported the combined investment totaled just north of $30 million.

“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,” Arnold said.

James approached the transaction as a demonstrated, if possibly dormant, cycling enthusiast. He took a minority stake in Cannondale in 2007, created the (now defunct) King for Kids Bike-a-Thon in 2008, and also garnered colorful media coverage while bike commuting to Miami Heat basketball games around 2012.

With his new investment, he appears to bolster his enthusiasm for getting people of all ages in the saddle.

Meanwhile, Canyon finds itself navigating what it called “societal tailwinds.” The brand listed an ever-expanding health and wellness market and an increasing focus on sustainable mobility as advantages.

The direct-to-consumer German company made its name building ​​road, mountain, and triathlon bikes, but like the rest of the industry, Canyon has also pressed into e-bikes.

Canyon’s growth plan, the brand said, focuses even more on e-bikes, urban bikes, and connectivity.

Canyon athletes include cycling stars such as Mathieu van der Poel, Jan Frodeno, and Fabio Wibmer. It can only hope that its newest — and undeniably brightest — bright light shines in the boardroom the way he does on the hardwood.

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.