AKRON, Ohio — LeBron James has always been a big fan of biking.
Now the Akron native is putting his money where his foot is.
According to Front Office Sports, LRMR Ventures, the family office of James and Maverick Carter, and SC Holdings, a private equity and strategic advisory firm, are making a significant investment in Canyon Bicycles. Per the report, the investment in the German-based "pioneering direct-to-consumer bicycle brand" is for €30 million, valuing Canyon at €750 million.
“LeBron is one of the biggest athletes globally, and he truly cares about cycling,” Canyon CEO Nicolas de Ros Wallace told the Financial Times.
de Ros Wallace -- a former executive at Nike, the same company with which James reportedly has a lifetime contract worth more than $1 billion -- also said that the 4-time NBA MVP's expertise in the U.S. sports and retail markets make the partnership “the perfect match.”
According to Front Office Sports, the U.S. bicycle market was estimated at $9.5 billion in 2021. The industry grew significantly during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but currently faces challenges including supply chain issues and tariffs on China.
“The quality of the products, the power of the Canyon brand, and the unique distribution model create a lot of compelling opportunities we wanted to be a part of,” Carter, James' childhood friend and business partner, told Front Office Sports.
Dating back to his first stint as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, James' enthusiasm for biking has been well known. On multiple occasions, the 4-time NBA champion hosted a charity bike-a-thon in his hometown of Akron, and has even been featured biking in some of his Nike commercials.