Already an investor in baseball and hockey as a member of Fenway Sports Group, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is putting his money into another sport that isn’t basketball: cycling.
Along with his friend and business partner Maverick Carter, James just made a $30 million strategic investment in Canyon Bicycles that will help the direct-to-consumer bicycle brand expand its operations from Germany into the United States.
SC Holdings, a private equity and strategic advisory firm, also invested in Canyon and both brands now share stock holdings with majority shareholder Groupe Bruxelles Lambert and company founder Roman Arnold.
“As an avid cyclist and storyteller, I’m excited about partnering with Canyon,” Carter said in a statement. “The quality of the products, the power of the Canyon brand, and the unique distribution model create a lot of compelling opportunities we want to be a part of.”
Nicolas de Ros Wallace, who previously worked at Nike and took over as CEO of Canyon in March, may have played a role in helping to recruit James and Carter as investors after working with King James in his last role.
On the surface, investing in the brand seems to make sense. Canyon has enjoyed an average sales growth of 21% over the past six years, according to The Financial Times. Calling the team-up with James “the perfect match,” de Ros Wallace said he is hoping to leverage the four-time champ’s expertise in the U.S. sports industry and noted the NBA superstar “truly cares about cycling.”