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NBA star LeBron James takes stake in Canyon Bicycles

LA Lakers legend will help grow brand in the US and raise its profile internationally

NBA star LeBron James has taken a stake in Canyon Bicycles, the Germany-based brand has revealed in a move that the brand believes will boost its profile in the United States and internationally. 

The LA Lakers legend, who vies with Michael Jordan for the accolade of greatest basketball player of all time, acquired the undisclosed stake through LRMR, the private office investment firm he owns jointly with childhood friend and business partner Maverick Carter.

New York City-based private equity firm SC Holdings has also taken a stake in the bike manufacturer, which remains controlled by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, and will work with James, Carter and Canyon founder and CEO Roman Arnold in helping execute its plans for growth in the United States, including in e-bikes, as well as raising the profile of the business internationally.

“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,” Arnold said.

“Their passion for what we are building will make them instrumental members of our team.”

Carter, who played basketball at high school alongside James in Akron, Ohio, where LRMR is based, commented: “As an avid cyclist and storyteller, I’m excited about partnering with Canyon.

“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.”

James, aged 37, is passionate about cycling, not only as a means of keeping fit and getting around – he’s regularly been spotted cycling to training at the various NBA sides he’s played for – but also in the power of the bicycle to transform lives.

In 2020 he partnered with bike share firm Lyft to open up access to its network to disadvantaged youngsters, and speaking at a launch event at the Harlem YMCA in New York City he said that ““Growing up, a bike changed everything for me. It was more than a way to go see my friends or play basketball – it was a way of life.

> LeBron James partners with Lyft to open bikeshare access to teens across US

“A bike opened doors, allowed me to get to safe places after school, and gave me access to opportunities I never would have known.”

Previously, in 2018, he pledged a free bike for every student at a school for at-risk children he had set up in Akron.

> Free bikes for every student at NBA star LeBron James's school for at-risk kids

James said at the time: “I know these kids basically more than they know themselves.

“I walked the same streets. I rode the same bikes on the streets that they ride on. I went through the same emotions. The good, the bad, the adversity.

“Everything these kids are going through, the drugs, the violence, the guns, everything they’re going through as kids, I know.”

Last month, the Liverpool Echo reported that James’s net worth had hit $1 billion – the first active NBA player to achieve that, with fellow basketball billionaire Michael Jordan hitting 10 figures after his retirement.

Investments he has made over the years include taking a 2 per cent stake in Liverpool FC – the team he supports – in 2011 and which he subsequently converted into a 1 per cent stake in the Premier League outfit’s majority shareholder, Fenway Sports Group.

James is now working with Nike to develop a line of Liverpool FC merchandise which it is believed can harness his worldwide fame and bring the club new supporters more interested in lifestyle brands rather than football itself.

He and Carter also own SpringHill, a production company that co-produced last year’s Space Jam 2: A New Legacy – a sequel to the 1996 mixed live action and animation movie Space Jam, which starred Jordan, and James himself plays the lead role in the follow-up film.

James is also executive producer of the BBC quiz show, The Wall, hosted by the Queen Vic’s own Danny Dyer, with the format originally debuting under the same name on NBC in the US in 2016.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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mdavidford | 1 year ago
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Quote:

He and Carter also own SpringHill, a production company that co-produced last year’s Space Jam 2: A New Legacy ... and James himself plays the lead role

Can't win 'em all, I suppose.

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sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
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Let's hope Canyon uses some of the investment money to employ new designers and testers. The Aeroad creaking seatpost issue still isn't fixed and now owners have to "service" the seatpost regularly to stop it creaking. This is on 2022 Aeroads. Terrible. 

Avatar
NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
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"NBA star LeBron James  . . . . . . who vies with Michael Jordan for the accolade of greatest basketball player of all time"

I nearly spat my drink all over the laptop! I'll assume the writer is too young to remember the greatest basketball player of all time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That's my opinion obviously and a great many others, most of whom are probably over 50.

To date he has the most career wins and is still the all-time leading scorer, at least until next season anyway.

The NBA allegedly banned the dunk while he was still in college to stop him dominating when he reached the NBA so he invented the skyhook, the most beautiful and unstoppable shot ever used . . . . . . . and he was in Airplane!

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
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NOtotheEU wrote:

"NBA star LeBron James  . . . . . . who vies with Michael Jordan for the accolade of greatest basketball player of all time"

I nearly spat my drink all over the laptop! I'll assume the writer is too young to remember the greatest basketball player of all time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That's my opinion obviously and a great many others, most of whom are probably over 50.

To date he has the most career wins and is still the all-time leading scorer, at least until next season anyway.

The NBA allegedly banned the dunk while he was still in college to stop him dominating when he reached the NBA so he invented the skyhook, the most beautiful and unstoppable shot ever used . . . . . . . and he was in Airplane!

Don't forget his fight with Bruce Lee in Game of Death

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
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hawkinspeter wrote:

Don't forget his fight with Bruce Lee in Game of Death

Never seen it but I will definitely be watching it soon. Thank you. 👍

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
2 likes
NOtotheEU wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

Don't forget his fight with Bruce Lee in Game of Death

Never seen it but I will definitely be watching it soon. Thank you. 👍

Unfortunately, the film wasn't finished (due to Bruce's death) and apparently Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and Muhammad Ali refused roles in the film because they felt it exploited Bruce Lee's death, and because of the low pay Golden Harvest was offering. As a film, it's fairly crappy, but there's some fun fights.

Bruce and Kareem were friends and Bruce was teaching Kareem martial arts so he got him involved in the film. I believe Kareem spoke out about the poor portrayal of Bruce in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - Bruce felt no need to prove himself when challenged by wannabes.

https://comicbook.com/movies/news/kareem-abdul-jabbar-weighs-in-on-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywoods/

Quote:

"I was in public with Bruce several times when some random jerk would loudly challenge Bruce to a fight," Abdul-Jabbar wrote. "He always politely declined and moved on. First rule of Bruce's fight club was don't fight — unless there is no other option. He felt no need to prove himself. He knew who he was and that the real fight wasn't on the mat, it was on the screen in creating opportunities for Asians to be seen as more than grinning stereotypes. Unfortunately, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood prefers the good old ways."

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NOtotheEU replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
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So we could have had a movie with Bruce Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Muhammad Ali? What a shame.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
1 like
NOtotheEU wrote:

So we could have had a movie with Bruce Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Muhammad Ali? What a shame.

Coburn was also a friend of Bruce and studied martial arts - he was one of Bruce's pallbearers, as was Steve McQueen (also a one-time student of Bruce). Bruce and Muhammad never met, although Bruce did acknowledge that in a fight, Muhammad would kill him due to the size difference. Fun fact: James Coburn was originally planned to play the part of Hannibal on the A-Team.

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