By CultureBanx Team
- The National Cycling League just raised $7.5M and is backed by NBA star Bradley Beal, former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay and the NFL’s Jalen Ramsey
- The global bicycle market projected to grow to $127.8B in 2029
As a symbol of modernity and speed, the popularity of the bicycle is entering into its next phase as a professional sport with the National Cycling League (NCL). This new league just raised $7.5 million as it rides to the next level of diverse sports ownership and innovation. Its majority minority and female ownership include NBA star Bradley Beal, former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay and the NFL’s Jalen Ramsey among others. The NCL is poised to disrupt the traditionally vanilla-laced cycling sector by tapping into the global bicycle market projected to grow to $127.83 billion in 2029.
Why This Matters: As a first of its kind Black and brown backed professional league, NCL plans to offer equal pay for men and women. Through its combined gender teams performance and scores are valued equally. Diversity like this is in stark contrast to the current state of the sport. In Fact, USA Cycling recently revealed that its membership was 86% White, 83% male and 50% middle-aged, according to the Washington Post.
The NCL will bring unparalleled experience and impact across sports, media, entertainment, and branding to a diverse audience. It has carefully curated a network of VC’s, professional athletes and celebrities to build a first of its kind ecosystem. Other investors include NFL players Casey Hayward, Derwin James and Kevin Byard, along with Founders Collective and Will Ventures.
Sentiment around professional cycling’s next level is a primary focus for NCL’s President and Co-Founder Paris Wallace who said “We believe our diverse ownership and teams make up will inspire a new generation of Black and brown entrepreneurs to want to own a city team, and will attract new previously excluded audiences from seeing a path to becoming a professional cycling athlete,” to CultureBanx in a statement.
Spinning Up Success: The NCL is designed around three beliefs; Diverse Ownership, Gender Equity and Sustainability. Its sports league will be at the intersection of the real and virtual worlds where fans can spectate and participate. For example, the cycling will be short, fast and action packed, a first of a kind league designed for TikTok. Through NCL’s technology platform fans will have access to and interact directly with athletes performance data.
Higher adoption of cycling as an exercise or a hobby is majorly driving the market. The National Cycling League’s founders stated that this massive cycling community of 50 million U.S. cyclists, spending approximately $13 Billion annually on their bikes, had no home or organized professional sports league of their own. Working across the country to advance the next wave of professional cycling is key to NCL’s long-term success.
New Sports Movement: The National Cycling League is launching during a time when other neo-sports like Pickleball are sweeping across the country. Major NBA stars are getting in on the latest sports craze with big investments. LRMR Ventures, the family office of LeBron James and Maverick Carter, are purchasing a Major League Pickleball (MLP) team as part of an all-star consortium, along with Draymond Green.
In addition to James and Carter, NBA champion Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures has purchased a Major League Pickleball expansion team that will compete in the 2023 MLP season. All of these athlete’s are tapping into the Pickleball market which is expected to reach $253.8 billion by 2028.
What’s Next: In 2023, the NCL will host a number of races across the country. Kicking off in April with races in Miami, Atlanta, Denver and Washington D.C.
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