The National Cycling League (NCL) — the first majority-women and minority-owned league — has scored an investment from NBA player Kevin Durant.
As AfroTech previously mentioned, the NCL was launched in 2022 by co-founders Paris Wallace and David Mulugheta to reignite the next generation of cycling fans. The NCL aims to lower the knowledge barrier for fans by integrating a scoreboard and borrowing a league structure similarly to other professional sports leagues.
What’s more, the league is presenting an opportunity for many Black cyclists across the globe to be represented professionally.
“There are millions of a Black and brown cyclists around the world. In fact, they are the fastest growing group of cyclists in the US,” Wallace, NCL president, shared with AfroTech at the time. “We plan to give these cyclists an opportunity to consider a professional career path in cycling and give them a sport to be proud of and to root for.”
Supporting the league’s efforts includes Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Boardroom Sports Holdings, which is committed to the league’s prosperity.
“We’re excited to be a part of National Cycling League and its fan-focused business model,” Kleiman, co-founder and CEO of Boardroom shared in a statement. “We’re committed to helping the league grow and get even more eyes on the sport.”
Durant and Kleiman also join former NFL wide receiver Desmond Howard and DraftKings CEO Jason Robins as the latest investors.
“As a former professional athlete and as an amateur cyclist who is committed to accessible health and wellness, I’m pleased to now be a co-owner in the league,” Desmond Howard, currently an ESPN analyst, said in a news release. “The NCL is providing many who haven’t historically had opportunities to own sports properties the chance to do so. I’m excited to be a part of the efforts to grow the interest and passion for the sport and to make cycling more inclusive.”
Wallace said in the release, “All our new investors support our vision and the impact we are making in cycling and the community. We are thrilled to welcome them to the NCL family.”