Lance Armstrong has bought a minority share in Honey Stinger, the Steamboat Springs, Colorado-based manufacturers of honey-based nutritional foods.
The move adds to the seven-time Tour de France champ's ever-expanding portfolio of cycling industry stakes, which includes a major investment in SRAM made prior to his autumn 2008 comeback.
In addition to partial ownership of Honey Stinger, Armstrong will play a role in future product development and endorsement of the brand’s products.
“I first tried Honey Stinger products during a mountain bike race in Colorado,” says Armstrong via press release. “I was impressed with the great taste and energy they provided. Honey Stinger works for me in training and racing because you want to eat them and they work.
"I like the whole team – they understand what athletes need and they’re great to work with. I’m excited to be part of the Stinger team and work with them on expanding the products and business.”
Armstrong first met Len Zanni, Honey Stinger’s marketing director, when they teamed up to race the 12 Hours of Snowmass mountain bike race outside Aspen in 2008. The foundation for a new business partnership was hatched over the course of long bike rides and meetings with company owners.
Entrepreneur and athlete Bill Gamber, his father William (a honey industry veteran), food product developer Bob Stahl and professional beekeeper John Miller founded Honey Stinger in 2002. The company now produce over 20 honey-based energy products that are distributed internationally through sporting goods retailers and natural food grocers.
“We’re thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to work with an athlete of Lance’s stature. Beyond his athletic achievements, Lance is an inspiration and a leader in the fight against cancer,” said Gamber. “Our relationship with Lance comes at a time when Honey Stinger are riding a wave of momentum and this partnership is a major step for our brand.”