Ex-NBA star Parker to join OL Groupe board
Tony Parker, the former France and NBA basketball star, is to join the board of OL Groupe, the parent company of prominent French soccer club Olympique Lyonnais.
Jean-Michel Aulas, president of Lyon, announced that Parker will become a member of the company’s board of directors in “the coming months.”
The move enhances Parker’s recently developed ties with Aulas and Lyon as last June the Ligue 1 club recently acquired a 25-per-cent stake in LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, the local basketball team which he owns.
Moreover, in December, OL Groupe reached a deal to buy Reign FC, of USA's National Women’s Soccer League, for $3.51 million, with Parker becoming a shareholder and receiving a 3-per-cent stake.
Aulas said: “We are going to make room for him in the coming months on the board of directors of OL Groupe. This is a decision that was made on Tuesday at the board of directors.
“Firstly, there is a partnership with Tony Parker on the basketball side. Secondly, there is a convergence of visions on what high-level clubs should be in terms of organisation, preparation and capital investment.
“Tony is also a shareholder in our Seattle franchise and our partnership will also include international development in China and the US.”
The 37-year-old Parker has been the majority shareholder of Villeurbanne since 2014, and has focused on various business ventures since retiring from basketball last year.
Parker is currently working with Lyon and Aulas on a project to build a basketball arena for Villeurbanne next to the soccer club’s Groupama Stadium, and this is due to open in 2023.
The team is France’s representative in the enlarged EuroLeague this season, with an initial two-year licence running to the end of the 2020-21 campaign.