A Fireside Chat with Nigel Sylvester
NIGEL SYLVESTER biked from his neighborhood in Queens, NY to the forefront of global cycling culture. In this earnest conversation, Sylvester explains how love, hyper-focus, and imagination built his career as a professional BMX athlete.
Overcoming Adversity with Creativity
Growing up surrounded by compounding factors of adversity, NIGEL SYLVESTER turned to cycling as an outlet and quickly realized that his skills on a bike could also build an empire. In this inspiring presentation, Sylvester explains how BMX challenged him to think fast, adapt, and work hard, touching on how to apply a BMX way of thinking to every facet of his life.
The New Social Media: Adapting to Ever-Changing Platforms
NIGEL SYLVESTER built his BMX career online. Using social media, he was able to garner supporters worldwide and bring awareness to the sport. By experimenting creatively, he has scored global brand deals from sharing content and building his narrative. Sylvester provides the toolkit for creating and maintaining an effective brand on social media.
Nigel Sylvester gives back to underserved communities
Professional BMX athlete NIGEL SYLVESTER is using his success to engage communities with an eye for long-term change. Growing up in Queens, NY, Sylvester faced adversity in many forms, including a lack of obvious opportunities within his own sport. Forming a local BMX community, Sylvester found that “bicycle riding provides freedom, instills confidence, and is an outlet for true self-expression.”
In order to give back to the sport that has given him so much, Nigel Sylvester founded the Nigel Sylvester Foundation, which supports initiatives such as building after-school programs, bike donations, and fundraising community bike rides. Sylvester himself even teamed up with JPMorgan Chase to teach kids in Harlem personal finance lessons. Sylvester’s drive to uplift communities has a measurable impact, inspiring fans worldwide.
Nigel Sylvester’s innovative storytelling creates global reach
Professional BMX athlete NIGEL SYLVESTER engages audiences globally through multimedia storytelling. His travel film series, GO, showcases major cities from Sylvester’s point of view on the bike. Sylvester’s creativity shifts perspectives. He was the first BMX athlete signed to Jordan Brand, and his Air Jordan 1 collaborations invariably sell out in hours. Nigel's unprecedented rise, achieving many notable firsts as a BMX athlete, has attracted the attention of audiences around the globe, mainstream press, major global brands, and other best-in-class athletes, creatives, and entrepreneurs.
Nigel Sylvester is an American professional BMX athlete, creative, entrepreneur, filmmaker, and philanthropist from Queens, New York. Nigel’s career has extended beyond traditional BMX biking through his progressive riding style, innovative content creation, and one-of-a-kind artistic expression and style. These distinctive characteristics have catapulted Sylvester to the forefront of the sports world.
Nigel was featured in ESPN’s ‘Body Issue’ and honored by Forbes Magazine’s prestigious "30 Under 30" list in 2017. Additionally, he has designed and released a number of sneakers with the Nike and Air Jordan brands. His signature Air Jordan 1 is arguably the best AJ1 of 2018, as cited by sneaker enthusiasts around the world. In 2021, Nigel became the first-ever Professional BMX Athlete signed to Jordan Brand.
Nigel’s drive to give back to communities around him has led him to start the Nigel Sylvester Foundation in July of 2021. The foundation is dedicated to transforming the lives of underserved youth, uniting diverse communities, and other charitable causes. It will support initiatives such as building after-school programs, bike donations, and fundraising community bike rides.
Today, Nigel is one of the most recognized athletes around the world. He is known for his relentless drive, creative vision, and disruptive approach as he pushes the boundaries of sport and art.