Naomi Osaka and Lebron James, two of sport’s most prominent athletes, join forces for a new project. Osaka is diving into the media business to launch her media company, Hana Kuma, which means “Flower Bear” in Japanese. She’s partnering with James and his fast growing company Spring Hill. Spring Hill which will provide “essential production, development, and strategic resources” to Hana Kuma. Content will include scripted and unscripted tv series, documentaries, and anime.
Hana Kuma is steeped in Osaka’s roots. The Tennis star was born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother. She moved to the United States at age 3.
“There has been an explosion of creators of color finally being equipped with resources and a huge platform,” Osaka said in a statement.
“I’ve built my career taking a different approach than those around me,” Osaka stated in a post on her Instagram account.” Because my journey has been so different it’s opened my eyes to all the incredible stories out there. Stories that are global, about a variety of cultures and points of view, about important social issues,” she added.
James’ SpringHill cofounder Maverick Carter revealed that the company will serve as a financing, operations, and producing partner for Hana Kuma. The company employs more than 200 employees and has been valued at $725 million. Carter stated that Naomi can just plug into what they have built, and that SpringHill plans to do this with other athletes that have global appeal.
James said by telephone that Ms. Osaka’s “grace and power” on and off the court made her a good match for SpringHill, which exists to empower athlete creators.”
This is just another accomplishment that Osaka can add to her growing portfolio. In addition to her being one of the highest paid female athletes, she has skincare and fashion lines, and runs a sports agency alongside agent Stuart Duguid.
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