Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Teams Up w/ Lebron James’ SpringHill Company To Launch Media Company
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is expanding her talents and is getting into the entertainment business by launching a media company in partnership with LeBron James, 37, and Maverick Carter’s, 42, The SpringHill Company.
Naomi Osaka, 24, and her longtime agent and business partner Stuart Duguid are behind the production banner, which is called Hana Kuma. As previously reported, Osaka and Duguid also launched their own sports agency in May. According to the new production banner Hana Kuma –hana means “flower” and kuma means “bear” in Japanese–the company
“will produce stories that are culturally specific but universal to all audiences; playful and bold in its approach to tackle important issues of society.”
Naomi Osaka said in a statement:
“There has been an explosion of creators of color finally being equipped with resources and a huge platform. In the streaming age, content has a more global perspective. You can see this in the popularity of television from Asia, Europe and Latin America that the unique can also be universal.
“My story is a testament to that as well. I’m so excited for what we are building at Hana Kuma. We will bring stories to life with this goal in mind: to make unique perspectives feel universal and inspire people along the way.”
The first project under the Hana Kuma banner will be MINK!, an upcoming New York Times documentary about Patsy Mink– the first woman of color elected to Congress– and the author and sponsor of Title IX, which prohibited sex-based discrimination in schools that receive government funding.
NBA star Lebron James– who co-founded SpringHill in 2020 with Maverick Carter– praised Naomi Osaka’s “grace and power” and said he believed the partnership would “help empower her to do even more great things.”
According to reps for Hana Kuma, SpringHill will provide production, development and other strategic resources to the company, continuing a strategy of building a business model “to center athletes as creators” and
“to act as an incubator for athletes who want to create and story tell beyond their sport in creative, impactful and thought-provoking ways.”