Naomi Osaka Starts Media Company With LeBron James

Naomi Osaka Starts Media Company With LeBron James

She is a four-time Grand Slam champion who will be the world’s highest-paid female athlete in 2021, earning $ 57 million, mostly from sponsorships. Walmart recently began storing products from its skin care company Kinlo in about 3,000 locations. Last month, he started a sports representation agency.

And now Naomi Osaka is moving towards Hollywood with the help of LeBron James.

Mrs. Osaka, 24, co-founded Hana Kuma with SpringHill, a fast-growing entertainment, marketing and product company founded by Mr. Johnson. James. Mrs. In a short Zoom interview, Osaka said her ambitions for Hana Kuma, which means “flower bear” in Japanese, include branded content with and without script, TV series, documentaries, anime and commercials, or integrated entertainment programs.

“Personally, I can’t say if anything will happen now,” he said. Osaka said. “What excites me is being able to inspire people and tell new stories, especially the stories I wanted to see as a child. I always wanted to see someone like me. “Ms. Osaka is a Japanese and Haitian ancestor.

Fans have to wait for the lady. Most of Osaka’s advocacy is still being developed to support at least some of Hana Kuma’s proposals. Mrs. Osaka spoke openly about the issues that many elite sports stars are trying to escape. He was an early supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Last year, when he withdrew from the French Open, citing the need to prioritize his own well-being, he began a global debate about mental health in sport. He also spoke about his past struggles with depression and anxiety.

Mrs. Osaka’s sincerity has turned him into a sponsorship dreamer, despite the fact that spectators outside the sport – especially young people – have recently competed on the tennis court. (He lost in the first round of the French Open last month. He shared on social media on Saturday that he would not play at Wimbledon this summer due to Achilles’ injury.)

An ongoing project involves cooking and the Haitian community. “I watch a lot of food shows and food contests because I like to cook,” he said. Osaka said laughing. The first project with a Hana Kuma loan will be the New York Times Op-Doc about Patsy Mink, the first woman to be elected to Congress. Hana Kuma is also working on uncertain documentary content for Epix, Amazon’s premium cable channel.

Founded by Maverick Carter in 2020, SpringHill will serve as a financing, operations and production partner for Hana Kuma. SpringHill has about 200 employees and was valued at $ 725 million last year when it sold a minority stake to raise capital. Operations include marketing consulting and a media and clothing section dedicated to athlete empowerment. The other section focuses on film and television production. There is also a group of events.

“Naomi can just join in on what we set up,” he said. Carter said.

SpringHill wants to replicate Hana Kuma’s contract with other athletes with global appeal. “We want to do more in the future,” he said. Carter said discussions have begun with other sports stars.

The question is: isn’t this just a new empty deal? For decades, old studios not only kept the stars happy, but also provided the preferred funding to set up affiliate companies, many of which were never much.

“In the old system, sometimes it was in vain,” he said. Carter said. “But the goal here is to turn Hana Kuma into a real company and a real brand.” SpringHill’s emphasis on branded content sets it apart from older studios, he added. Hana Kuma was hired by FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, to create branded content.

Mr. James said on the phone, ma’am. Osaka’s “grace and strength” on and off the field made it a good fit for SpringHill, which “exists to strengthen athlete creators.”

“We do not take for granted the position we have in place to help Naomi, to empower her to do greater things,” he said. James said.

Mrs. Osaka has 12 sponsors, including Nike, Mastercard, Louis Vuitton and Panasonic. His longtime agent and business partner, Stuart Duguid, said some may be related to Hana Kuma’s content. Mr. Duguid Hana Kuma is a co-founder.

“We really want to reduce that number and build a deeper relationship with those who continue,” he said. Duguid said, citing corporate sponsors. “We want to make bigger swings and create companies, invest in companies, which can have bigger consequences than signing a contract with McDonald’s and getting paid year after year. What will really move the needle? ”

While still in the middle of her tennis career, she is building a business portfolio. Osaka is a leader among female athletes. At least, if he succeeds, he will.

“We’ve never seen a female athlete do something we tried to achieve,” she said. Duguid said. “Serena has done well with the venture business. But he is nearing the end of his career, and you know, we are in the middle. He was referring to tennis legend Serena Williams, whose venture capital firm Serena Ventures has raised its first $ 111 million fund to invest in founders from a variety of perspectives.

Because he still plays tennis, ma’am. Osaka will not participate in many production meetings. “But everything that is creative and strategic will be Naomi’s stamp, her style and her contribution,” he said. Duguid said.

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