L.A. Lakers star LeBron James has launched a new media empire with $100 million in investor backing, that is “designed to move the culture.”
James and long-time business partner Maverick Carter quietly launched SpringHill Co. in March, but more details about the effort are now being reported. Bloomberg, for instance, noted the $100 million in funding last week.
James told Bloomberg that SpringHill will be unapologetically political in its aims and will be “a maker and distributor of all kinds of content that will give a voice to creators and consumers who’ve been pandered to, ignored, or underserved.”
“When we talk about storytelling, we want to be able to hit home, to hit a lot of homes where they feel like they can be a part of that story. And they feel like, Oh, you know what? I can relate to that. It’s very organic to our upbringing,” James added.
“This is ultimately a company that’s about point of view, the community you serve, and empowerment,” said Los Angeles investment banker Paul Wachter, a member of the new company’s board. “This is a company designed to move the culture.”
Other members of the operating board will also include Murdoch and Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd, Serena Williams, Apollo Global Management co-founder Marc Rowan, Live Nation Entertainment Inc. CEO Michael Rapino, Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, and L.A. investment banker Paul Wachter. Investors include JPMorgan Chase, financial services company Guggenheim Partners LLC, UC Investments, News Corp. heir Elisabeth Murdoch’s company Sister, and SC Holdings, Jason Stein’s investment fund.
James and his partner folded several older companies into SpringHill. The new co. will now be responsible for producing an NBC game show called The Wall, the upcoming film, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and the HBO talk show, The Shop: Uninterrupted, and more. The co. will also help produce a streaming show to help athletes with financial literacy that is set to be called, Kneading Dough.
Indeed, James has been spending much of his time on political causes. Last week, the player urged athletes to use their “incredible influence” to push political causes, and he also recently slammed the National Football League and demanded it deliver an official apology to national anthem protestor Colin Kaepernick.
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