LeBron James and his longtime business partner Maverick Carter have an unapologetic agenda to build the next new media empire for Black creators and consumers.
On March 11 — the same day the NBA suspended their season due to COVID-19 — the pair raised funds to start the SpringHill Company. As a combination of three firms, the company reportedly gets $100 million from Elisabeth Murdoch, Stacey Snider and Jane Featherstone’s production banner. It will be a mixed venture that aims to produce content from marginalized voices, Bloomberg reports.
The idea behind the platform is to give creative control to people of color who are often denied that power.
“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,” James told Bloomberg. “And they feel like, Oh, you know what? I can relate to that.”
The SpringHill Company will empower a new generation of voices that need to be heard.
“This is ultimately a company that’s about point of view, the community you serve, and empowerment,” investment banker Paul Wachter, who helped facilitate the project, told Bloomberg. “This is a company designed to move the culture.”
Both James and Carter originally had big plans for this to be a game-changing year, but the coronavirus outbreak and current events slightly changed their plans.
“Just seeing that video, how many people were hurt not only in Minneapolis, but all over the world—and especially in the Black community, because we’ve seen this over and over and over,” James said to Bloomberg in regards to George Floyd’s murder. “So, you know, it’s been a lot that’s gone on in 2020.”
Neither James nor Carter are strangers to the entertainment industry, so folks are thrilled to see the SpringHill Company live up to its new name.
James, of course, has had basketball to lean on for the better part of his years and Carter also has had his hands in the industry working on projects with Disney and Netflix, according to New York Post.
“I’ve always wanted to use the platform of basketball to empower those around me. Now I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to build a company that empowers creators, consumers, and everything it touches,” said James to The Hollywood Reporter. “The SpringHill Company defines empowerment. You see it in the team we’ve built, the stories we tell, and the community our work will serve.”
The media company is named after the Akron apartment complex where James and his mom moved when he was in sixth grade, according to Bloomberg.
SpringHill Company is also reportedly backed by a slew of investors including Guggenheim Partners, UC Investments, SC Holdings and News Corp., with a board that includes Murdoch, Serena Williams, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and LiveNation CEO Michael Rapino, Bloomberg reports.
The expectation for the new venture is to diversify the industry for consumers and entertainment in a way that unifies the community.