Naomi Osaka Launches New Media Company in Partnership With LeBron James, Maverick Carter's Springhill Company

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Naomi Osaka of Japan prior to her Eisenhower Cup match on Day 2 of the BNP Paribas Open on March 08, 2022 in Indian Wells, California.
Naomi Osaka of Japan prior to her Eisenhower Cup match on Day 2 of the BNP Paribas Open on March 08, 2022 in Indian Wells, California.

Professional tennis star Naomi Osaka is continuing to make plays both on and off the court. Her latest move comes in the form of a new media production company, Hana Kuma, formed in partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s Springhill Company.

Announced on Tuesday, the full-service company is co-founded by Osaka and her business partner Stuart Duguid and will focus on “telling empowering stories across scripted, unscripted, branded content, and digital content,” according to a press release sent to The Root. Grounded in universally enjoyable themes, Hana Kuma is set to explore “juxtapositions across cultures presenting Osaka’s singular point of view to worldwide audiences” with its slate of content.

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The first project to come under the banner is a forthcoming New York Times op-doc (that’s opinionated documentary) titled MINK!, which will tell the story of Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to Congress, who authored and narrowly defended Title IX. The company has also secured in-development production and deals for a documentary series with EPIX and 360-production partnerships with crypto exchange platform FTX and Modern Health—where Naomi serves as Chief Community Health Advocate, creating initiatives that destigmatize mental health.

Speaking on the news, 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.”