Naomi Osaka has joined forces with Lebron James to launch a brand new media company, Hana Kuma, which means “flower bear” in Japanese.
The SpringHill Company, owned by James and media personality Maverick Carter, released a statement announcing that they would be providing “essential production, development, and strategic resources” to Hana Kuma.
In a statement, Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, celebrated the new joint venture:
“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,” she explained.
“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.”
Hana Kuna will produce scripted and unscripted television series, Anime, documentaries as well as branded content.
The news comes on the heels of Osaka, and her agent and business partner Stuart Duguid co-founded athlete representation agency EVOLVE last month. Duguid will also be a part of Hana Kuna.
Hana Kuma also has partnerships with FTX, a crypto exchange platform, and mental health medium Modern Health.
This week, it was announced that Australian star Nick Kyrgios, formerly signed to IMG, became the first athlete to sign with EVOLVE.
“Kyrgios embodies the types of athletes we want to work with at Evolve,” Osaka told Boardroom. “He’s got an unmatched style, passion, and personality that is unlike any other in the sport. We have some big things in the pipeline for him that are very unique and pioneering”.
According to Forbes, Osaka made $57 million last year.