LeBron James Receives $100 Million to Grow Media Empire
Despite being one of the greatest NBA ballers in history, LeBron James does not play when it comes to doing smart business and uplifting Black people. Now the three-time NBA champion has received $100 million-dollars in investments to change a different game – media.
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek’s Jason Kelly, James – along with longtime business partner and childhood friend Maverick Carter – spoke about their latest venture, SpringHill Co.
Founded on March 11 through a consolidation of three prior media and marketing businesses, SpringHill is named after the apartments in Akron James lived in with his mom when he was a kid.
The dynamic duo describe the company as “a media company with an unapologetic agenda: 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,” Kelly wrote.
It is a venture that is timely in the wake of the unprecedented protests (and acknowledgement by non-Blacks that Black Lives Matter) after the murder of George Floyd.
“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 told Kelly.
“When you grow up in a place like where we were, no matter how talented you are, if you don’t even know that other things exist, there’s no way for you to ever feel empowered because you’re like, I’m confined to this small world. That’s our duty. A lot of exposure,” Carter added.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin
Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
SpringHill boasts 105 employees of which 64 percent are people of color and 40 percent are women, according to Bloomberg. Investors include: Guggenheim Partners LLC, UC Investments, News Corp. heir Elisabeth Murdoch and Jason Stein’s SC.Holdings. The board boasts the likes of Serena Williams. Michael Rapino, Tom Werner, Marc Rowan and Paul Wachter, Bloomberg reported.
Dubbed ‘The King’ and ‘The CEO’ respectively, James and Carter want other companies to understand the momentum the fight against inequality is receiving now shouldn’t be temporary.
“I’m getting a lot of calls from other CEOs. A lot of calls on, ‘What are you doing? What do you think we should be doing?’ I’m explaining to people, ‘Don’t treat this as a moment, [this is] more like what this country should be, and what this world should be’ ” Carter told Bloomberg. “We’ve always been about empowering people who feel like us and come from the communities that we come from and want to believe in our mission.”
James echoed Carter’s sentiment while comparing their approach to SpringHill to that of one of his role models, the great Muhammad Ali.
“Everyone was so fascinated about how great a boxer he (Ali) was,” James said. “I think that was the least thing in his mind. Every day he was trying to figure out how to better the world. I think 80%, 90% of the people didn’t agree with anything that he did back when he was doing it. But that didn’t stop him. He stayed focused on his mission, and that’s what we’re talking about. The mission.”
Going hard in the paint for his team is nothing new to James. When it comes to doing the same for his people, it’s not something James takes lightly.
“I’m OK having that pressure of my community and other Black communities across America that look up to me and look to me for inspiration or for guidance,” James told Kelly. “It’s just my responsibility, and I completely understand that. And so every day I leave my home, or I wake up out of my bed, I understand that it’s not just about me. I’m representing so many people.”