Naomi Osaka Launches Media Company, Partners With LeBron James

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Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is starting a media company from the ground up with the help of LeBron James' SpringHill.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Osaka and her agent Stuart Duguid are behind the new media operation called Hana Kuma.

News of the media company comes just a month after Osaka left her longtime sports agency to launch her own with Duguid.

Hana Kuma, which means "flower" and "bear" in Japanese, “will produce stories that are culturally specific but universal to all audiences; playful and bold in its approach to tackle important issues of society,” a statement from the company reads.

Osaka said in a statement, “There has been an explosion of creators of color finally being equipped with resources and a huge platform." She added, “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."

SpringHill, owned by James and Maverick Carter, will aid Hana Kuma with production, development, and other strategic resources.

The move to back Osaka's media company is a part of a bigger effort “to center athletes as creators” and “to act as an incubator for athletes who want to create and story tell beyond their sport in creative, impactful, and thought-provoking ways,” a statement from SpringHill says.

For its first project, Hana Kuma will take on the upcoming New York Times Op-Doc MINK!, which highlights Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to Congress.

Other upcoming projects for the company include a documentary series set at Epix with Osaka, James, and Carter hailing as executive producers.

Osaka said in a statement, "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.”

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