Naomi Osaka Launching Media Company 'Hana Kuma' in Partnership with LeBron James

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 21, 2022

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 23: Naomi Osaka of Japan vs Amanda Anisimova of USA during the Women's Singles First Round match on Day 2 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on May 23, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images )
Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Tennis star Naomi Osaka is launching a media company in collaboration with SpringHill Company, the entertainment enterprise co-founded by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

Osaka told the New York Times' Brooks Barnes she's looking to help create "scripted and unscripted television series, documentaries, anime and branded content" through her new venture, Hana Kuma.

"I honestly can’t say if I’ll personally be in anything right now," she said. "What excites me is being able to inspire people and tell new stories, particularly ones that I would have wanted to see when I was a kid. I always wanted to kind of see someone like me."

Hana Kuma is already planning to partner with the New York Times to produce a documentary on Patsy Mink, the first woman of color who was voted into Congress, through the Times' "Op-Doc" series.

Per Barnes, SpringHill will help finance and produce Hama Kuma's projects. Co-founder Maverick Carter told Barnes that Osaka "can just plug into what we have built."

This represents another avenue through which the four-time Grand Slam champion can expand her reach beyond tennis.

In May, Osaka left the sports agency IMG to start her own agency with Stuart Duguid, her agent at IMG. Evolve signed its first client Monday, Nick Kyrgios.