It’s good to be the king. Lakers‘ preseason losses aside, LeBron James has been having a good month. First, Nike opened its LeBron James Center, then The Swoosh joined a series of primo investors in boosting the valuation of the company he co-founded.
The SpringHill Company, so named for the Akron apartment complex that a teenage James lived in, is the brainchild of James and his childhood friend, Maverick Carter, who serve as chairman and CEO, respectively. It was created in 2020 following the merger of a trio of companies that James and Carter founded previously.
Late last week, a group of investors that include Nike, Fortnite creator Epic Games, and the Boston Red Sox’s owners have finalized the purchase of a minority stake in SpringHill that values the company at about $725 million.
James himself, for what it’s worth, is valued at about $825 million.
Currently, SpringHill is primarily focused on entertainment: it most recently produced this year’s Space Jam: A New Legacy and has overseen projects like Netflix’s Top Boy reboot and the ThomaHawk podcast.
But SpringHill also produces apparel through Uninterrupted and has a consultancy branch called ROBOT. These kinds of projects are the focus of SpringHill’s recent investment drive.
SpringHill is hoping to leverage the strengths of partners like Nike and Epic, in particular, to boost its reach in the realms of fashion and gaming. Redbird Capital Partners, another of the new investors, has a deep portfolio of media and sport partners that SpringHill is looking to tap into, Carter told Bloomberg.
“We’ve gotten real traction and understand that the emotion and feeling of empowerment is needed,” said Carter. “The thing that I know, which is emotional storytelling, and doing it with the thread of empowerment, is vital.”
This mentality has informed SpringHill efforts like “These Hands,” a short created for Proctor & Gamble that focuses on Black professionals outside the realm of sport.