LeBron James' storytelling future with SpringHill Company
LeBron James' media venture, SpringHill Company, is exploring a possible sale in the $750 million range, per The Information (subscription) — and Nike is among the potential suitors.
Between the lines: SpringHill has 120 employees and three businesses: Springhill Entertainment (production company), Uninterrupted (athlete empowerment brand) and The Robot Co. (marketing agency).
SpringHill produced "Space Jam: A New Legacy," which scored a hit at the box office this weekend, and "Naomi Osaka," the new Netflix docuseries about the sensitive tennis star.
- It's also behind "The Shop" (HBO talk show), "The Wall" (NBC game show), and has expanded into podcasts, commerce and live events.
- The firm was founded by James and his friend and business partner, Maverick Carter, and is named for the Akron apartment complex where James and his mom moved when he was in sixth grade.
My take: Could SpringHill be the modern iteration of the Jordan Brand? Amid the "Space Jam" hoopla — and now Nike's reported interest — it's worth exploring the parallels.
- In the 1980s, Nike and Michael Jordan teamed up to create shoes.
- In the 2020s, perhaps they're interested in teaming up with James to create stories.
The big picture: Today's athletes are increasingly marketing themselves, rather than relying on the media to do it for them.
- If a future Nike athlete comes in with ideas — maybe they want to launch a podcast, for example — SpringHill could be an interesting platform for that.
- The ways in which athletes connect with fans — and move consumers — is changing. Sneakers and apparel are still effective avenues, but so are content and community.