Tennis star Naomi Osaka is launching a media company in partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Company, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Osaka is launching the new media production firm alongside her longtime agent and business partner, Stuart Duguid. The company is called Hana Kuma, which translates to "flower bear" in Japanese.
Hana Kuma will produce documentaries as well as scripted and unscripted series alongside the SpringHill Company. The company is already beginning to work on its first project, a documentary titled MINK! about former Hawaiian congresswoman Patsy Mink, who was the first woman of color elected to Congress and the sponsor of Title IX. The doc is being directed by Ben Proudfoot and will receive executive production from Osaka, James and Carter.
“There has been an explosion of creators of color finally being equipped with resources and a huge platform,” said Osaka in a statement to THR. “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. 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.”
Hana Kuma is Osaka and Duguid’s latest business venture. In May, they launched Evolve, their new athlete management agency following the four-time major champion’s departure from her former agency, IMG. Fellow tennis star Nick Kyrgios recently became Evolve’s first client.
On the court, Osaka has hit a bit of a down stretch. She is currently ranked No. 42 in the world, last playing in the French Open where she lost in the first round. Most recently, she withdrew from Wimbledon, a week ahead of the tournament’s start, due to an Achilles injury.