LeBron's Billion-Dollar Business
SpringHill Company, the entertainment business founded by LeBron James & Maverick Carter, is reportedly exploring a sale that values the business at $750 million.
Just one year after raising $100 million from investors to formerly combine multiple content businesses into the “Springhill Company,” founders LeBron James and Maverick Carter are now exploring a sale, according to The Information.
The interesting part? The Los Angeles-based entertainment company is seeking a $750 million valuation and reportedly drawing interest from the world’s largest sports apparel & footwear manufacturer — Nike.
Named after the Akron apartment complex LeBron James grew up in, SpringHill Company is an entertainment development and production company founded in 2020 by James and his business partner Maverick Carter.
The business was created by combining three existing companies:
SpringHill Entertainment — A production company founded in 2007 that is behind The Wall, a game show on NBC, and the movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, which stars James and is scheduled to be released this weekend.
Robot Company — An integrated marketing agency and “brand & culture consultancy” founded by LeBron James, Maverick Carter, and Paul Rivera, the creator of the talkshow “The Shop.”
Uninterrupted LLC — A content company founded in 2015 that “empowers athletes by providing a platform that allows them to share their stories.”
From a content perspective, the SpringHill Company can be broken down into two parts. First, they have a studio, where they work in partnership with the world’s biggest brands and platforms — Netflix, HBO, Disney+, ESPN, ABC, Etc. — to develop and produce films & original series.
In addition to the premiere of James’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” this weekend, SpringHill has spent the last year expanding its production footprint through deals with ABC Studios, Universal, Netflix, and Audible for TV, film, and podcasts.
Secondly, the SpringHill Company has a collection of brands that contain unique IP — Uninterrupted, More Than An Athlete, The Shop, Kneading Dough, Etc. — which they bring to life across content, merchandise, and events.
But is the business worth $750 million?
I’m not sure, to be honest. I’ll leave that up to the studio valuation experts, but to me, this is more of a bet on the increasing price of premium IP. As unique sports content becomes more and more valuable — think Barstool x Penn National and Dan Le Batard x DraftKings — LeBron has situated himself in a unique position straddling the line between sports & Hollywood entertainment.
Nike might not end up buying the company — they have no real expertise in studio production outside of branded content — but it’ll be fascinating to see if this happens.
Nike is in the business of storytelling. They do it through commercials. They do it through collaborations, and most importantly, they do it through consumer goods. An existing roster of celebrity athlete talent combined with studio production capabilities only enhances that ability.
For example, Naomi Osaka is a Nike athlete. But as one of the most popular tennis players globally, she also has a three-part docuseries premiering this Friday on Netflix. Imagine what Nike could do if they had access to that distribution for all their celebrity athletes.
As the lines that traditionally separated media, content, sports, and entertainment continue to blur, the SpringHill Company sits in a prime position to expand through future IP aggressively.
Whoever buys the business will immediately gain access to a lethal combination of premium content, intertwined commerce, and exclusive, large distribution channels.
My guess? That unique combination will eventually make the business worth much more than $750 million.
Have a great day, and I’ll talk to everyone tomorrow.
If you enjoyed today’s email, please share it with your friends!
At 45,000+ subscribers, Huddle Up is quickly becoming one of the largest sports business communities on the internet — every addition helps :)
Sumo Day 2021 🎟️
Sumo Day 2021 is almost here - an event for entrepreneurs hosted by my friends over at AppSumo. Think of Sumo Day as Amazon Prime Day, but for entrepreneurs. They’re hooking up special products, discounts, and giving away iMacs for just 48 hours. Grow your business with these insane discounts — they go quick so check it out while it lasts!