The new media company Hana Kuma is the most recent business endeavor for Osaka
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka will be launching the new media company Hana Kuma alongside legendary NBA basketball player LeBron James. Together, Naomi Osaka and Lebron James aim to tell “culturally specific but universal” stories that will cross cultural barriers.
The four-time major champion will be partnering with LeBron’s SpringHill Company, as Osaka announced on Tuesday. SpringHill will provide “essential production, development, and strategic resources” to Hana Kuma and will serve as a financing and operations partner.
“There has been an explosion of creators of color finally being equipped with resources and a huge platform,” said Osaka in a statement about the new media company Hana Kuma. Translated to “flower bear” in Japanese, Hana Kuma will focus on “bold and playful” stories, sharing similarities to Osaka herself.
“I’ve built my career taking a different approach than those around me and because my journey has been so different it’s opened my eyes to all the incredible stories out there that aren’t getting told,” said Osaka on social media. “Stories that are global, about a variety of cultures and points of view, about important social issues.”
The new media company Hana Kuma is Osaka and her longtime agent Stuart Duguid’s most recent business venture. The duo also have a sports agency named Evolve.
“I found it really interesting that there wasn’t a female athlete that’s done this before, but there have been so many men,” said Osaka. “So I think it’s a journey, and I feel like I’m going to learn a lot on the journey.”
Osaka earned roughly $37 million in 2020 as a result of many endorsement deals, making her the highest-paid female athlete in history, according to Forbes.