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Investors in the new round include Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital (which is leading the investment round), the athletic apparel giant Nike, Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group and video game studio Epic Games. James and Carter will remain majority owners of the company.
In addition to helping fund an international expansion, SpringHill says it will use the infusion of cash on “acquiring valuable new IP, pursuing synergistic M&A and investing in emerging creators.”
The company will also be working with its investors to help their respective businesses. In the case of Epic, the creator of the smash hit game Fortnite, it will “bring unique content to the metaverse.” With Fenway, it will include creating content around the company’s sports brands (which also include Liverpool F.C.). And with Nike, SpringHill will work on “new and innovative ways to empower athletes globally to tell their stories.”
SpringHill’s projects have included the recently released Space Jam: A New Legacy, as well as projects for HBO and Netflix and commercial partnerships with companies like Procter & Gamble and JPMorgan Chase.
“We started this company with the tagline ‘More Than an Athlete,’ which still defines everything we do to this very day,” Carter said in a statement Thursday. “We are an incredible team of athletes, artists, writers, designers, musicians and countless other creators. With this new group of investors who are the very best in their respective industries we are going to be able to empower our community and every creator to do their most inspiring work and achieve their most ambitious dreams.”
SpringHill joins a crowded M&A market in the entertainment sector. Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine recently sold a majority stake to a new firm bankrolled by private equity giant Blackstone, while Will Smith’s WestBrook has also held talks with the company.
In the case of SpringHill’s new investors, they include two companies with significant ties to James — Nike (which has a lifetime deal with the star) and Fenway (which James joined as a partner early this year) — as well as Epic, which has global reach through its video games. Meanwhile, RedBird, has been active in the media and sports space.
In other deals, RedBird took a stake in David Ellison’s Skydance in 2020 and also partnered with Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia to buy the XFL.
“Maverick and LeBron have created an impressive media content platform led by a creative leadership team that has built a unique mission-driven brand,” said RedBird founder Cardinale in a statement. “Our partnership with SpringHill should enable us collectively to optimize that mission with scalable capital and a business building mentality that will continue to elevate more diverse voices and a drive towards greater empowerment.”
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