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LeBron James, Maverick Carter Raise $100M To Build a Media Empire

LeBron James and his longtime business partner Maverick Carter have reportedly launched a new venture to expand their media empire.

The pair raised $100 million to start the SpringHill Co., a conglomerate that aims to produce content from usually marginalized voices, Bloomberg Businessweek reported Thursday.

“When we talk about storytelling, we want to be able to hit home, to hit a lot of homes where they feel like they can be a part of that story,” James told the magazine. “And they feel like, Oh, you know what? I can relate to that.”

lebron james

With James as chairman and Carter as CEO, the firm combines the duo’s SpringHill Entertainment and Uninterrupted LLC, which have birthed entertainment projects such as a forthcoming “Space Jam” sequel and an HBO talk show, with a marketing agency called the Robot Co., according to Businessweek.

SpringHill was reportedly formed on the same day in March that the NBA suspended its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the ensuing lockdowns haven’t hampered the company’s early days — Carter recently inked a TV deal with Disney and has a basketball-themed Netflix film in the works, Businessweek reported.

James and Carter reportedly attended the same high school that James left to join the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. The pair worked together on “The Decision,” a live broadcast of James’ 2010 announcement that he was leaving Cleveland for the Miami Heat, Businessweek reported. They went on to start SpringHill Entertainment, which shares its name with the Akron, Ohio, apartment complex where James grew up.

lebron james

The pair’s new company is backed by a slate of investors including Guggenheim Partners, UC Investments, SC Holdings and News Corp. heir Elisabeth Murdoch, with a board that includes tennis legend Serena Williams, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and LiveNation CEO Michael Rapino, Businessweek’s lengthy profile says. (News Corp. owns The Post.)

“This is ultimately a company that’s about point of view, the community you serve, and empowerment,” investment banker Paul Wachter, who helped facilitate the project and also sits on the board, told Businessweek. “This is a company designed to move the culture.”

 

Source: NY Post


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Serena Williams Invests in Mahmee, a Startup Fighting Maternal Mortality

After Serena Williams gave birth to her daughter in 2018, she shared the life-threatening complications she experienced—and how, as a Black woman, she was three times more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes.

Now Williams—through her firm Serena Ventures—has invested in digital maternal health care company, Mahmee.

Mahmee  uses predictive analytics to provide personalized, on-demand support to new mothers and infants. Mahmee members can book appointments — both in-home and virtual — with a growing network of highly-qualified postpartum care providers, including registered nurses, board-certified lactation consultants, registered dietitians, certified massage therapists,  and more.

Mahmee also features a private messaging hotline, online support groups led by experts, and a personalized dashboard of content and advice that evolves with mom and baby through every age and stage.

Mahmee, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Melissa Hanna

About 700 women die from pregnancy-related complications in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Three in five of those deaths are preventable, and one-third of those deaths happen up to a year after the birth.

Williams was joined in the $3 million funding round by angel investor Mark Cuban, as well as  Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital.

 

 

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NFL Players are Investing Over $800,000 in a 12-year-old’s Lemonade Business

A group of former and current NFL players, led by former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, have invested $810,000 in 12-year-old Mikaila​ Ulmer’s booming lemonade business, Me & the Bees Lemonade .

This investment was made  through Foster along with Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin, Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown and former Texans running back Jonathan Grimes.

Other NFL players include safety Omar Bolden, linebacker Bobby Wagner, cornerback Darius Slay, cornerback Sharrick McManis, quarterback EJ Manuel and defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

Mikaila started Me & the Bees Lemonade using her great grandmother’s flaxseed recipe at a lemonade stand. She eventually expanding and signed a deal with Whole Foods for approximately $11 million.

The product, which includes several flavors, is now sold at Wegman’s and other local stores.

Its important to say that this investment isn’t some charitable gesture. Me & the Bees Lemonade has reportedly grown more than 100 percent each year since 2014. That makes it a very attractive investment.

“We look for companies that match our main focus of developing a good product, but are also good people and do it for the right reasons,” Foster said.

“It’s more than about money to us. We believe that investing in small black businesses is extremely important.”

Arian Foster

Quin told the Houston Chronicle, “She’s very special. Obviously, she has a bright future. Hopefully, I can be a part of it and nourish it and watch her grow. The sky is the limit. I’m very impressed with her.”

Glover Quin and wife

“It’s awesome that I get to work with and around these two,” Ulmer said about Foster and Quin. “They’re very smart. I learned a lot from them.

I’m very happy that I’m able to work with them and they invested in my company and them helping us and mentoring us and believing in our mission. I think we have a better chance of achieving our goals. That keeps me pumped and excited every day.”

Folks, a group of Black professional athletes got together and invested in a Black owned business. I think a dream of mine just came true. #moreofthis #whosupnext

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson aka @thebusyafrican