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Tennis star Naomi Osaka forms entertainment outfit backed by SpringHill

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka is launching her own entertainment company backed by LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company.

Naomi Osaka (photo: Andrew Henkelman via CC)

The new company, Hana Kuma, led by Osaka and her business partner Stuart Duguid, said it will produce content that is “culturally specific but universal to all audiences” and be “playful and bold” in its approach to tackling societal issues.

It will focus on scripted and unscripted series, documentaries, anime and branded content.

The company is launching with projects already in the works with cablenet Epix, which recently moved under Amazon’s ownership, and The New York Times.

Details of the unscripted project with Epix have not yet been announced. The New York Times doc, Mink!, is about Patsy Mink, the first woman of colour elected to US Congress. Osaka will serve as an executive producer alongside James and Carter on both projects.

Hana Kuma has also hired LA-based Chavonne LeNoir, the former manager of unscripted development at Vice Media, as its head of development.

The SpringHill Company, which raised capital last year when it sold a minority stake to a group of investors led by private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, will provide development and production support to Hana Kuma.


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