Called Hana Kuma, which means “flower bear” in Japanese, the company will produce “scripted and unscripted television series, documentaries, anime and branded content, which is entertainment programming that has embedded or integrated advertising.”
In an interview, Osaka shared her vision for the company and the kind of content she hopes to create.
“I honestly can’t say if I’ll personally be in anything right now,” she said. “What excites me is being able to inspire people and tell new stories, particularly ones that I would have wanted to see when I was a kid. I always wanted to kind of see someone like me.”
An untitled documentary for Epix, the Amazon-owned premium cable channel, and a project featuring Haitian cuisine are currently in the works. Osaka is of Haitian and Japanese ancestry.
“I watch a lot of food-related shows, cooking competitions because I like to cook,” Osaka said with a laugh.
SpringHill, which was co-founded by James and Maverick Carter in 2020, will serve as a financing and producing partner for Hana Kuma. With almost 200 employees, the company was valued at $725 million when it sold a minority stake to raise capital last year.
“Naomi can just plug into what we have built,” Carter said.
According to Carter, SpringHill wants to replicate the Hana Kuma partnership with other superstar athletes.
“We want to do a lot more of this in the future,” Carter added, who’s already in talks with other athletes about possible collaborations.
James said Osaka’s “grace and power” on and off the court made her the perfect match for SpringHill, “which exists to empower athlete creators.”
“We don’t take for granted the position we are in to lend a helping hand, in this case to Naomi, to help empower her to do even more great things,” James said.
In addition to Hana Kuma, Osaka announced her collaboration with Levi’s, Levi’s x Naomi Osaka. The collection celebrates her heritage and emphasizes sustainability by using upcycled and vintage denim in the clothing designs.