NBA superstar Lebron James and business partner Maverick Carter announced today that they received a $100million valuation for their up and coming media conglomerate SpringHill, named for the apartment complex Lebron grew up in Akron, Ohio. It’s another big step for James as he strives to live up to his own words of being “more than an athlete”.
This is huge news for the world of media in general. This brand will look to use stories from all walks of life to better communicate the lives that so many Americans are living today. Bloomberg says this is how Lebron and team envision SpringHill:
“A media company with an unapologetic agenda: a maker and distributor of all kinds of content that will give a voice to creators and consumers who’ve been pandered to, ignored, or underserved”.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of Lebron James.
But he has a greatly inspiring story with him coming from basically nothing and building himself into an NBA champion and global brand. He has somehow lived up to all the expectations cast upon him since he was about 17 years old. His “I Promise School” is incredible work. He’s one of the few celebrities in the constant limelight and still doesn’t have some huge scandal to his name. There is really no reason to believe that he is a bad person in any way.
I’ve said before that Lebron is a hypocrite, though. Especially when talking about Hong Kong and his refusal to denounce the Chinese government and their oppressive regime. He even went as far to basically defend them. Now yes, it makes sense that he is battling for these rights in his home country where he has much more knowledge/experience, but since he has so much business in China I think he should have those peoples’ human rights on his mind, and be willing to fight for them, as well. If he wants to have a global image, then he should have global values.
This Bloomberg article was the first time I actually saw Lebron speak on his bungling of the Hong Kong scenario and it was underwhelming. He kinda deflected and said he only likes to speak on things he is “educated on”. There is for sure irony in that statement. To public knowledge, he has failed to offer an apology to Daryl Morey or the people of Hong Kong. He should do that.
Focussing back on just the United States, Lebron is looking to be the first athlete to create a completely new source of media. That is something entirely new and will be extremely interesting.
And I completely respect Lebron as a business man. SpringHill will look to represent people of all backgrounds. James talks about wanting to reach the people who are in a world where they can’t imagine getting out of the situation they are currently in. He wants to show the world of struggle, opportunity, and achievements beyond where they just might think they’re stuck.
I think that is a truly admirable goal, and it’s important for us to realize how diverse of a place this country really is. It does have a lot of good that can outweigh the bad, and hopefully he shows that. A media source that looks to observe and analyze struggle, and not market it as a vehicle for fear and ratings could be a refreshing way to learn more about our daily news.
Too often we find ourselves resorted to bubbles of what we believe to be true or false and fail to see why someone may not think a certain way. We live in a world of preconceived notions and refuse to admit our own biases. Too often we form opinions on what we believe to be credible sources and factual statements are really just propagated opinions looking to serve one side or another’s agenda.
A friend told me recently, when discussing race, that the best way to find the truth is to hear from a person’s own, personal experiences. It is then up to us to decipher what is right or wrong about each situation and use our best judgement to make a choice to better improve society. If Lebron’s company can provide a platform that does this in a way to give a voice to impoverished people of this country, then he really could have something big.
SpringHill is looking to be a refreshing new source of media in a world that’s so hungry for authenticity. Maybe Lebron will be just like he is on the court and live up to expectations. Hopefully it is a true fair and balanced representation of what’s going on in the world, and helps lead us towards solutions that can make the country a better place for all of us. Hopefully it looks at real reporting and representations of our communities and how we can use media and technology to spread a good message.
ThoughtLess aims to do similar things by providing an authentic, young voice to today’s national discourse. So, if anyone has a connect to Lebron and wants to show him my work, maybe he’ll be willing to partner with someone else who wants to do good. With $100million more he’s definitely got some loose change to throw around. Who knows, maybe one day.