The world’s most marketable athlete is taking his talents from the hardwood to the entertainment field.
Basketball superstar LeBron James has scored a $15.8 million investment through a partnership with Turner and Warner Bros. to support his self-financed entertainment studio Uninterrupted.
Uninterrupted is an athlete-centric content hub on the Turner-owned Bleacher Report showcasing a series of point-of-view video shorts from players on many platforms. It’s an arm of James Spring Hill Productions company, which already has credits to the Disney series Becoming; Starz’s dramedy Survivor’s Remorse and NBC’s upcoming primetime reality game show series Average Joe.
“The best thing about Uninterrupted is there are so many creative opportunities for athletes to tell their stories,” James said in a statement. “I’m excited to be partnering with important, innovative companies like Warner Brothers and Turner to keep building Uninterrupted as a place for athletes to go to connect with fans and share their stories in a different way.”
Since the beginning of the season, the four-time NBA MVP and two-time champion has released a series of videos via Facebook in 360-degree virtual reality. The “Striving for Greatness” vignettetes, an Uninterrupted original series detailing James’ training regimen (see below), concluded yesterday. Along with Wednesday’s announcement, the site also expanded to Verizon’s mobile streaming media app go90.
“I’m going to take full advantage of it while I can,” he’s previously told The Hollywood Reporter regarding capitalizing on opportunities.
James is rapidly building a Hollywood empire. With 63.4 million followers on the Big Three social media sites, he’s a marketing Goliath and the epitome of an athlete-turned-influencer. His off-field spoils include a $44 million endorsement portfolio with partners like Samsung, Beats By Dre, Nike, Kia and McDonald’s and there seems to be no end to the portfolio boons he and business partner Maverick Carter land.
“Whether it’s through real-time videos, original digital series or documentaries, Uninterrupted provides that creative outlet for athletes to share their stories in a way they can t anywhere else,” Carter, Uninterrupted’s CEO, said.
With LeBron’s latest deal with Warner Bros., it only perpetuates the rumors swirling around him segueing into the silver screen and starring in a potential Space Jam sequel. He’s already cameod as himself in Entourage and also plays a version of himself in Trainwreck.
And much like former-Yankees great Derek Jeter’s launched The Players Tribune, a site where athletes like Kobe Bryant pen their own pieces without the filter of a team spokesman or journalists, athletes are now dabbling in entertainment and media ventures previously unavailable to them.
That mostly means gems like Michael Jordan’s Space Jam or Shaquille O’Neal’s discography won’t be as prominent as the platform-limited 90s blessed the masses with, but who’re we to complain?
Just pass the rock to LeBron.