As RedBird Capital Eyes SpringHill Investment, LeBron James Continues March Toward Billionaire Status
LeBron James is one step closer to cashing in on his entertainment business in a deal that would still leave the NBA superstar short of becoming basketball’s second billionaire.
Forbesrecently valued his stake—believed not to exceed 50%—at approximately $300 million.James and his childhood friend, Maverick Carter, together built the SpringHill Co., the diversified media company behind the newSpace JamWhat’s My Name: Muhammad Ali
and unscripted series including the NBC competition showThe Wall.The company, named for the apartment complex where James grew up, was founded in 2020 and also includes media platform Uninterrupted, which produces the HBO talk showThe Shop, and a marketing agency, the Robot Company, which counts JPMorgan Chase, Beats by Dre and Sprite as clients.
James is chasing Michael Jordan, the only billionaire to have emerged from the sport, although he reached that status after his playing days were over.RedBird was founded by Gerry Cardinale, a former Goldman Sachs partner with deep ties to Hollywood and the world of professional sports. He has been assembling an expansive portfolio of assets, taking a minority stake earlier this year in Wasserman, a sports marketing and talent agency, and investing $275 million into David Ellison’s Skydance Media, the studio behind the Oscar-winning movie headtopics.com
Parasite.It also bought, sold and re-acquired a stake in the YES Network.The potential SpringHill deal isn’t the first time Cardinale and James have crossed paths. Months ago, RedBird purchased a 10% stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns a bevy of sports assets including Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox. James bought 2% of Liverpool in 2011 and exchanged his stake to grab a reported 1% investment in FSG earlier this year.
I’m a Los Angeles-based senior editor for Forbes, writing about the companies and people behind the biggest disruption in entertainment since cable TV: streaming video. I… Read MoreI’m a Los Angeles-based senior editor for Forbes, writing about the companies and people behind the biggest disruption in entertainment since cable TV: streaming video. I write about the tech juggernauts, the legacy media companies and the startups pioneering new ways to reach the consumer. I’ve spent more than 20 years covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. My work has appeared in some of the nation’s most prominent publications, including USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and the Los Angeles Times. As a senior editor at Recode, I won awards for coverage of the devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. Email me at dchmielewski [at] forbes.com or follow me at @dawnc331.
Read LessI'm an assistant editor covering the intersection of sports, business and technology. I've previously written for CNBC.com, The Hockey News and Narratively. I started… Read MoreI'm an assistant editor covering the intersection of sports, business and technology. I've previously written for CNBC.com, The Hockey News and Narratively. I started this journey covering a handful of New Jersey Devils stranded in Albany during the 2012 NHL Lockout, with stops on the beats of the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers. I graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism where I specialized in Sports Media.Read more: Forbes »
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