Naomi Osaka Teams Up With LeBron James to Launch Her Own Media Company

After taking tennis by storm, Naomi Osaka is now setting her sights on media.

The four-time Grand Slam singles champion announced Tuesday, June 21, that she is partnering with fellow sports icon LeBron James to launch her new media company, Hanna Kuma, which will focus on telling stories about a wide variety of cultures and social issues. 

In an Instagram post, Osaka wrote, “I’ve built my career taking a different approach than those around me. And because my journey has been so different it’s opened my eyes to all the incredible stories out there that aren’t getting told. Stories that are global, about a variety of cultures and points of view, about important social issues.” She concluded, “That’s why I’m launching Hana Kuma, a media platform focused on stories that are culturally specific but universal. Stories that are bold and playful like me.” The athlete also thanked James and all the other people who made possible the opportunity to build a business that’s a “true reflection” of her, adding that she “can’t wait to share our stories.”

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On the new media brand’s Instagram page, the introductory post declares that “Hana Kuma is a story-driven production company founded in the world of Naomi Osaka—renowned around the world as a tennis champion with roots in Haiti and Japan.” The post goes on to explain that in Japanese, Hana means “flower,” while Kuma means “bear,” adding, “Our work serves as a platform to amplify the juxtapositions. Our work stays grounded in universally enjoyable themes while exposing our audience to an expanded worldview—an international collection of voices and perspectives full of the nuanced details drawn from our experiences.” As for the brand’s mission, the post says, “At Hana Kuma we believe that just one idea can make a momentous impact and inspire our audience to create change. As we bring our narratives to life, we take care to deliver with the kind of pride and craftsmanship that is authentic to the cultures represented.”

Hanna Kuma is just one of many new projects Osaka has been working on lately. She also has her own skin-care line, a collaboration with Nike, and her own salad at Sweetgreen, and last month she announced a partnership with Modern Health, a workplace mental health platform, to help raise awareness and destigmatize mental health among younger people and marginalized communities.


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