Guest contribution by loyal reader and current Q2 intern, Michael Goldman.
Since entering the NBA, LeBron James has excelled both on and off the court, molding himself into a successful entrepreneur and mogul in the sports & entertainment industry. His first venture, LRMR Marketing, has made several moves in the past few years. The company’s first client for athlete representation was Dolphin’s receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who signed on for marketing endeavors. Ginn’s stock as a marketable player has certainly risen as the Dolphins success this year has given the receiver considerable coverage. The firm also represents Mike Flynt, who became the oldest college football player in history when he returned to Sul Ross State University at the age of 59.
Lately, LeBron has turned his attention to making his presence felt in Hollywood. More Than a Game, a documentary that chronicles the story of James and his St. Vincent-St. Mary High School teammates, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September. Lionsgate, the company responsible for releasing Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”, has acquired the distribution rights and plans on having a fall 2009 release. Besides being the focus of the film, both James and close friend and partner in LRMR, Maverick Carter (CEO of LRMR), served as executive producers on the project, and James’ newest venture, Spring Hill Productions, is one of three production companies that worked on the documentary.
The freshest news to come out of the LeBron James camp is that the hoops star and his Spring Hill Productions have teamed up with rapper/entertainment Ice Cube’s CubeVision to produce a pilot for ABC about James’ experiences as a high school phenom. The two companies will oversee production for ABC, while the two act as executive producers and co-creators. Assuming the network approves the pilot script, they are aiming to premier the show next fall. In addition, James’ two companies are collaborating on Mike Flynt projects, including a two-book deal that is already underway. Spring Hill Productions and producers Gordon Gray and Mark Ciardi have secured the rights of Flynt’s life to use in a film that is expected to have a $30 million budget, and has already considered actors like Tommy Lee Jones and Bruce Willis for the lead role. Many athletes have tried and usually failed to become successful in Hollywood. James’ star-power is seemingly a force to be reckoned with, and I can assume that his actions in the world of sports & entertainment will continue to expand and be successful. Fans will just have to wait until next fall to see the “King’s” work hit the big and little screens.