The Players Fund Invests In Naomi Osaka’s Production Company, Hana Kuma

Tennis phenom Naomi Osaka has received an investment from The Players Fund for her production company, Hana Kuma, according to SportsProMedia.

Hana Kuma which means flower bear in Japanese, is in partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Company and was launched in 2022. The company said in a statement that it will provide “essential production, development, and strategic resources” to Hana Kuma. Other partners involved in the company include Stuart Duguid, founder of sports talent agency EVOLVE, Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group, and Epic Games, the owner of Fortnite.

“We are thrilled to welcome The Players Fund as an investor in Hana Kuma,” said Osaka in a written statement. “Their extensive network of elite athletes from all backgrounds aligns perfectly with our mission to uplift diverse voices and perspectives through innovative storytelling.”

Last year, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Osaka raised $5 million in a fundraising round for Hana Kuma.

Fergus Bell, managing partner at The Players Fund said: “What Naomi, Stuart [Duguid, Osaka’s agent] and the team at Springhill are building with Hana Kuma shall be the framework for diverse storytelling for years to come. We have waited a long time for a female athlete-led content platform and believe that with The Players Fund’s global network, we can truly accelerate the Hana Kuma roadmap alongside partners such as Epic Games, Fenway Sports Group, Nike and LeBron James.”

The Players Fund was launched last August, according to SportsProMedia, with England men’s cricketers Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer among its backers. Female athletes were added as partners in December, Olympic gold medallists Jessica Ennis-Hill and Allyson Felix, and English soccer players Nikita Parris and Danielle Carter. There are a total of more than 50 athletes involved.

According to Tennis.com, Osaka was one of four former Grand Slam champions who was awarded wild cards for the upcoming Wimbledon tournament which starts on July 1. Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber, and Emma Raducanu were the other players.

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