July 15, 2024

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The Sports Fanatics

Fenway Sports Group teams up with LeBron James’s SpringHill Company

Fenway Sports Group teams up with LeBron James’s SpringHill Company

FSG is the second-largest investor in a four-member consortium that now holds a significant stake in SpringHill, the entertainment and content-producing company run by Carter and James.

The two have been in business with Fenway Sports Group long before this, having Fenway Sports Management guide James’s endorsements, the two becoming investors in Liverpool more than a decade ago, and this spring becoming partners in FSG itself.

There’s no specific story idea on the table at the moment, but with SpringHill valued at $725 million, the company should have enough resources to explore the history and archives of the iconic Red Sox and Liverpool brands, emerge with the best tales, and draw consumers to the finished product.

“They can be focused on the history, a certain manager’s tenure, it can be focused on a playoff run, it can be focused on whatever would be the most compelling story for an audience to watch,” said Carter.

As to where viewers will be able to see and hear these stories? Perhaps NESN or HBO, or a SpringHill platform such as Uninterrupted.

“Any one of those, or all of the above,” Carter said.

Carter spoke of the respect he and James have for FSG and its leadership, and that the duo feel respected in return.

FSG chairman Tom Werner will remain on the SpringHill board of directors, as that company enters a growth phase side by side with FSG’s own desire to broaden its global reach.

“Them upping their stake in the company and Tom remaining on the board is very important to us, from the matter of having amazing partners who can help us break into the international sports market through their ownership of Liverpool, but also we look forward to being the content partner for FSG as they obviously have a rich library and history in Liverpool, Red Sox, and Roush [Fenway Racing],” said Carter.

“Everything they have is very important to us. We respect that and we look forward to telling many stories about that. . . . We’re partners in FSG and we’re now even more partners with them.”

The consortium’s lead investor is RedBird Capital Partners, which this spring made its own investment of approximately $750 million in FSG to become its third-largest stakeholder behind principal owner John Henry — who also owns the Globe — and Werner.

Carter spoke highly of the synergy among the three entities.

“We complement each other, know each other, respect each other, and understand each other’s business, and we’re all very supportive,” he said.

The other members of the consortium are Nike, which has a robust endorsement relationship with James, and Epic Games, creator of Fortnite.

Carter, the CEO of SpringHill, and James, the chairman, will retain their controlling interest in the company.

Asked if Thursday’s news might mean James will be seen more around Boston — say, at Fenway Park — or Liverpool, Carter laughed.

“I’m sure,” he said. “LeBron’s everywhere.”

In a statement, Henry, Werner, FSG president Mike Gordon, and Red Sox president Sam Kennedy relayed their own positive thoughts about the expanded business association with Carter and James.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with LeBron and Maverick,” the statement said. “They are extraordinary leaders who transformed their vision of empowering athletes, artists, and brands into a dynamic and thriving content company. This investment is a testament to our belief in the future of SpringHill and the faith that LeBron and Maverick have in Fenway Sports Group.”

Michael Silverman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB.