Maverick Carter Rumors
LeBron James will co-produce and appear in a reality TV series called “Cleveland Hustles.” James and his close friend and business partner Maverick Carter are producing the series, which will make its debut this summer on CNBC. James also will make some cameo appearances. On the show, James and Carter will give four aspiring local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their dreams while revitalizing a neighborhood in Cleveland.
LeBron James’ marketing agency will no longer be working with maligned Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, James’ business manager told cleveland.com. James’ company is shifting its focus away from endorsements and Manziel’s football career may be at a crossroads as he continues to deal with personal issues. “We’ve decided to end our formal business relationship with Johnny,” said Maverick Carter, James’ long-time friend and business partner who runs LRMR, the agency which until now had represented Manziel in endorsement deals. I will continue to support and advise him as a friend,” Carter said. “However, because Johnny needs to focus on personal growth, the next phase of his career and because LRMR continues to expand beyond marketing, we made the mutual decision that it was best to terminate our business relationship.”
On July 11, 2014, a few hours after LeBron James revealed in a Sports Illustrated letter that he was “coming home” to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA star was on the Nike jet to Rio for the World Cup soccer final. He confided in longtime manager Maverick Carter that he wanted to create a platform where athletes could speak their minds “uninterrupted,” he said, the same way he did in the SI piece. Six months later, Uninterrupted, self-financed by Carter and James, launched on Turner Sports’ Bleacher Report site as a hub for a series of point-of-view video shorts from athletes. Now the duo is deepening its partnership with Turner and Warner Bros. The Time Warner companies, led by Warner Bros., have invested $15.8 million in Uninterrupted with the goal of creating athlete-centric content for many platforms, including mobile, web and social, as well as linear television and film. The venture marks the latest move into entertainment for the NBA star and the further blurring of the lines between sports and entertainment figures.
James, 30, has been featured heavily in Uninterrupted video shorts, which offer a peek behind the curtain at athletes’ lives away from the game. Others participating include fighter Ronda Rousey, Golden State Warrior Draymond Green of the NBA, tennis champion Serena Williams and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (talking about the media’s handling of the NFL’s Deflategate scandal). “It’s giving athletes an opportunity to have a platform where they can speak about any issue,” James tells THR. “They don’t have to wait to be in front of a camera.” Much like Kobe Bryant utilized Derek Jeter’s The Player’s Tribune Nov. 29 to reveal his retirement, Uninterrupted is “giving athletes a way to connect with their fans” without a traditional media intermediary, although the similarities end there.
If athletes are prime drivers on social media, their day jobs naturally limit their extracurricular activities. But James is well on his way to forging a successful non-NBA career. It is an example that others are attempting to emulate. “One of the attractive things about the athletes participating in a platform like Uninterrupted is they get to associate themselves and benefit from Maverick and the team — one of whom is LeBron — and some of the expertise they have in talking to their fans,” says Matt Hong, Turner Sports executive vp and general manager. “They also benefit from the scale of a platform like Uninterrupted, which is amplified in a pretty massive way via distribution through Bleacher Report and the Warner Bros. assets.”
James is perhaps Manziel’s most powerful ally. Manziel is represented by LRMR, the marketing firm owned by James and run by longtime friend and fellow Akron native Maverick Carter. “I haven’t talked to him,” James said of Manziel following the Cavs’ 97-84 win over the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night. “I found out about the information when you guys found out about it. If a guy is seeking help, as a friend, I support him and want him to get better. As his friends and family, we all believe in him and think this is a good step if that’s the route he wants to take.”
James and manager Maverick Carter have developed a six-episode series for the Starz network called “Survivor’s Remorse” about a basketball player who signs a mega-contract with a team in Atlanta and has to deal with the challenges of his newfound stardom. The series is based loosely on James’s life. Carter and Tom Werner are executive producers while Mike Epps and Tichina Arnold star in the series, which will premiere Oct. 4