The Wrap: Why Star Athletes Like LeBron James and Kevin Durant Are Jumping Into Hollywood as Producers

November 05, 2021

Big name athletes are extending their “off-field” interests from endorsements and guest appearances to a more creative side through production and content creation. Agents and lawyers say that athletes are realizing their potential to expand into industries such as film and TV production or enter into exclusive production deals that include ownership opportunities, putting them on track to compete with some of Hollywood’s biggest names for star power. “This is a new trend, which I believe will continue to accelerate,” entertainment attorney and O’Melveny partner Lindsay Conner said. “Entertainers and athletes have come to realize they can make money beyond the traditional areas of their special talent… as the nucleus of corporate entities that are formed around them ... When you run your own corporation you are not working for the man — you are the man.” Conner also noted that founding a company creates pathways for investment. “You can’t invest in an actor’s career or an athlete’s career directly, but by having an entertainer or athlete establish a corporate entity for content they are producing, or other rights they are owning or curating, can attract more traditional kinds of financing to their activities.” 

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