Last week, The Information broke the news that SpringHill Company is exploring a sale at a $750 million valuation. Interested parties include Nike and big tech companies.
The Amazon impact. In May, the tech giant set the market for studio valuations with its $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM. Amazon now owns franchises like James Bond, Rocky / Creed, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Since then, film studio A24 has explored a $3 billion sale and Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine wants $1 billion.
A24 has a strong brand backed by quality original content. In a Hollywood dominated by comic book movies and proven stories, A24 has its own lane. It doesn’t have franchises, but it reaches a valuable audience that skews toward high net worth individuals.
The creator economy at the highest level. Meanwhile, SpringHill and Hello Sunshine are more like creator acquisitions, not traditional studio acquisitions. Here’s a quote from Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw in his most recent newsletter:
“When you are buying Hello Sunshine or SpringHill, you aren’t just buying the company. You are buying the founder and hoping their celebrity and relationships will benefit you in some way a spreadsheet can’t calculate.”
Hello Sunshine is a bet on Reese Witherspoon. Reese’s Book Club’s monthly picks are prime targets to be optioned into future projects like Little Fires Everywhere and Big Little Lies. It’s also a bet on Reese’s ability to attract big-name friends for big projects. The Monterey Five won’t be out of work anytime soon!
SpringHill is a bet on LeBron’s influence. When LeBron’s NBA career ends, he’ll devote more time to the company’s content and commerce. LeBron can use his platform to sell movies the same way that Will Smith and The Rock got paid to promote their movies through social media.
If Nike buys SpringHill, it strengthens its partnership with LeBron, his ability to bring celebrities and athletes together, and any projects that come from SpringHill itself. Plus, Space Jam: A New Legacy just beat its box office predictions by 50%. It’s not a bad time to get started
To read more about SpringHill, read my guest post in Joe Pompliano’s Huddle Up where I break down the marketing behind Space Jam: A New Legacy.