LeBron James’ reality show Cleveland Hustles will be judged on Wednesday (Aug. 24) if the basketball superstar can expand his empire beyond the NBA hard court.
The reality show, produced by James and business partner Maverick Carter, aims to “create jobs, support small local businesses and improve Cleveland neighborhoods.”
James recruited four Cleveland-area investors to whom the 20 businesses will pitch their product or business ideas to. The list of investors includes award-winning James Beard chef Jonathon Sawyer.
The 20 contestants of Cleveland Hustles will compete in a series of business challenges every week. They would ask for an investment in exchange for a share in profits. The four successful business investors will mentor and judge the contestants. At the end of an episode, an investor will pick a business in which he will invest and help open a brick-and-mortar store in Gordon Square in Cleveland. The investors will do the same in the succeeding episodes.
James is excited for the timing of his new venture, although he won’t be seen on the show regularly. The LeBron James Family Foundation continues to provide assistance to children in northeast Ohio and in Akron, where he grew up. The NBA star recently received a group of third-graders to his program called Wheels for Education.
“What I enjoy most about it is I have a passion for doing multiple things and using my version to be able to bring it to fruition. To have that vision and have people around us that can make the vision a reality is the ultimate,” USA Today quoted James saying.
Chef Sawyer believes that Cleveland Hustles is one of the best platforms where the city could be highlighted. He added that the show would also inspire people to move their businesses to Cleveland.