Photo of Maverick Carter
Photo courtesy of LRMR Ventures

Maverick Carter headlines USC Annenberg’s 2019 commencement ceremony

Media innovator and entrepreneur Maverick Carter will deliver the keynote address at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s 2019 commencement ceremony on May 10. 

As LeBron James’ longtime business partner and co-founder of the entertainment, marketing and content companies they’ve built, Carter has become an influential figure in the media and entertainment landscape. With their L.A.-based production company SpringHill Entertainment and its multimedia platform UNINTERRUPTED, Carter and James have made a pioneering commitment to incubating, developing and producing content that speaks to a cross-cultural audience. 

Carter has led SpringHill’s innovative creative content development across a variety of platforms, including digital, documentary and feature film, and television. With the launch of UNINTERRUPTED in 2014, Carter broke new ground by giving athletes a platform to develop and amplify their stories while connecting directly with fans. The digital media company has not only created a new narrative of empowerment for professional athletes, but is serving as an epicenter of a cultural movement — “I am more than an athlete” — that has inspired athletes as well as musicians, actors and all people to define themselves beyond their professions. 

Dean Willow Bay said that Carter’s ability to harness the power of storytelling while building unique and valuable businesses with a foundation of critical thinking and empowerment will inspire USC Annenberg’s graduates. 

“Throughout his career, Maverick Carter has brought a creative vision to upending familiar business models by seeing through traditional industry divides, cultural silos and outmoded hierarchies,” Bay said. “His is a story defined by curiosity and inspiration — which is precisely the message we hope to leave imprinted on the hearts and minds of our graduates.”

Under Carter’s leadership, SpringHill has developed a wide-ranging portfolio of aspirational projects, including NBC’s primetime game show, The Wall, the documentary Student Athlete on HBO, the critically acclaimed docuseries Warriors of Liberty City for Starz, and SHOWTIME’s multi-part documentary film Shut Up and Dribble. Other upcoming projects include What’s My Name, a documentary on Muhammad Ali with HBO and a scripted series starring Octavia Spencer as entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker. Carter has also led the company’s multiplatform global distribution efforts by forging partnerships with companies, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Facebook and YouTube. 

USC Annenberg’s past speakers have included global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress Oprah Winfrey; former First Lady of California and journalist Maria Shriver; television pioneer Norman Lear; chairman and CEO of BET Networks Debra L. Lee; Craigslist founder Craig Newmark; broadcasting executive Carole Black; film star and activist Geena Davis; and anchor for Univision and Fusion Jorge Ramos. 

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will honor approximately 900 candidates for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. USC Annenberg’s commencement ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on McCarthy Quad following the main USC commencement ceremony, which starts at 8:30 a.m. in Alumni Park. 

Read senior journalism major Heran Mamo’s exclusive interview with Carter for Annenberg Media here.