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Everything is On the Table for Maverick Carter, Paul Rivera & The Shop

Maverick Carter and Paul Rivera discuss The Shop’s new men’s grooming line, the evolving Uninterrupted brands, and more.

On the last Wednesday in March, Maverick Carter and Paul Rivera finally had a few moments to breathe and reflect.

Carter, SpringHill‘s co-founder and CEO, and Rivera, The Shop‘s general manager, sat on a couch in a skylit greenroom on the second floor of a SoHo pop-up space retrofitted with a barbershop and a fashion runway. It was all set up to celebrate The Shop’s new grooming line, which launched Monday in more than 1,600 Wal-Mart stores across the US.

The Shop began in 2018 as a barbershop-themed talk show produced by Carter and LeBron James‘ athlete-driven Uninterrupted media company. It aired for four seasons on HBO before transitioning to YouTube, and the show won a Sports Emmy in 2021 for Outstanding Edited Sports Series. Earlier this year, The Shop was spun off from Uninterrupted as its own consumer brand, with Idris Elba tapped as the host of a UK version of the show.


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The men’s grooming line marks The Shop’s first major foray into consumer products. After a whirlwind media tour that included Good Morning America and The Breakfast Club, Rivera discussed the grooming line’s two-and-a-half-year journey from ideation to creation.

“We never set out to create a men’s grooming line because we saw the opportunity in the men’s grooming space,” Rivera told Boardroom. “It just felt like a very organic and authentic extension of The Shop. Over the course of those last three years, I think you’d agree men’s grooming and the stigma around it has evolved as well.”

During or after filming episodes of The Shop, it became increasingly more common, Rivera said, for hosts and guests to ask each other about their respective skincare and grooming routines. He saw it as a chance to offer a different, fresh product while remaining authentic to The Shop’s brand identity.

The Shop was able to spin off and expand, Carter told Boardroom, because people understood and got on board with what the show and Uninterrupted were trying to emit to its audience, bringing different cultures and identities to life. The Shop wants to reach a curious audience that wants a place for conversation and discourse starring influential people from different walks of life.

“We know and believe that this is a global feeling,” Carter said, “not just a feeling here in America.”

Even with The Shop spun off, Uninterrupted will continue to focus on athlete and sports empowerment, helping athletes tell stories in ways that have never been seen or done before, Carter said. It remains a powerful platform, with 1.2 million Instagram followers, 1.2 million TikTok followers, 745,000 YouTube subscribers, and another million combined followers on X and Facebook. It stems from James caring about not just telling his own story, Carter said, but helping other athletes tell theirs.

James’ story obviously can’t be told without basketball, and his first-ever podcast, Mind The Game, a collaboration between Uninterrupted and JJ Redick‘s ThreeFourTwo Productions, reflects that. The hit show came about, Carter said, by the pair of hoop savants wanting to honor the game and help whoever watches or listens leave the episode smarter and gaining a deeper understanding of basketball.

“Watching them is literally watching two scientists or two wine sommeliers talk about vintner culture, grapes, and geology, not just what wines they like or debating between a Burgundy or a Bordeaux,” Carter said. “They’re talking about weather patterns, getting deep into it. It’s a beautiful thing because even me, I fancy myself as someone who knows the game, I feel like I get smarter watching every episode. And that’s what they set out to do. If only one person watched each episode, they wouldn’t give a shit if that one person became much smarter about the game than they did before they watched the show.”

When asked what advice he’d give to current or future athletes trying to create their own brands or start their own platforms, Carter stressed that it has to originate from a sense of place.

“It can’t just be slapping a name or getting a dot com and starting an email,” he continued. “You have to really care about something and want to deliver it to fans, consumers, and the world in a way that matters to the athlete. It’s not just about starting something because everyone else is doing it. All great businesses and brands are usually about solving a problem or creating something that somebody really, really cares about or a product or a space that they feel like they can get into.”

James, Carter, and Rivera have created a business ecosystem for themselves over the last 20-plus years that gives them a blank canvas to expand into practically any sector or subject area they choose. A major consideration in how Uninterrupted, SpringHill, and The Shop proceed, Rivera said, is whether they can be experts in the space and add to it. That’s applied to all their partnerships, collaborations, content, and products.

Carter always emphasized the “why” when looking to start something new, and the answer can’t just be about money because that’s short-lived. And if they can be a leader in that particular space and have something unique to say and offer, then it could be worth pursuing.

As The Shop prepares for Season 7, Rivera said the show is still exploring its options with Amazon for an alternative stream version of the show for Prime Video‘s Thursday Night Football after completing the partnership’s second season. He said they’ve had a blast doing TNF as part of an overarching ethos to show up anywhere that matters to the show’s consumers, and they’re speaking to potential partners on where to take The Shop next.

The Shop has evolved from a taped series to live experiences and a new product line, and Rivera said that everything is on the table. Carter and Rivera were then done with their media responsibilities for the day, a brief respite in their ceaseless pursuit of new horizons and opportunities.

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Shlomo Sprung

Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.