Rich Paul, the sports agent best known for representing NBA star LeBron James, has joined former Nike executives to start a minority-owned marketing and creative agency called Adopt.
The company aims to help companies in the sports and wellness industry expand their audience through brand marketing. Among the Nike alumni working with Paul is David Creech, who led product and brand design for Michael Jordan’s shoe retailer and company.
Creech said CNBC Adopt will focus on brand building so companies can better relate to athletes and consumers. Adopt charges a marketing fee for their services.
“We believe there is an opportunity in the sports and wellness space where we can get in, identify and discover market opportunities,” Creech told CNBC in an interview.
Creech has worked on branding for athletes including Tiger Woods, James and Kobe Bryant. He will lead the design, brand and product division at Adopt. Nicole Graham, who served as Nike’s vice president of global brand marketing, will lead strategy and brand, and Josh Moore, another Nike veteran, will oversee digital and design.
According to Research and Markets, the global health and wellness market was valued at: $3.3 billion in 2020. By joining Paul, Adopt is paired with one of the most powerful voices in sports and entertainment.
Paul is the CEO of sports agency Klutch Sports Group, which operates under entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) after a 2019 investment. Paul is also the first Black board member of UTA and heads the sports department.
Paul’s main client is James, the forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, who has a long relationship with Nike. James signed a lifetime contract worth more than $1 billion with the company.
James and business partner Maverick Carter, along with investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, recently purchased a stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox.
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