Rich Paul, Manager of LeBron James, Forms a New Startup Company With Three Former Nike Execs

By Adriaan Brits Friday, April 2, 2021

Rich Paul, a founder and CEO of Klutch Sports and a close business partner of basketball star LeBron James, has started startup company “Adopt” together with three former Nike executives to help build businesses focused on sports, tech, wellness, and nutrition.

Businessman tying shoe over a starting line.

Helping Startups Find Their Purpose

David Creech, Nicole Graham, and Josh Moore, who worked for Nike for more than 20 years, held discussions about where they believe their new company could stand out in this rapidly-growing market.

Creech, for instance, was the head of the Jordan brand’s global design for footwear, apparel, and retail. He also worked on branding for athletes, including Tiger Woods, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant. He is now the founder of product and brand design at the Adopt startup company.

“We saw this opportunity of actually accelerating the world of sport, wellness, and consumer brands into a new generation,” Creech said.

Graham, on the other hand, will be in charge of brand and marketing at the startup company. He was previously head of Nike’s direct marketing unit. Josh Moore, who will be in charge of digital and experience design at Adopt, worked as the chief of digital design efforts.

“Our experiences at Nike were incredible, full stop, for each of us. And we’re super thankful for them. For us, as we move forward, our goal is to really take everything we’ve learned and apply it to this new venture,” said Moore.

The significance of health and self-care surged sharply amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and Graham said he noticed that the sports and wellness business industries saw a boom during this period and no one was really focused on this market. Their new business will seek to help companies grow and set up additional access points with consumers.

All three of them separately left Nike this year without a plan to start a new startup company together. In addition to the former Nike executives and Rich Paul, United Talent Agency and Matthew Pritzker are additional investors in Adopt.

“We know that the best work comes with the most diverse thought and experience at the table. That’s not only important to us, but that's incredibly important to the businesses that we build. We’re also really clear that this is a brand building company, because we believe that your brand is your most important asset,” said Graham.

Graham also emphasized the importance of Adopt being a minority-owned enterprise (MBE). According to research, MBEs reportedly have lower business revenues than nonminority-owned firms.

The startup company is already collaborating with different brands and startups and said its other objective is to help brands find their purpose and translate the voice of their consumers and athletes.

Another huge boost for Adopt is that one of its founders is Rich Paul who represents a number of some of the biggest NBA stars including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Ben Simmons, and others.

Summary

Prominent sports agent and a close business partner of LeBron James, Rich Paul, has formed a startup company together with three former Nike executives. The business will be seeking to help companies focused on sports, tech, wellness, and nutrition grow their businesses.

About the Author


Headshot for author Adriaan Brits
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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