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 named Adopt.
The firm aims to help companies in the sports and wellness industry expand their audiences through brand marketing. Among the Nike alumni partnering with Paul is David Creech, who led product and brand design for the shoe seller and Michael Jordan‘s company.
Creech told CNBC Adopt will focus on brand building so that companies can better relate to athletes and consumers. Adopt will charge an agency-marketing fee for their services.
“There is this opportunity we believe that exists in the sports and wellness space that we can come in, identify and uncover 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 vice president of global brand marketing at Nike, will head 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 aligning with Paul, Adopt will be linked to 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) following a 2019 investment. Paul is also the first Black board member of UTA and heads its sports division.
Paul’s top client is James, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward, who has a long relationship with Nike. James signed a lifetime contract worth more than $1 billion with the company.