Three former Nike
executives and investor and Klutch Sports founder and CEO Rich Paul have formed a company called Adopt, a minority-owned company aiming to build up brands focused on sport, wellness, nutrition, tech and consumer facing products
The trio, David Creech, Nicole Graham and Josh Moore, spoke about a white space in this particular industry, where they think Adopt can excel in what appears to be a crowded and growing field. Each of the three founders besides Paul have over 20 years of experience with major roles at Nike.
Creech, the founder of product and brand design, led all aspects of Jordan Brand’s global design including footwear, apparel and retail. Graham, the founder of brand and marketing, previously led Nike’s direct marketing division. Moore, the founder of digital and experience design, led Nike’s digital design efforts including Nike.com, its training and running apps and the SNKRS app.
“Our experiences at Nike were incredible, full stop, for each of us. And we’re super thankful for them,” Moore said. “For us as we move forward, our goal is to really take everything we’ve learned and apply it to this new venture.”
The three independently left Nike earlier this year without a pre-existing plan to form a new company, but ultimately noticed an opening in the space that they couldn’t ignore.
“We saw this opportunity of actually accelerating the world of sport, wellness and consumer brands into a new generation,” Creech said.
United Talent Agency and Matthew Pritzker are additional investors in Adopt, the company said.
With health and well-being growing in importance during this COVID era, Graham noticed that this industry around sport and wellness has rapidly exploded and that there wasn’t anyone focused in this area in the landscape. Adopt aims to take decades of experience in the sports industry growing Nike and Jordan to help grow businesses and create more access points with the consumer. Graham also stressed how important it is that Adopt is a minority-owned business.
“We know that the best work comes with the most diverse thought and experience at the table,” she said. “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.”
Adopt is currently working with a handful of brands and startups, with part of the goal being to help brands translate the voice of the athlete or consumer if they don’t know how or are struggling to get their voice right, finding their purpose for what’s next.
Creech was adopted from Seoul when he was seven months old, which inspired the company name. He explained that the idea was taking and giving their best selves and experiences to help brands find their purpose.
“The very literal way to think about it is we are going to bring businesses into our family,” Graham said, “and we are gonna help give them the playbook of how to go out into the world and be successful.”
And if companies and brand want to be successful in partnering with athletes, there are few better people to talk to than Paul, who represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Ben Simmons and numerous other NBA stars.
“Rich and I had discussion about how could he in his world help brands authentically understand what the athlete and their brand are trying to deliver to diversity and youth in the communities,” Creech said, “but also on the flipside help consumer brands or brands that are coming to him that wanna work with his athletes.”
For right now, Adopt is up and running while announcing its first series of clients at a later date. But the ultimate goals are to start building some of their own businesses and eventually become a brand-building company that is additionally working with clients and partners as it looks to forge a new path in the industry in the post-COVID era sport and wellness space.