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Mitchell & Ness Names Former Nike Exec Eli Kumekpor New CEO

Eli Kumekpor most recently served as Jordan Brand’s Global Vice President and General Manager for its men’s business.

Mitchell & Ness has named Eli Kumekpor its new CEO, the company announced on Tuesday morning. The appointment is effective immediately.

Kumekpor boasts a great deal of experience in executive roles, most recently serving as Jordan Brand’s Global Vice President and General Manager for its men’s business. Before his time at Nike, he spent over a decade in the healthcare industry, holding leadership positions at companies like AstraZeneca, Alcon, Life Technologies, and Cigna.

“For generations, Mitchell & Ness has sat at an incredibly unique crossroads weaving sports, culture, lifestyle and fashion, and I couldn’t be more excited to be in this position to usher in the next era of such an iconic brand,” Eli Kumekpor said in a statement. “I’ve long admired what Mitchell & Ness means to our culture at large, and I look forward to working closely with the team and the broader Fanatics organization to grow our presence and uncover new opportunities to deliver increased value to our fans and partners around the world.”

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Mitchell & Ness operates under the Fanatics umbrella after Fanatics acquired it in early 2022. Some of the early Mitchell & Ness investors included Jay-Z and Maverick Carter, although Michael Rubin and co. added to that group later in the year with the additions of 35V, LeBron James, James Harden, Joel Embiid, Rich Paul, and more.

The M&N and Fanatics partnership has been fruitful for both parties thus far, as they acquired rights across multiple organizations and colleges, including a league-wide licensing deal with the NHL. The company also checked in at a $31 million valuation toward the end of 2022.

“Eli has an incredible background that includes several years leading one of the world’s most progressive, beloved brands. He is the perfect leader to take Mitchell & Ness, an iconic lifestyle and culture brand, to the next level, as well as bring an elevated product mindset to everything Fanatics designs and makes,” said Joe Bozich, Fanatics’ CEO of Vertical Brands. “Eli will be focused on combining Mitchell & Ness’ momentum as a leading provider of high-quality vintage and lifestyle sports apparel, with the power of the larger Fanatics platform and network, creating new avenues for significant growth for the brand.”

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About The Author
Griffin Adams
Griffin Adams
Griffin Adams is an Editor at Boardroom. He's had previous stints with The Athletic and Catena Media, and has also seen his work appear in publications such as USA Today, Sports Illustrated, and MLB.com. A University of Utah graduate, he can be seen obnoxiously cheering on the Utes on Saturdays and is known to Trust The Process as a loyal Philadelphia 76ers fan.