Mitchell & Ness has officially appointed its next chief executive officer.
According to a press release shared with AFROTECH, the vintage and lifestyle sports apparel company announced that Eli Kumekpor will fulfill the role of new CEO.
The New CEO
“Eli has an incredible background that includes several years leading one of the world’s most progressive, beloved brands,” Fanatics CEO of Vertical Brands Joe Bozich said in the statement. “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. 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.”
With more than 20 years of experience in strategic brand-building, finance, and operations under his belt, Kumekpor recently served in an executive position with Nike as the company’s global vice president and general manager of the Jordan brand’s men’s business.
During his tenure, he led the brand’s growth strategy, building it to a multibillion-dollar omnichannel powerhouse.
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What’s more, he also served in a select group leading Nike’s $140 million commitment to the Black community as the co-chair of its Black Employee Network and as a member of its Black Community Commitment Taskforce.
Previous work experience includes over 10 years in healthcare, serving in leadership roles with AstraZeneca, Life Technologies, Alcon, and Cigna. Before that, Kumekpor worked within the strategy and operation practice of Deloitte Consulting. He is also a U.S. Armed Forces veteran.
Now, Kumekpor will join Mitchell & Ness on the heels of its acquisition by Fanatics in 2022. Under the new brand umbrella, the company has continued to serve as a heavy-hitter within the world of sports, business, and entertainment.
“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,” Kumekpor said. “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.”
Kumekpor will hit the ground running as his role as CEO for Mitchell & Ness is set to go into effect immediately.