Nike has just announced it has tapped a Black woman to oversee its Jordan Brand, making her the first Black woman in the company’s 59-year history to serve at its helm.
Sarah Mensah is now president of the brand, which raked in roughly $4.8 billion in revenue in 2021, the latest figures available.
“Working in the Jordan Brand, I had the opportunity to sit at the table with Michael Jordan himself,” Mensah told Footwear News. “I was able to learn and draft off of his example. I understood that all success requires us to stretch and push beyond our comfort zones. The intensity and inspiration of being challenged to achieve something more by the GOAT himself stays with me to this day.”
Mensah previously worked as the Jordan Brand’s senior director of strategic planning, in which she facilitated a 10-year plan for the company “that currently sees signature stars in ascending spaces and a footprint that covers everything from college sports to Italian shopping.”
She was also a vice president and general manager of Nike’s North American business before taking on her new role.
The outgoing president, Craig Williams, will still be with the company and will transition into his new position as president of geographies and marketplace at Nike Inc.
Before joining Nike, Mensah served as vice president and COO of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. During her three-year tenure there (2009-2012), the team saw a 105% increase in the organization’s revenue. Mensah holds a degree in Telecommunications and Journalism from the University of Oregon and is currently based there where the company is headquartered.
According to its website, the Jordan brand champions “continual progress for athletes and sport by taking action to help athletes reach their potential. Every job at NIKE, Inc. is grounded in a team-first mindset, cultivating a culture of innovation and a shared purpose to leave an enduring impact.”