One of the most successful Black businessmen in the country, who has led Nike’s Jordan Brand from a $150M sneaker company to a $4.5B global footwear and apparel powerhouse, tells the remarkable story of his rise to the pinnacles of international business and reveals the secret that tormented him and defined his success.
Jump tells Larry Miller’s journey from the violent streets of West Philly in the 1960s to the highest echelons of American sports and industry. Miller wound up in jail more than once, especially as a teenager. But he immersed himself in the educational opportunities, eventually took advantage of a Pennsylvania state education-release program offered to incarcerated people, and was able to graduate with honors from Temple University.
When revealing his gangland past caused him to lose his first major job opportunity, Miller vowed to keep it a secret. He climbed the corporate ladder with a number of companies such as Kraft Foods, Campbell’s Soup, and Jantzen, until Nike hired him to run its domestic apparel operations. Around the time of Michael Jordan’s basketball retirement, Nike Chairman Phil Knight made Larry Miller president of the newly formed Jordan Brand. In 2007 Paul Allen convinced Miller to jump to the NBA to become president of the Portland Trailblazers, one of the first African-Americans to lead a professional sports team, before returning to Jordan Brand in 2012.
All along, Miller lived two lives: the secret of his violent past haunted him, invading his days with migraines and his sleep with nightmares of getting hauled back to jail. More than a rags-to-riches story, Jump is also a passionate appeal for criminal justice reform and expanded educational opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people across the United States. Drawing on his powerful personal story, as well as his vast and well-connected network, Miller plans to use Jump as a launching point to help expand such opportunities and to provide an aspirational journey for those who need hope.