We are so proud to be based in Portland, Oregon - truly the Silicon Valley of activewear. As such, we have access to some of the best talent in the industry.
One such talented person that Handful CEO Jennifer Ferguson met in the early Handful days was Ralph Greene, who happened to coach her kids in track. A pillar in his community, with over 20 years of coaching and mentorship, Ralph originally came to Oregon for a job at Nike. Ralph is a graduate of Stanford University and Columbia School of Business, and he began his career at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising as an account supervisor leading brands like Campbell's Soup. Here is his story from soup to nuts (or boobs -- whatever.)
Before working at Nike, Ralph had a full career with a lifetime of memories. He represented Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets during his championship years in '93-'94. He signed "The Dream" to an international spokesperson deal with the NBA traveling from Paris, to London, to Malaysia helping build the global NBA footprint. Ralph was a partner in Integrated Sports International (now 16W Marketing) in the representation of Howie Long, Steve Young, and Phil Simms. Prior to that, he served as the sponsorship director for the NFL, driving partnerships with NFL sponsors like Gatorade, Nissan, and Visa.
During a 21 year career at Nike, Ralph was on the forefront of some of the most dominant stories in Nike and sports history. Highlights include strategizing and executing "All-School" NCAA sponsorship deals, signing Tiger Woods, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant - and igniting the international "wave" into the NBA with the identification and signing of Yao Ming, Tony Parker, and Dirk Nowitzki.
Towards the end of his Nike stint, Ralph lead Nike Football working on the NFL partnership, directing ESPN Broadcasts, Nike football camps/events, and delivering the trailblazing technology partnership between Nike and HUDL, the leading football social network.
Ralph Greene is now a very important member of our advisory board. We. Are. So. Lucky. In the beginning of the year, Ralph did a THREE DAY brand strategy session with the entire Handful team that helped us define our company mission, vision, and positioning. He comes to us with deep industry knowledge, and a perspective of giving a voice to those sometimes not heard.
When asked why Ralph agreed to serving on Handful's advisory board, he replied, "Why Handful?...I love women that kick ass! Was raised by one! Married one. Fathered two. The world needs more. Especially now."
We couldn't agree more.
In addition to raising an extremely talented family, Ralph now runs Columbia Consulting Group. And he still makes time to coach.