Adam Mendelsohn

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Adam Mendelsohn
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NationalityUnited States of America
Alma materUCLA
OccupationMedia Strategist
Known forCommunications and Business Strategy
Political partyDemocrat

Adam Mendelsohn is an American communications media strategist.[1] He is an advisor to NBA superstar LeBron James[2] and the founder and CEO of Upland Workshop.[3]


In 2006, Adam was deputy chief of staff for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger where he led communications and messaging for the Governor and his re-election campaign.[4] In 2007 Mendelsohn worked with Schwarzenegger to challenge the Republican Party (United States)|Republican Party on their growing extremist views in a speech referred to as Dying at Box Office.[5]

In 2009, Mendelsohn was one of the lead strategists on California's independent redistricting initiative, as well as the campaign to defeat oil company attempts to roll back environmental legislation.[6]

In 2010, Mendelsohn left politics to specialize on communications, media, and content strategy. That same year he started working with NBA All Star LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter.[2][7][8] Mendelsohn has worked with both in their media and consumer business, The Springhill Company.[9]

In 2016, Mendelsohn joined growth equity firm TPG as managing director where he led communications globally.[10][11]

Mendelsohn produced projects including The Shop with Barack Obama[12] as well as Graduate Together.[13]

In the summer of 2020, he helped create More Than a Vote, an organization focused on fighting against voter suppression, specifically in the black community.[14]


On July 4, 2021 The New York Times published a story about secretly and unauthorized recording of a call between Mendelsohn and ESPN journalist Rachel Nichols. Nichols was calling Mendelsohn for his advice about losing the position as host of NBA Countdown to her colleague Maria Taylor. Mendelsohn, who at the time had founded and was building More Than a Vote, was asked by Nichols to help her manage political dynamics at ESPN told her “I don’t know, I am exhausted by Black Lives Matter and Me Too movement got nothing left”.

About the statement, Mendelsohn immediately and publicly apologized stating “It was a stupid comment of privilege and I am sincerely sorry. No matter how much work I do supporting these movements I should know the people affected by these issues never get to have nothing left. I will continue to check my privilege and work to be a better ally”.

About the recording and his conversation with Nichols, Mendelsohn told the New York Times “Maria deserved and earned the position and Rachel should respect it. Maria deserved it because of her work and ESPN recognized that like many people and companies in America, they must intentionally change. Just because Maria got the job does not mean Rachel shouldn’t get paid what she deserves. Rachel and Maria should not be in a zero-sum game by ESPN and Rachel needed to call them out.”[15][16]


  1. Staff. "Stephen Curry, Jay-Z and Dan Gilbert: 50 people we'd want to hear from in a LeBron doc |". Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stanley-Becker, Isaac. "Disinformation campaign stokes fears about mail voting, using LeBron James image and boosted by Trump-aligned group". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  3. Chotiner, Isaac (26 May 2021). "LeBron James's Agent Is Transforming the Business of Basketball". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  4. Ganguli, Tania (11 June 2020). "LeBron James forming group to protect Black voting rights". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  5. Marinucci, Carla (1 September 2013). "Schwarzenegger's back but not as a politician". SFGATE. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  6. "Nunez includes Congressional districts in remap plan". East Bay Times. 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  7. Windhorst, Brian. "LeBron James and his budding media empire". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  8. Staff (21 August 2020). "LeBron calls out ad campaign for misusing tweet". Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  9. LaPorte, Jeff Beer and Nicole (2021-03-08). "How LeBron James and Maverick Carter's SpringHill Company became the envy of Hollywood". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  10. Peebles, Maurice. "LeBron James, Adam Mendelsohn, and the Politicization Of Sports Superstardom". Complex. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  11. Baker, Greg Roumeliotis, Liana B. (24 February 2015). "MOVES-TPG hires crisis PR specialist as communications chief -sources". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  12. Staff. "I captured Obama's favorite photo of the 2008 election. It's a reminder of what we've lost". USA TODAY.
  13. Moreau, Jordan; Moreau, Jordan (17 May 2020). "'Graduate Together:' Barack Obama, LeBron James and More Virtually Celebrate Class of 2020". Variety. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  14. Shelburne, Ramona (30 October 2020). "What the work behind political change looks like for LeBron and star athletes". Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  15. Draper, Kevin (2021-07-06). "Rachel Nichols Out for N.B.A. Finals Coverage on ABC". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
  16. "ESPN removes Rachel Nichols from NBA Finals sideline role after leaked video". Washington Post.

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