Willie Gregory: Connecting Business, Community, and Sports Marketing for Greater Good

Willie Gregory: Connecting Business, Community, and Sports Marketing for Greater Good
Photo Courtesy: Willie Gregory

By: Lennard James

When you think of NIKE, images of sports icons and legends with impressive endorsements may come to mind. However, there’s another figure behind the scenes who bridges the realms of business, community, employees, government, and sports marketing to benefit the larger community: Willie Gregory.  

With over 20 years of dedicated service to the Memphis community, Willie Gregory has left an indelible mark through his work in sports, community development, and business investment. Before his tenure at NIKE, Willie honed his skills at the IBM Corporation as a regional marketing and sales manager, laying the groundwork for his future endeavors in connecting various sectors for community betterment.  

Willie’s unwavering dedication and commitment have not gone unnoticed, earning him recognition through several prestigious awards and affiliations with numerous community-based organizations. Among his accolades are the Florence Howard Leadership Award from Big Brothers/Big Sisters, NIKE’s African American Network Person of the Year Award, and the Beacon of Hope Honoree distinction from LeMoyne Owen College.  

His contributions extend beyond accolades; Willie has actively served on the boards of prominent organizations like the National Civil Rights Museum, Youth Villages, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Memphis, among others. As the former Board Chair of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, he has played a pivotal role in shaping the region’s workforce development strategies.  

One of Willie’s notable achievements was spearheading the largest sports athletic contract for the University of Memphis, underscoring his ability to leverage his expertise in sports marketing for the benefit of educational institutions and student-athletes alike.  

Throughout his career, Willie Gregory has epitomized the essence of NIKE’s slogan, “Just do it.” His proactive approach to community engagement, coupled with his strategic vision for business and sports marketing, has made him a driving force in fostering positive change and empowerment within the Memphis community.  

As Willie continues to weave together the strands of business, community, and sports marketing, his impact resonates far beyond the boardrooms and playing fields. He is a true catalyst for progress, embodying the spirit of collaboration and service that uplifts communities and inspires individuals to strive for excellence.  

As he continues to spearhead initiatives that drive economic growth, promote diversity and inclusion, and elevate the voices of underrepresented communities, Willie Gregory remains a beacon of hope and inspiration. His legacy serves as a testament to the power of leadership, collaboration, and service in creating a more equitable and prosperous society for all.  

With every endeavor, Willie continues to leave an enduring legacy of leadership and compassion, shaping a brighter future for generations to come.


Published By: Aize Perez


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