By Stephen McMillian
Giving back is the idea behind the global sporting brand, Pass The Roc. Its founder, Jersey City native
Jarrod Greene, is the CEO and founder of Pass The Roc, which had its national debut in 2003.
As Greene sat back during the interview in his Pass The Roc gear, he reflected upon his passion for wanting to be his own boss.
“I have such an entrepreneurial spirit about myself because my dad and mom were very instrumental in teaching me how to work when I was nine years old,” said Greene.
Greene never wanted to settle for the typical nine-to-five job. Although he held such jobs, they never sat too well with him.
“I never excelled well in the secular world because I always had a certain mentality and somehow it rubbed people the wrong way,” said Greene. “It always resulted in some type of reprimand, dismissal or not seeing eye to eye with someone.”
The Pass The Roc basketball clothing line was sold in 400 to 500 stores throughout the United States when it made its debut in 2003.
“We also secured distribution deals for the brand in Europe and in Spain. We had another distribution deal in Canada,” reflected Greene. “For two years, Pass The Roc made $5 million in business which was relatively small, but an accomplishment.”
The brand actually had a relaunch at the Powerhouse Lounge in Jersey City in December with about 100 to 250 people coming out for support.
The year 1891 is also featured on Pass The Roc apparel. That year has historical significance tied into his brand.
“1891 was the year basketball was invented by Nai Smith,” said Greene. “The brand adopted the year as our symbolic year of inception which makes Pass The Roc the official basketball outfitters. Not even major athletic brands thought about this.”
But prior to the launch of Pass The Roc, Greene went through some personal matters that could’ve kept him down, but they didn’t.
“I was evicted out of my apartment and I was homeless, staying in my car,” Greene said. “I could have stayed at my parents’ house or with other relatives, but I was very independent and wanted to handle things on my own. What this did was build my character.”
The recession in 2008 had also affected Greene financially but nevertheless, he bounced back and he is forging head taking Pass The Roc around the world and expanding the brand with plans of a reality show under his Greene Paper Dreams film company and a mobile restaurant to help underprivileged families in Hudson County. Greene is looking to launch the brand in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Las Vegas.
“The brand not only represents athleticism but also philanthropy,” Greene said. “No matter how big I may become, I will never be that type of person where I will not give back to the community from where I got my start.”
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