Today in Hip-Hop: Jay-Z Launches Roc Nation Sports
On this day, April 2, in hip-hop history...
2013: Jay-Z, already one of the biggest names in hip-hop, expands into the world of sports management.
Rap and sports have gone hand-in-hand for decades; the major players in both games are fans of each other, occupy the same circles, go to the same parties. It was just a matter of time before the marriage became a little more official, with a star from one world attempting to use his influence to have an impact in the other. Like Master P before him, Jay-Z launched his own sports management company, and named it Roc Nation Sports.
Jay-Z's foray into the sports world came as a surprise, and his relationship with the world famous Creative Artist's Agency (CAA) quickly moved him to the front of the industry. Roc Nation Sports is a partnership with CAA, which gave Jay's new company the framework to sign huge sports stars. Their first signee was Robinson Cano, a Major League Baseball star who was due for a lucrative new deal. He ended up receiving a $240M deal from the Seattle Mariners by the end of the year, a sure win for himself and the company.
After opening with such a splash as a first signee, Roc Nation Sports continued to stack more talent. The much-loved Victor Cruz, NFL wide receiver, was added to the team, as was Skylar Diggins, a talented WNBA player. The company also expanded into boxing, hockey, and other sports.
Even with things going so well, Jay Z still had bigger goals for himself. In June 2013, he became certified as a Major League Baseball and NBA sports agent. Just days later, Roc Nation Sports signed Kevin Durant, NBA superstar and (soon-to-be) champion, one of their biggest gets so far. Jay was instrumental in Durant's shoe deal with Nike.
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