You may have heard something about Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s decision to expand his business empire into the world of sports management and PR. You may have also heard about the newly-founded Roc Nation Sports‘s first big win — swiping New York Yankees all-star Robinson Cano from Scott Boras, the most powerful agent in baseball. Makes for a nice press release, doesn’t it?
This is all well and good, but it raises a question: what, exactly, is Jay-Z’s role in this venture? Is he really a sports rep, or is he just doing his usual thing as master of promotional initiatives?
Something tells us that this latest story is closer to Carter’s relationship with the Brooklyn Nets than the traditional sports rep game. While the Nets paraded the rapper/mogul in front of any media outlet that would listen in 2012 (aka all of them), hyping his managerial skills and his participation in the team’s logo and jersey design, Jay-Z ‘s responsibilities within the organization are minimal. He owns a tiny share of the property, and the part he played in the Nets’ debut clearly had a lot more to do with getting press coverage than actively guiding operations.
(On a side note, we find it a little curious that Jay chose to slam the very media that fawned over him for “diminishing” his stake in the Nets.)
Yesterday the always-brilliant Jose Canseco implied that Cano’s decision to leave Boras behind means that he will not have the leverage he would have had when negotiating his potential future contract with the Yankees — and an unnamed agent agrees.
Cano just gave the yankees $100M
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) April 2, 2013
We don’t know much about that, so we’ll trust Jose.
On a more general note, we can all agree that an appearance by Jay-Z will guarantee any venture a whole lot of press, whether it’s a new sports team or an ice cream stand (and we would love to check out the wheels on that ice cream stand). But is he a real “agent” or a classic celebrity spokesperson? The answer seems clear to us.