Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Roc Nation Sports, the New Kid on the Block

Who will be next to jump ship for rap mogul Jay-Z’s new sports management department? Who knows, but the real question is, why are athletes making this move? Is it because a specific rap icon is the founder of the company, because they are superior in their management abilities, or is it a company that athletes believe will become the next big thing? Whatever the case is other sports agencies are feeling the heat and are trying to keep their clients in their pockets. 

As of now Roc Nation’s clientele include Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Kansas City Thunder’s forward Kevin Durant, newly drafted New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, and Tulsa Shock’s (WNBA) guard Skylar Diggins. These are some pretty high profile names to have associated with your new sports agency. Now did these players decide to sign with Roc Nation because they were impressed with their management ability or the fact that they will be associated with Jay-Z? Roc Nation has a  big reputation within the entertainment industry, but that reputation falls within the music side of the entertainment industry. Sports for Jay-Z is a long time passion, but that doesn’t mean you have the goods to be a prominent figure in that niche. Sports contracts and law are different from those you would find in music. Though they both fall under entertainment they are different battlefields in the front office. 

This seems to be where Roc Nations Sports is getting the most backlash from when it comes to other agencies and their agents. 

This quote, taken from Liz Mullen’s Sports Business Journal article, is the exact stigma against Roc Nation Sports at the moment. Sports agencies are usually representing sports. Sure Roc Nations Sports is representing sports, but if you visit their site it seems they are representing individual stars rather than athletes. Of course athletes are stars, but the feeling of the site gives off a more Hollywood feeling than an organization that represents athletes. Jay-Z’s star-power will pull in Roc Nation Sports initial clients, but it may not be enough to make it the powerful sports entity Jay-Z is looking to make it. 

Then again, Roc Nation Sports could flourish and usher in a new era of sports management. If Jay-Z and his agents can prove they can handle the business side of the sports industry their clients would be able to reap the benefits of the great marketing mind that is Jay-Z. Jay-Z is a masterful entrepreneur and knows how to not only market himself, but those he represents. At the end of the day Jay-Z knows how to make money. If he can connect his skills with the help of some knowledgeable sports minds he may become one of the greatest entertainment minds to live. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports is off to a rough start, but only time will tell if these athletes made the right choice.


Zachary Cintron is a sophomore in Drexel's Sport Management program with a minor in Music Theory and Composition.  Zach also writes for his personal blog, Sports and Music Weekly. You can follow Zach on Twitter at @cintronz.

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Zachary Cintron on LinkedIn.

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