Monday, November 3, 2014

Sport for Thought: The Expansion of Roc Nation Sports

It is not everyday when a rap superstar decides to become a sports agent and represent some of the biggest names in sports. When Jay Z announced the launch of Roc Nation Sports in April of 2013 with the acquisition of ex- Scott Boras client Robinson Cano, the entire sports world was shocked. At the time, not many people took the new agency seriously and thought it would turn into another Master P situation and not last. But just last week, company president Michael Yormark announced the agencies interest in expansion through the acquisition of other agencies as well as the hiring of qualified agents.

With its success thus far, Roc Nation Sports looks as if it is here to stay. Following Cano's $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners, it seems athletes have become more willing to join forces with the still relatively new company. Cano was the experiment as athletes watched contract negotiations from afar. Now, NFL superstars Ndamukong Suh and Dez Bryant, both in the final year of their rookie contracts, have followed suit seeking a substantial amount of money in the upcoming offseason.

Yesterday (November 2), Roc Nation Sports added NFL client Dez Bryant.
With a roster of clients that is expanding and the appeal of being represented by Roc Nation Sports also growing, it makes sense for the expansion announcement. In August they hired respected boxing promoter, David Itskowitch, due to the interest in the business of boxing promotion. The company would also like to hire agents qualified to represent tennis and soccer athletes.

List of Roc Nation Sports Clients:

                                           Kevin Durant                          Rusney Castillo
                                           Robinson Cano                       Skylar Diggins
                                           CC Sabathia                            Dez Bryant
                                           Ndamukong Suh                     Geno Smith
                                           Victor Cruz                             James Young
                                           Yoensis Cespedes                   Hakeem Nicks

It will be interesting to see just how much Roc Nation Sports will expand and if they will eventually end their partnership with CAA. It has been highly publicized that CAA would have a major role in player contracts while Roc Nation would be in control of marketing and sponsorship. With this expansion and the addition of new agents, it looks as if Roc Nation Sports wants to be an all inclusive agency that can offer the best opportunity through not only contract negotiating but also through building an athlete's brand.

Alexa Fontanella is a sophomore Sport Management Major at Drexel University, from Totowa, NJ. She is currently on a Marketing and Corporate Sponsorship Co-op with Learfield Sports Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania. Alexa will also be working with Drexel Athletics on marketing strategies and game day operations for the Drexel Dragons basketball team. She is a huge New York Sports fan, specifically the Yankees and the Nets. 

Follow Alexa on Twitter @Lexa_Font4 and connect with her on LinkedIn. 

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