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Thursday, April 4, 2013
Jay-Z creates Roc Nation Sports agency
Jay-Z is expanding his influence from music and fashion into professional sport. Yesterday, the rapper and record mogul announced the creation of Roc Nation Sports, an agency for athletes such as baseball starRobinson Canó.
Canó's contract is the first home run for Jay-Z's new company, created with Roc Nation president Juan Perez and in partnership with Creative Artists Agency, a top talent shop. The New York Yankees' second baseman is in the final season of a $57m (£38m) deal, and was previously represented by super-agent Scott Boras. When ESPN contacted Boras yesterday, he indicated that his former client hadn't told him about the news. "I don't want to comment, other than to say I haven't spoken to [Canó]," Boras said. "I hope to."
In recent years, Jay-Z's sporting affairs have gone a lot further than raps about Freddy Adu and Michael Jordan. In 2004, he bought into the New Jersey Nets, a basketball team that has since become the Brooklyn Nets, and although the rapper's stake is reportedly only about 0.07%, he has more or less become the face of the franchise. Now, Jay-Z is allegedly planning to become a certified sports agent, working with baseball players and eventually in basketball and American football. "Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes in various sports the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years," he said in a statement.
Although Jay-Z is still a long way from being hip-hop's Jerry Maguire, the rapper's new enterprise has lots of help. Canó will be represented at Roc Nation Sports by a team of agents borrowed from Creative Artists Agency, which already works with stars such as Buster Posey, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham.