By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
April 5, 2013
In a surprising move in the sports business, entertainment mogul Jay-Z has opened up a new sports agency. Roc Nation Sports is the newest division of Jay-Z’s full-service entertainment company. The agency already has signed top New York athletes Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz as clients. Roc Nation Sports is partnering with CAA on contract negotiations for both athletes.
Jay-Z isn’t the first rapper to try his hand at managing a sports agency. In the late 1990s, Master P’s No Limit Sports had Heisman Trophy winning running back Ricky Williams as its premier client. Williams’ rookie contract with the New Orleans Saints ended up being one of the worst in NFL history, something Jay-Z clients won’t have to worry about with CAA taking the lead on negotiations. It’s unknown how CAA and Roc Nation will split fees.
One potential issue that could arise for Jay-Z deals with his minority ownership of the Brooklyn Nets. So long as Roc Nation Sports doesn’t represent NBA players, Jay-Z can maintain his Nets ownership. However, should the agency delve into basketball representation, Jay-Z would have to divest his Nets stake to avoid any conflicts of interest.