“Can’t stop, won’t stop.”
Diddy may have popularized that phrase, but fellow music mogul, Jay-Z, has also taken that term and run with it.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell recently announced that Jay-Z has expanded his Roc Nation entertainment company to include a sports division, Roc Nation Sports. He partnered with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Sports, on the latest business venture, and has signed the New York Yankees second baseman, Robinson Cano as his first client. Roc Nation Sports will handle Cano’s marketing ventures, while CAA Sports will manage all of Cano’s baseball dealings. CAA Sports also represents Ryan Braun, Cristiano Ronaldo, and David Beckham, to name a few.
This is a bold move by Cano, who’s currently playing out the final year of his $57 million contract and is anticipated to sign a HUGE contract, possibly approaching Albert Pujols’ 10 year, $240 million deal. MLB agent and shark, Scott Boras was set to represent Cano during his upcoming negotiations but that’s no longer the case. However, it appears Cano is confident in Jay-Z and CAA’s capabilities to direct the rest of his career. In a statement, Cano said the following,
At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors on and off the field. I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short- and long-term goals. I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates.
Jay-Z released his own statement and said, “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.”
As shocking as this news is, when you think about it, Jay-Z is absolutely right. Transitioning from music into sports is a natural progression, especially considering the convergence of the two over the years. Yet, unlike the music industry, sports is more stable with continuous growth and more upside. When properly marketed, athletes have huge rockstar potential, and Cano’s stock couldn’t be any higher right now. With Derek Jeter’s career winding down, Cano’s emerged as the new face of the most valuable franchise in the world. There’s no guarantee that Cano will re-sign with the Yankees, but he’s expressed his desire to stay in New York. And we all know, no one offers greater off-the-field earning potential than a New York team.
ESPN’s Rovell also revealed that Jay-Z is considering becoming a certified sports agent, and will eventually like to represent NFL and NBA players in addition to MLB athletes. If he decides to go this route, Jay-Z will have to relinquish ownership of the Brooklyn Nets because of the obvious conflict of interest.
When you are in a position to choose between co-owning an NBA team or representing a bevy of athletes, life is pretty damn good. I have a feeling that Roc Nation adding diversity to its roster could be a game changer in the world of sports and entertainment. This is definitely one business venture to keep an eye on.