And the Jay-Z takeover continues.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell has reported that Jay-Z is officially a licensed NBA agent and certified with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to represent players in contract negotiations with teams. However, he’s also still working double duty as minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets as a result of not relinquishing his small shares…yet. Until Jay fully parts ways with the Brooklyn Nets, he won’t be able to represent athletes. But the red tape isn’t stopping his hustle as Kevin Durant is reportedly waiting in the wings to become the newest Roc Boy as soon as Jay-Z receives the green-light.
When news broke that Roc Nation Sports was born, and Robinson Cano was its first client, the sports and entertainment world was understandably shocked. That reaction seems to be a growing trend among all of Jay-Z’s blockbuster announcements lately. But, the speculation surrounding Kevin Durant partnering with the self-made multi-millionaire is next level news. Aside from LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, Durant is the most marketable NBA athletes. His on the court game speaks for itself. Couple that with his squeaky clean image and he’s a marketer’s dream. His deals with Nike, Skullcandy, BBVA Compass, Degree, and Sprint are proof that brands are crazy about him. With the exception of the AT&T campaign, this year not one ad was more memorable and attention grabbing than Durant’s Sprint “Pajamas” spot. I don’t know about you, but that ad will never not cause me to at least chuckle. And I’m a person who ignores practically every TV ad or movie trailer that airs. My attention span for that sort of thing is nonexistent, so the fact that Durant’s ad makes me pause whatever it is I’m doing for a guaranteed feel good moment, seven months into the campaign, says a ton about his appeal. Although it might seem that Durant is all set when it comes to endorsements, Jay-Z’s recent deal with Samsung proves that he can help athletes maneuver into lanes and industries that may have seemed off limits, even for Durant. No shade to Durant’s movie, Thunderstruck, but something tells me if he’d been part of Roc Nation Sports, we would’ve all been spared.
Since Jay’s officially licensed, it’ll be interesting to see which rookies Roc Nation Sports decides to add to the roster once he becomes officially official. The NBA draft takes place at The House that Hov Built, the Barclays Center, next week. I’m sure many of the young NBA prospects would jump at the chance to be repped by the sports and entertainment icon. However, NBPA rules prohibit newly certified agents to sign athletes for at least 15 days. Should we expect an announcement that Jay’s finally dumped his Nets shares by the end of his probation period? If I’ve learned nothing else this week, it’s that Jay plays by his own rules and to continue to expect the unexpected from him.