Jay-Z has started a sports management agency and nabbed New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, according to an announcement by his new company, Roc Nation Sports.
The rap mogul, who runs a concert touring business Roc Nation, has expanded his empire to include Roc Nation Sports, a collaboration with CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
“Jay Z and his team at Roc Nation have successfully orchestrated powerful brand and business-building opportunities for their clients,” said Michael Levine, Co-Head, CAA Sports. in a statement. “We look forward to combining our wide-reaching resources on behalf of top athlete clients like Robinson Cano to help them accomplish their goals on and off the field.”
The man who rapped, “I make a Yankees hat more famous than a Yankee can,” has the full support of Cano, who said the new deal will help him better serve the Yankees franchise.
“At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors on and off the field,” Cano said in a statement. “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 has already gotten a taste of the world of professional sports with his minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets. But he is not the first rapper to make a play at sports management.
In 1999, Master P made news with the signing of Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ricky Williams to a record $8.8 million signing bonus and a $68.4 million overall contract with the New Orleans Saints. The deal was roundly criticized for its incentive-based approach, which left Williams earning far less than he expected.
For his part, Jay-Z will have to relinquish his ownership shares of the Nets in order to represent basketball players. But the field is wide open.