Industry News, Music Business

Jay-Z Brings the Competition, Launches ROC Nation Sports, Signs Yankees’ Star Robinson Cano


Jay-z Launches Roc Nation Sports Signs Robinson CanoWhere are my AML deal makers? Where are my music entrepreneurs and all business minded AML folks? Okay, so you all know I love the lawsuits but lawsuits put most of the money in your lawyer’s pockets. Shhhhhhhhh . . . Lol! (It’s our little secret) When lawyers are preventing lawsuits right from the onset in contract negotiations i.e. deal making, we are essentially putting a lot more of that money, through the deal making process, in the pockets of clients. So, it is always a good thing when we are talking more of the transactional legal work, from your view as business owners, than the lawsuits. Nevertheless, the lawsuits we discuss here is to help you prevent losing major monies and dying early from all the stress that comes with  lawsuits.

In any event, focusing on our money talk, even though it is Friday, Jay Z just announced the launch of Roc Nation Sports. This announcement comes on the heels of him closing down his $4Million 40/40 club in Atlantic City, post Superstorm Sandy which caused major damages, it appears,  to the club.

Before I let you all read about the prospects of his newly launched sports agency from experts, you should know there are other sports agencies that are very successful out there. They include CAA and IMG. IMG Sports, is a subsidiary of IMG World. IMG also produces and has produced fashions weeks across the globe including the famous New York Fashion Week.

The sports world is important to me both as a former athlete and as one whose sibling just retired from playing pro and is actually now courting working with a sports agency, from a talent representation end of things. Indeed, when you get into the sports agency world, there are several legal agreements and issues that come into play and they very much mirror the legal  issues in the fashion model/modeling agency context and also some of the issues we see in the music industry. I will be paying keen attention to Jay-Z’s move to see how far Roc Nation Sports goes and also the legal issues that may arise in the nearest future!

Alright, check out what the experts have to say about the success of Roc Nation Sports.

AML TIP: AML Artists note one overriding theme with the musicians and other creative talents you admire. They do not make their money exclusively from music. Music is the draw but they are inherently great business men and women who know how to diversify their portfolio and enter into other businesses to make their money, the kinds of businesses that also bring them residual income. It is definitely worth paying attention to. Take notes people. 🙂

“In rhyme, Jay-Z has name-checked some of the biggest athletes in the world. And now he’s hoping to ink some of them to his new sports agency firm.

A major power merger took place on Tuesday when two of the biggest names in entertainment announced they were joining forces with one of the biggest names in sports. Jay-Z announced that he’s getting in the sports-agent business through his Roc Nation Sports, and not only did he ink an unprecedented deal with leading sports and entertainment agency CAA, he stole Yankees star Robinson Cano from the most powerful agent in baseball, Scott Boras, who also represents Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard and others. And he’s not likely to stop there: Jay-Z has been temporarily licensed to represent professional baseball players; over time it’s likely he will take on football and basketball too. (While it may seem that branching out into basketball would conflict with his ownership stake in the Brooklyn Nets, according to Forbes, that stake has dropped to one-fifteenth of one percent.)

Cano is a four-time all-star who has spent his entire career with the New York Yankees and is in the final year of a $57 million contract, according to ESPN, and will be co-managed by the two companies. For their part, CAA Sports manages more than 800 athletes across a broadspectrum of sports, while Roc Nation is the home to Rihanna, J. Cole, Rita Ora, Shakira, Timbaland, Solange, M.I.A., Deadmau5, Meek Mill, and more. Roc Nation Sports will be co-headed by Jay-Z and Roc Nation president Juan Perez.

Reps for Jay-Z, Roc Nation and CAA declined to comment on the announcement beyond a series of prepared statements. In his, Jay said: “Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes… the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years.”

“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 of 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.”

And while the news certainly was exciting for both sports and hip-hop enthusiasts, this unprecedented deal opened up a lot more questions than it answered.

“I don’t know how big of a deal it is right away,” says Keith Reed, senior editor at ESPN the Magazine, who specializes in sports and business management. “I think it’s fair to say that entrepreneurs have their first acts… and if they’re really successful and transformative, then they get a second act. . .” – Billboard has the full story.


Next up Victor Cruz

Listen to the Latest AML Podcast Episodes


Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

For general inquiries, advertising, licensing, or to appear on the show as a guest, please email ( Thank you for visiting.


Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *