The hottest thing going right now in sports is undoubtedly Roc Nation Sports. Jay-Z’s full services sports and entertainment firm is assembling a very impressive roster that will only continue to grow. And as expected, other agents don’t approve of this movement their comments wreak of envy.
Roc Nation just signed Geno Smith earlier in the week, and also has the likes of Robinson Cano, Victor Cruz and Skylar Diggins. If you’re an athlete who grew up listening to Jay-Z’s music, aren’t you itching to become a part of this? Of course you are. That’s the genius behind this entire movement that is destined for long-term success.
According to USA Today, Roc Nation has has to turn away athletes who would like to be represented by Roc Nation Sports. The report doesn’t name any names, but I’d imaging some household names have been turned away.
Indeed, many players rushed to Jay-Z after the announcement expressing interest in signing on, according to a person close to the agency who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because player procurement details are confidential. Nearly all of the players were turned away, as Roc Nation Sports is taking a more selective approach, the person said.
Not long after Jay-Z signed Robinson Cano away from superagent Scott Boras, an anonymous agent had some criticisms. Now, we don’t know for certain if those came for Boras, but in this same report by USA Today, Boras sounds off. Again, keep in mind that Boras is Cano’s former agent.
Renowned baseball agent Scott Boras, whom Cano fired in order to sign with Roc Nation and CAA’s Brodie Van Wagenen, is critical of the whole endeavor.
“To suggest that somebody is going to walk off the street and say, ‘I am a fan, I enjoy sports, so I can do this,’ is no different than somebody watching the Discovery channel and saying, ‘I’m a fan of medicine, I like surgery, so I’ll start operating on people,'” Boras told USA TODAY Sports. “This is a profession. It’s a different environment. If you’re not singularly committed to this game, it’s a very ugly song.”
Obviously, Boras doesn’t get it and is underestimating Jay-Z’s power as many others are as well.
The moral in all of this is that agents need to be very scared of Jay-Z’s influence. It’s time to look past the fact that he made his way as rapper and view his as a legitimate threat, rather than someone to throw shots it. This will get interesting as years go on.