NEW YORK – Hip-hop mogul, entrepreneur, and sports agent, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, spoke earlier this week on how his entrance into the sports agency arena saying that he can “contribute just as much or more to athletes’ careers than they’ll ever give to me.”
The 42-year old Brooklyn, New York success story has been in headlines since announcing that he was entering sports agency earlier this spring with his firm, Roc Nation Sports, as a management division, a sub-division of his music label Roc Nation which partnered with the Los Angeles based entertainment and sports agency film, CAA Sports, according the Roc Nation website. Also he just launch his 12th studio album, Magna Cater Holy Grail, which was certified platinum by The Recording Industry Association of America, that hit stores this past Tuesday via the RIAA Twitter account.
In a visit to the New York radio station Power 105.1’s talk show, The Breakfast Club, Jay-Z answered questions on what skeptics thought his new venture in starting his own sports management film after being a hip-hop success.
“They (his skeptics) have that belief that you can only do one thing…We don’t have that, we’re not inflicted with that disease.” Says the hip-hop icon, “I can walk and chew gum.”
He even answered questions of his sport knowledge by saying, “it’s insane to say “what he knows about sports”…its like um everything more than you!”
Jay discussed how sports agents have been sitting around doing just doing the typical things when signing athletes. Saying his presence forces them to do more.
“They knock on the same doors. They go to Nike, get the contract, and sit back.
And they have been sitting around for 20 to 30-years not doing anything…so with me coming, that is a problem for them cause now they got to wake up. Now they have to get to work, now they have to do things… so now they don’t want me around cause they have to do something for these athletes.”
Since the inception of Roc Nation Sports, Jay-Z has been busy signing talent from a variety of sports and even crossing the gender line. In April, RNS signed MLB All-Star and New York Yankee second baseman, Robinson Cano, who was in the final season of a $57 million contract and client of record-setting contract broker agent, Scott Boras.
Roc Nation acquired Notre Dame women basketball star and rookie of WNBA player of the Tulsa Shock, Skyla Diggins, in May who has acquired an endorsement from Nike and was even presented a new Mercedes on her graduation day courtesy of her new management firm.
The rest of the roster includes New York Jets rookie quarterback, Geno Smith, New York Giant receiver, Victor Cruz, and NBA superstar of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant.
Jay-Z said in the interview that he can just give his client more.
“I am gonna do more for the athlete then they are gonna do for me at the end of the day. I do this because it is an extension of the bigger goal. The bigger goal is to you know, for all artists (and athletes) to get their just do.”
Giving athletes their “just do” has been a problem with the large amount of financial troubles athletes deal with after their careers are over, and it mostly do to the lack of financial guidance given by the people that help the land they deals work tens of millions of dollars says Jay-Z, who made the 2013 List of 100 Most Influential People in the World by Times Magazine.
“Not to get these “half-ass” agents or people who rob them or people who don’t care about their finances. They don’t even care about them! That is why these guys go broke in four years and it’s like a shame!”
“We’re talking about guys who are signing for $90 to $86 million going broke in four years! That’s terrible money management! And it’s because theses guys (sports agents) don’t care. They’re just taking whatever is gonna give them a check and not even worrying about all that. We doing all of that, we’re almost do that better than the better money management firm…and then agents.”
According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 60 percent of former NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress. These statistics were brought to the forefront in the airing of the October 2012 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, Broke.
Jay-Z noted that it’s the athlete’s representation not caring about anything else than that check that causes theses financial dilemmas.
Then it is the critics who ask “hey what does Jay-Z know about money?” Well according to Forbes, his net worth about $475 million. If that is not enough, Mr. Carter even made $5 million off his recent album, “Magna Carter Holy Grail”, before the album even hit stores due to partnering up with Samsung who agreed to purchase 1 million copies at $5 each.
Saving the financial structure of professional athletes is a major effort, but lets not get it twisted. Mr. Carter is a still a businessman at the end of the day.
“Not that its all this philanthropic thing, it’s a business as well. Again, you know I’m going to contribute just as much or more to athletes’ careers than they’ll ever give to me.”
Well said Mr. Carter, well said.