Partnership Between NFL and Jay-Z Reportedly in the Works

  • Partnership Between NFL and Jay-Z Reportedly in the Works

Partnership Between NFL and Jay-Z Reportedly in the Works

While the entertainment portion of the deal is important - Roc Nation's stable includes Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Shakira and, of course, Jay-Z - much emphasis from both the league and the representation group is being placed on the social relations aspect of the agreement.

The deal was scheduled to be announced on Wednesday morning, but was leaked by the Front Office Sports website.

The NFL's once bullet-proof "Shield" image has been battered in recent seasons, as the league has been dinged by several on- and off-the-field issues, ranging from how it handles player protests and attacks from President Donald Trump to domestic violence and concussions. Meanwhile, Roc Nation would benefit from its affiliation with the nation's most powerful sports league as it looks to further expand into sports.

Other sports clients include: National Basketball Association superstar Kyrie Irving, MLB pitcher CC Sabathia, NFL star Dez Bryant, and boxing champions Miguel Cotto and Andre Ward.

Over the past few years, JAY has publicly taken aim at the league for its treatment of players like Black Lives Matter activist and NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick.

The Kaepernick situation made the National Football League radioactive for performers such as Roc Nation affiliate Rihanna, who reportedly declined to headline this year's Super Bowl halftime out of deference to Kaepernick.

As part of the deal, Roc Nation will be the NFL's "live music entertainment strategist", consulting on entertainment, including the Super Bowl halftime show, and contributing to the league's social-justice program, Inspire Change, which donates money to groups fighting for criminal justice reform.

Kaepernick, who quarterbacked the San Francisco 49ers to an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII back in 2013, became a lightning rod in 2016, when he began kneeling during the national anthem at 49ers games in protest of racial injustice and police brutality. "Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas - instead, we unify them".

"We don't want people to come in and necessarily agree with us; we want people to come in and tell us what we can do better", said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. 'I think that's a core element of our relationship between the two organizations, and with Jay and I personally'.

While the partnership gives Jay-Z a role in selecting and producing the country's most-watched music performance - the 12-minute Super Bowl halftime show is seen by more than 100 million people each year - it also brings the risk of being seen as co-opted and neutralized by an organization he once criticized.