Jay Z rocked the sports world when he launched his Roc Nation Sports agency last April. Alongside its president, Juan Perez, Hov’s been writing checks these other rappers can’t cash. Case in point: baseball player and Roc Nation’s first signee, Robinson Cano, who landed a 10-year, $240 million contract this past December.
When it came to making The Roc’s first pick, Perez says the athlete had to be A1. “The starting place for us had to be an elite player, cream of the crop. An elite talent with elite character, and a story behind the player,” Perez told GQ.
Now with six players signed to Roc Nation Sports, including Oklahoma Thunder’s Kevin Durant and New York Giant Victor Cruz, Perez says all prospective clients must have specific characteristics in order to strengthen the brand and attract an audience.
“At the end of the day, you want to put people in the stands,” he said. “We help develop a player’s brand off the field, which eventually brings more fans, more recognition to the player so more people want to meet the player, see the players play. So we’re branding the player, marketing the player—that makes the player even bigger than what he was when we got him.”
Becoming a ginormous brand is the last thing on Perez and Jay’s to-do list. “Right now we’re just boutique-ish. And we want to keep it that way,” he said about him and the rapper, who are the only two responsible for decision-making. “Maybe ten, fifteen football players. Ten, fifteen baseball players. There aren’t that many elite players out there, that many players that we want. So we’ll be picking them as they come. The ones that are interested and that we love, we’ll take.”
Read the full interview here.