April 3, 2013 -- Sports agents—a brotherhood famous for stabbing one another in the back—have added to their ranks rapper-entrepreneur Jay-Z, whose previous experience includes both agentry and stabbing.
Jay-Z's existing talent agency, Roc Nation, represents a host of music artists, many having one name. They include, according to Roc Nation's website, Arlissa, Burns, Deputy, Hugo, Congorock, Haim, Mia, Rihanna, Sasha, Shakira, Solange, Wale and Jay-Z himself.
In a statement yesterday, Roc Nation announced the creation of Roc Nation Sports, to represent athletes. It also announced the new agency has already signed its first client--New York Yankees' second baseman Robinson Cano.
"Roc Nation," said the statement, "has partnered with CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency, a leading entertainment and sports agency to co-represent Cano." The same statement quoted Jay-Z as saying: "Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes tin various sports the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years."
Cano, in the statement, said he was ready to enter a new chapter of his career under the new agency's management. "I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors both on and off the field," he said. "I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short-and long-term goals."
How well might Jay-Z do as an agent? Darren Heitner, a partner at Wolf Law Miami in Florida, and founder of Sports Agent Blog, and adjunct professor of sports management at Indiana University, expects that he'll do very well.
"Where Jay-Z has a unique advantage is in marketing, branding and promotion," Heitner tells ABC News. "It's ingenious of him to create this association with CAA, which has built a reputable name in the sports industry and has lots of connections in branding and marketing—lots of experience pushing its clients into movies and TV. As a team, Jay-Z plus CAA will be very difficult for some of the larger agencies to compete against."
Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) has been ranked by Billboard as one of the most successful artists of the past decade. According to Billboard, he holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist. He has received 17 Grammy Awards. Forbes last year estimated his net worth as close to $500 million.
In 1999 he pleaded guilty to having stabbed a rival record executive, and received a sentence of three years.