NFL hires Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to lead music and entertainment endeavors

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The NFL is expanding its footprint in the music business, in a surprising way.

Via Jason Reid of ESPN.com, the league has hired Jay Z’s Roc Nation to “lead the league’s endeavors in music and entertainment.”

Roc Nation, which represents players like Todd Gurley and Saquon Barkley, will advise the NFL on the selection of the Super Bowl musical acts. The company also will be involved in the production and promotion of new music by the league.

And that’s where this gets intriguing from a business standpoint. The NFL is essentially partnering with Jay-Z to produce music, expanding the league’s footprint well beyond football.

It actually makes sense. With the biggest musical platform in the world coming between the second and third quarter of every annual NFL championship game, it’s one thing to squeeze the selected acts for a slice of the boost they experience. It’s quite another to own the acts themselves, and thus to get the whole damn pie.

Of course, that’s not how it’s being sold, even if that’s the long-term goal.

“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Jay-Z said, via Reid. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas — instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”

“Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said, according to Reid. “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”

With quarterback Colin Kaepernick still ignored by the NFL, however, those words ring hollow.

Jay-Z has described Kaepernick as an “iconic figure,” and it’s tempting to wonder whether Jay-Z sought unofficial assurances that the blackballing of Kaepernick will be coming to an end. With Kaepernick still making clear his desire to return to the NFL, any decision by Jay-Z to partner with the NFL absent a commitment by the NFL to unshun Kaepernick may not have the impact that the NFL envisions.

77 responses to “NFL hires Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to lead music and entertainment endeavors

  1. What a great article. Great to see the 2 companies come together. Then the whole vibe and article gets ruined by the CK note. He sucks. He sued the company. What company in their right mind would hire a guy that sued them? Even if he was good enough. Way to ruin the article.

  2. “…meaningful social change…”-“…enacting change…”

    Looks like ‘social justice’ is getting a makeover called ‘change’ much the way ‘global warming’ was rebranded ‘climate change’.

    Post modernists can reinvent their tired ideas and use terms that don’t mean what the individual words seem to, but in the end they are just changing the wrap of their failed turds. Besides, the internet is more mature than it was when the term was global warming, and it didn’t forget then and won’t now.

  3. I don’t get it, why partner with a group that will promote music and artists that only 10% – 20% of the fans enjoy or listen to. Wouldn’t it make more sense to promote music and entertainment that is more universally followed?

  4. I remember a day when everything wasn’t about agenda’s being shoved down your throat. A day when sports were something that brought people together in fandom no matter race, gender, or economical background. Now it just seems like everything is an avenue to generate a rift. Despite the talk of unifying one another, which is up to the individual themselves and their own condition of heart, it is more about being told what you should believe by another. Another who deems their stance to be the only, correct, and acceptable one.

  5. I presume fans can wave goodbye to Rolling Stones, The Who, and Springsteen. And welcome the likes of Migos, DJ Khaled, and Lil Nas X.

  6. That’s just what the nfl needs; this clown sticking his two cents in. What a joke!

  7. Just more pandering by the politically correct NFL. Why is this a surprise? While we’re at it, why not do a “Script Ohio” and have Kaepernick dot the i?

  8. Based on this choice I will NEVER watch another SB halftime show ever because it will all be rap/hip-hop/whatever. Clearly they are focusing on a singular audience.
    I’m sure that the intro and outro music for all of the NFL shows will be rap music. No more hard rock, heavy metal, etc.
    This is sad.

  9. “Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,”

    And one of the most absolutely cheapest and poorly run in the business. I have many friends who’ve worked on tours with bands managed by JayZ, and they’re a nightmare to work for.

  10. Florio sees this as a chance to “get the whole damn pie.”

    That’s not what is happening here. NFL’s income related to SB halftime will actually fall.

    What they’re buying is a solution to their political problems: Rihanna et al declining, and the blowback Maroon5 got for performing. NFL realizes that no act wants to be on the receiving end of a Change.org petition to drop out.

    If Rihanna were offered the exact same gig in 2020 by Jay Z on the exact same terms, she won’t decline it as she did when offered by the NFL. Jay Z is politically bulletproof in the music world.

  11. It’ll be interesting if there’s a wardrobe malfunction or some other unscripted drama. I’ll probably end up watching the Puppy Bowl or some other alternative during halftime.

  12. As far as the Super Bowl half time show is concerned: I haven’t watched it since Prince performed and can’t remember the one I watched before that. Whether at a house party or sports bar half time is nothing more than a mass exodus for the bathroom.

    Thanks in part to the lame performers they hire year after year that most fans don’t want but the casual observer does (i.e wives/girlfriends, millennial man-children).

    Because when my blood is pumping from watching the Championship to a violent sport I immediately think of …. Beyonce, Cardi B and Lady Gaga.

  13. Way to alienate half your fans but this guy is irrelevant now…NFL has a troubled future ahead

  14. Whoa whoa whoa…..pump the brakes here. There might be music on NFL broadcasts that isn’t country!? Congrats for realizing your fanbase isn’t all hillbillies.

  15. hexy27 says:
    August 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm
    Look up Jay Z, boycott, and Super Bowl.

    I guess money comes first, second, and third
    +++++++++++++++++++
    Look up the meaning of the medalion he wore to the Nets game about 7 or 8 years ago.

  16. The NFL surrenders to the boisterous minority. Jay Z has been leading protests against the Super Bowls the last 2 years because they won’t hire Kaep. While the majority of people that stopped watching the NFL did so because of Kaep. You can’t make this stuff up.

    Last year:
    Jay-Z

    After it was reported that Scott would perform at the 2019 Super Bowl with Maroon 5, Variety reported that Jay-Z, a vocal supporter of Kaepernick, has been trying to convince the “SICKO MODE” rapper to back out. “Two sources also tell Variety that Jay-Z — who has been highly critical of the NFL over its treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — is attempting to talk Scott out of performing,” Variety reported.

  17. Isn’t it more than likely that Jay-z only cares about Jay-z and doesn’t give a flip about Kap other than some free lip service when it was politically expedient for him to do so?

    Now that Jay-z has skin in the game, I feel comfortable guessing he won’t have any further comments regarding Kap.

  18. Florio, love PFT and it’s my go to source for all things NFL, but I have to say give the damn Kapernick stuff a rest. He’s an old washed up B/C string QB at best who had opportunities to play but didn’t want to play for non-starter money. That’s on him, not any NFL blackballing. If he really wanted to play he would have played for short money and proved he could play. A running QB who had 2 decent seasons FIVE YEARS ago is now three years removed from the league and north of 30 years old is something any coach wants? Ship has sailed a long time ago, he’s washed up, he’s done, give it a rest.

  19. Im not going to deny how profitable jayz and beyonce are. Im not going to deny that the music industry is a cess pool devoid of any ability to develop talent acroos tge spectrums of genres related to music. I will just say that i do not buy ANY music that is made with pro tools, uses grid systems to generate beats, nor do i care about popular music in general. Tge nfl is terrible at cross promotion using music. So expect the super bowl halftime shows that continue to suck. Ive been playing music for 25 years. I can proficiently play more instruments than i have fingers, can write, arrange, and read music. I make music to express myself, and to engage in all cultures. I dont need to be spoon fed the latest billboard achievements. Ill stick to my lane. But i really couldnt care any less about this latest cross pollination of business and entertainment. I hope they both make billions together. It just will not be any of my earned income.

  20. Yet another reason that I am glad I have not watched a full NFL game in six years. Bad enough the product is horrible on the field, now it’s getting even worse OFF the field.

  21. Halftime show has been pretty terrible for some time now and the NFL has to know it. I have zero faith that this new deal will do anything to improve the show but I wonder if this is a way for the NFL to give up responsibility for the quality of the show and give it to someone else.

  22. I don’t get the hate for the Roc Nation alliance. If anybody would actually look at their artist roster they would see names like Mark Ronson, Kylie Minogue, Shakira, Calvin Harris, etc. These artists aren’t that much different than the latest SB halftime acts like Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, or Bruno Mars. I get that many here want to see some golden oldie bands play, but lets face it – the halftime show isn’t produced for guys who visit a football blog everyday. It’s produced for the casual observer and that means popular music will always be the focus.

    If there is one thing that transcends black vs. white – it’s green. Both Goodell and Jay-Z have more than 99.9% of most people will ever see and they’re about to make more.

  23. dryzzt23 says:
    August 13, 2019 at 2:24 pm
    Based on this choice I will NEVER watch another SB halftime show ever because it will all be rap/hip-hop/whatever. Clearly they are focusing on a singular audience.
    I’m sure that the intro and outro music for all of the NFL shows will be rap music. No more hard rock, heavy metal, etc.
    This is sad.
    ——————————————————————————————
    Lol how do you figure that? You do know Roc Nation features a host of acts who fall under neither genre, right? Also, what singular audience are you referring to? Last, I checked hip hop and rap were dominating the charts globally. Furthermore, the majority of the league listens to hip hop/rap. Why wouldn’t the NFL want to reflect the personality and cultural nuances that represent the majority of its employees?

  24. Looks like a clear effort to co-opt a significant force in player representation to create divided loyalties.

    Which is fine. The players, owners, agents, and image-moguls are all rich jerks at this point, so let them play their backstabbing games.

  25. It ain’t easy being cheesy says:
    August 13, 2019 at 3:03 pm
    I don’t get the hate for the Roc Nation alliance.
    ———————
    You could’ve stopped right there. What don’t you get about the usual suspects and the usual narrow-minded hate they spew?
    #itsprophecy

  26. Leman Russ says:
    August 13, 2019 at 3:15 pm
    WE WANT PEARL JAM!
    —————————————————————————————–
    No we don’t. Maybe in 1995

  27. If Rihanna were offered the exact same gig in 2020 by Jay Z on the exact same terms, she won’t decline it as she did when offered by the NFL. Jay Z is politically bulletproof in the music world.
    —————————————————————————
    this is what the “MAGA” clowns here do not know or understand. Jay-z is beyond hip hop. Some of your favorite rock bands have some connection to Roc Nation through Jay z’s streaming service “Tidel”. This is not about having rappers every year at every halftime show. Jay Z is a billionaire for a reason. AND YOU ARE NOT…

  28. mjchockey1 says:
    August 13, 2019 at 2:01 pm
    I don’t get it, why partner with a group that will promote music and artists that only 10% – 20% of the fans enjoy or listen to. Wouldn’t it make more sense to promote music and entertainment that is more universally followed?
    ——————————-

    What do you want Lawrence Welk? I guarantee 90% of the players listen to his music (not my cup of tea) it appeals to a young generation of all persuasions.

  29. I’ll tell you what Kap was to me…the fool who finally made me stop attending games,buying NFL products and finally canceling NFL ticket…..these clowns arent getting my hard earned $$

  30. To hear people comment and complain about not having rockbands for the SB. Its 2019!!!! Before you spew your bias words look at Rock Nations Catalog. Do some research. Its more than Rap/Hip Hop. I’m sure most of you rocked your head or remembered a verse from a Roc Nation artist regardless of genre or color. Go Eagles

  31. Great message to send to the kids:

    Money, Cash, Hoes
    Jay-Z

    I spits the game for those that throw bricks
    Money cash hoes money cash chicks what
    Sex murder and mayhem romance for the street
    Only wife of mines is a life of crime

  32. kd75 says:
    August 13, 2019 at 6:03 pm
    Great message to send to the kids:

    Money, Cash, Hoes
    Jay-Z

    I spits the game for those that throw bricks
    Money cash hoes money cash chicks what
    Sex murder and mayhem romance for the street
    Only wife of mines is a life of crime

    ++++++++

    “Cocaine” – Eric Clapton

  33. mjchockey1 says:
    August 13, 2019 at 2:01 pm
    I don’t get it, why partner with a group that will promote music and artists that only 10% – 20% of the fans enjoy or listen to. Wouldn’t it make more sense to promote music and entertainment that is more universally followed?

    Dense much or just blind? Have you seen what the players in the league look like have you seen the majority of fans at rap concerts? Do you know who buys more rap music than anyone ? Lol 10 to 20% open up grandpa

  34. “The NFL is expanding its footprint in the music business, in a surprising [non-musical] way.”

  35. I’m not kidding. Can somebody please give me a definition of “Social Justice.” I’m trying to get it. I’m trying to understand. But I just dont..and why should I in this particular realm? Why do I need any sort of SJW agenda permeating throughout my sports. Football and sports is my escape and my entertainment…let me say that again, my entertainment. Your number one job is to entertain me…please stop patronizing me. I’m quite sure the JayZ’s and CK’s are not the ones to be dictating the moral compass of how I should live my life

  36. I wish people could thumb down this comment as much as they want. Jay-Z is going to take the halftime show to the next level. Katy Perry isn’t appealing to anybody who watches football. Jay-z can get people the nfl can’t get but the nba gets regularly. People hate it now but if kaep comes back ratings would go through the roof. Modern day Jackie Robinson.

  37. I been saying it for years …time to drop music altogether and just put on a celebrity flag football game or a good magic show or even some comedians to tell some family friendly jokes.

    Prince was the last good musician . NFL can’t and WONT get it right with music. EVER.

  38. I’ve watched the NFL less and less every single year for the last decade because of the constant social activism.

    eventually, these players are going drive a huge majority of fans away forever.

  39. if you start shoving ‘social justice’ down the throats of NFL fans, it’s all over for the NFL. the last thing i want is more ‘white people are the cause of all the worlds problems’ narrative-because that’s what ‘social justice’ really is.

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