Headline Hockey Sports Business

Roc Nation Sports Ready To Drop The Mitts And Fight For Clients In The NHL

The following is a guest contribution from Matt Tympanick, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth School of Law Class of 2015. Salve Regina University Class of 2012.

roc nationAccording to Sports Business Journal, Roc Nation Sports, a full service Sports Management Agency founded by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter is likely about dive into the final big four sport, hockey. The word came down from Michael Yormark who is the company’s President and chief of branding strategy. Roc Nation Sports already represents athletes in baseball, basketball, and football. It would seem hockey is the final piece of the Grand Slam of Sports Representation and allows Jay Z to proclaim that he is one of the few agents who has major clients in all four major sports.

Roc Nation sports already represents the likes of Robinson Cano, Victor Cruz, Kevin Durant, Geno Smith, and Rusney Castillo who just recently signed a 7 year, $72.5 Million contract with the Boston Red Sox. Kevin Durant, on the other hand, was reportedly offered a 10 year, $265 Million deal with Under Armour.

Jay Z’s representation of New York Jets Quarterback Geno Smith raised some eyebrows around the 2013 NFL Draft, because in order to be a certified NFL agent, according to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, one must have some kind of graduate degree, which Jay Z does not. Thus, he hired Kim Miale to serve in that role. The NHL collective bargaining agreement so far as I can tell does not have such provision.

Roc Nation Sports credits no hockey players on its roster. Thus, the question remains, who would Jay Z want to represent? As far back as April of 2013, it was reported that Roc Nation Sports wanted to represent Nashville Predators Defensemen Seth Jones who at the time was rumored to be in consideration to be the 1st African-American to be selected with the number #1 overall pick. Seth Jones, however, was not selected one overall, but slid to the Predators at #4. Seth Jones was in consideration for the Team USA Men’s Olympic team, but was not selected based on his relative inexperience. It is also possible Roc Nation Sports would target New York Islanders Center and Captain Jonathan Tavares. Tavares who is the midst of a six year $33 million extension he signed in September 2011 will be only 27 when he is eligible to be a free agent after the 2017-2018 season. With the Islanders moving their home games to the Barclays Center beginning with the 2015-2016 seasons it will be interesting to see if Jay Z, who once owned a minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets, tries to convince Tavares to switch representation.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.