In the NBA and NFL, many music entertainers have taken part into minority ownership of professional franchises. Among the owners include: Nelly-Charlotte Bobcats, Usher-Cleveland Cavaliers, Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony/Gloria Estefan-Miami Dolphins. Beyond sitting court side or in the owner’s box, you do not really hear about the role they play as owner for their respected franchises; the same cannot be said for Jay-Z
A lot of it, say team insiders, started with Mikhail Prokhorov taking control of the team. In May of 2010 when Prokhorov arrived in the US for the Draft Lottery and his inaugural round of press conferences and briefings, one his first stops was at the 40-40 Club, Jay-Z’s place, for a meeting with the team’s most famous minority owner. We are told the meeting went long…more than an hour long…as the two owners and Dmitry Razumov talked and toasted a new era in Nets basketball and their relationship.
There is now plenty of evidence to suggest Jay-Z’s role encompasses input on the look of the Nets’ Brooklyn uniforms, the choice of team colors, the design of arena club spaces and the branding of the move from New Jersey to Brooklyn…at the very least. Beyond that, there are hints around the Barclays Center showroom that the arena is about to announce a big new deal with Live Nation, who is Jay-Z’s partner on concerts.
Uniforms/Arena Club Spaces: Quotes from Brett Yormark
“Jay’s very involved, which is terrific,”. “Obviously, he’s a trendsetter and such a talented individual. We and myself in particular collaborate with Jay very often. He’s doing some things with the building as far as premium spaces, working with our architect and our design firm. He’s also working with us on our jerseys, the colors, just directionally how we want to present the brand when we get to Brooklyn.
“So he’s very involved, takes it very seriously and obviously coming from Brooklyn, he sees this as a huge moment and a bit of a part of his legacy. So, I’m really happy to have him on board and like I said, we work very closely together.”
Jay-Z is best leaving his mark as minority owner in the branding of the soon to be Brooklyn Nets.
“We have a brand, the arena, for housing great talent. And we have a brand, the Brooklyn Nets, and we need to make them a phenomenon in 2012,” Translation president and Jay-Z partner Steve Stoute told Advertising Age. “Our job is to remove all doubt that what’s coming to Brooklyn is going to make Brooklyn one of the finest entertainment capitals in the country.”
Nets General Manager Billy King explains Jay-Z role with team:
“To see (Jay-Z) give a pitch on Brooklyn, and the passion about going to Brooklyn – you see it on tape, you see it on TV. To see him in a room with Carmelo, and making it, you see the passion there,”.
“And if he’s as passionate about Brooklyn, I just can’t imagine what the other people that live there are going to be like when we get there. And to see him as involved and as passionate about the Nets, to me, it’s a real positive. It’s not just something that he’s just using, or investing in. It’s something that he’s going to be involved in even more when we get – next season, I think, even further, we go to Brooklyn.”
Jay-Z has always been business first; I expect him to relish his role as minority owner by leaving his mark on the Brooklyn Nets and adding to his legacy as one of the best entrepreneurs of our time.