Victor Cruz Signs With Jay-Z
H.O.V.A. and salsa?
Yep. New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz signed with rapper/entrepreneur Jay-Z’s budding sports agency Roc Nation Sports on Wednesday. Cruz became the second high profile New York athlete to ink a pact with Roc Nation Sports this week, with New York Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Cano preceding Cruz into the fold on Tuesday.
In what was perhaps foreshadowing of the agreement, Cruz had added Jay-Z’s Roc hand signal to the end of his trademark salsa dances in the end zone after the touchdowns he scored in 2012.
Roc Nation Sports has a partnership with the already established Creative Artists Agency (CAA), whose agent Tom Condon represents Cruz in football contract matters. While Condon and CAA will continue to conduct contract talks for Cruz, who is still a restricted free agent for the Giants, Roc Nation Sports will likely aid and expand the Pro Bowl receiver’s endorsement and marketing opportunities such as those he has with Campbell’s Chunky Soup, Time Warner Cable and his own Young Whales apparel brand.
As Jay-Z builds up Roc Nation Sports, he could reach out to other CAA clients, such as Buster Posey and Ryan Braun, to perform the same functions for them as he will for Cruz. While Jay-Z is not yet a licensed agent with the NFL Players Association, few individuals have as much name recognition with athletes as the rapper does. The media mogul is also a co-owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
Hopefully this means more Jay-Z in the sports world, rather than more athletes into the entertainment world. There are historical precedents for why that’s not a good idea: we’ve seen Shaquille O’Neal “act” and Carl Lewis “sing.”
Let’s hope Cruz confines his dancing to the end zone and not the stage.