Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Is Creating Esports Opportunities for Traditional Athletes
In a recent partnership between Roc Nation Sports, owned by Jay-z, and GameSquare, traditional athletes could lead to esports gaming. It’s no secret that esports is growing in popularity and monetary value. Through this Roc Nation Sports partnership, Jay-Z’s group could lead to live streaming events, esports, and gaming content production for athletes. This is for sure a huge move for the major names attached to Roc Nation Sports. The two companies sound like they will leverage their strengths to bring sports athletes into the ever-growing esports spotlight in manners that fit them. That’s the important part. You don’t want someone who prefers to play FPS and never plays RPGs to show up at a Final Fantasy XIV event, after all. This is a completely different direction from traditional athletes investing directly into esports orgs.
Big Money Moves for Jay-Z:
This is a pretty interesting move, that’s for sure. Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports has a global command over quite a wide variety of athletes who could grow their brand via esports. Through GCN, they will create a strategy for the interested athletes, matching their interests across esports and gaming. Then Roc Nation will use its social media influence to spread it around and put eyes on the events their people will be a part of. Brodie Van Wagenen, COO, and Head of Strategy and Business Development at Roc Nation Sports spoke about the move:
“Increasingly, athletes are engaging in the world of esports gaming. Younger audiences represent a hugely influential and important demographic to reach. By pairing GCN’s vast network and capabilities with Roc Nation Sports’ diverse global footprint, our clients will be able to connect to a broader community while growing their personal brands and businesses through innovative and multi-facing gaming projects.”
It’s a brilliant move though. Gaming isn’t just for kids, no matter what some people might say. People of all ages and walks of life are into it, and esports is a global phenomenon. This is also GCN’s first formal collaboration with a talent agency too, and will hopefully keep bridging the gap between traditional sports/media and gaming. The time has long since passed for that bridge to be made. Esports isn’t just “dorks in a basement playing League or Halo.”
Now, as to who actually joins up in this collaboration remains to be seen.. But there are names like Victor Cruz (New York Giants), Geno Smith (Seattle Seahawks), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix Mercury) and so many more that could grow their platform via esports and gaming. There are all sorts of collaborations in online gaming. We’ve also seen huge sports names invest in esports. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.