Jay-Z, Roc Nation Named NFL’s “Live Music Strategist”
The deal will see Roc Nation and Jay-Z consult on everything from entertainment offerings, including the prestigious Super Bowl Halftime Show, and on the N.F.L.’s social activism campaign, Inspire Change, according to the New York Times.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but a formal announcement about the pact is expected on Wednesday, the Times reported.
The partnership comes as the N.F.L. seeks to repair its reputation in the wake of a long-simmering controversy over its handling of players who opt to kneel or sit during the national anthem to protest racial inequality in the criminal justice system.
The controversy, which former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the most visible symbol, prompted a national debate and spilled out into aspects of the league’s business, including last year’s halftime show. Several high profile artists, including Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, reportedly declined invitations to perform due to the ongoing controversy.
As well, some television execs have suggested that the kneeling controversy may have played a role in a sharp drop in ratings the league suffered in 2017. Audiences for the League’s games declined by 8 percent in 2016 and 10 percent in 2017 before recovering slightly towards the end of the 2018 season.
“The N.F.L. has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” Jay-Z told the New York Times in an interview this week. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good.”