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NBA Miami Heat

Jay Z’s Reach Is Already Touching The Miami Heat

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7 Sports Stars Feeling The Jay Z Influence

jay z
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve known for years that LeBron James and Shawn “Jay Z” Carter have been fast friends ever since James was in high school. They're close enough for the Chosen One to take an unauthorized police escort to the rapper’s concert, go to him for advice and continuously proclaim himself as “part of the Roc.”

September rumors even swirled around about Carter and his wife (Beyoncé) performing their 2003 hit, “Crazy In Love,” at the wedding of James and his longtime girlfriend Savannah.

These are all things that you would come to expect from the two buddies. But as I read an old issue of ESPN the Magazine, I realized something that most people probably did not notice. Carter’s reach had invaded the Miami Heat in a fashion that’s very obvious yet way more secretive than a Roc Nation Sports deal.

Carter’s marketing company Translation, LLC is responsible for those LeBron State Farm Insurance commercials that you have been seeing since 2009 and the current Sprite campaign that you see everyday.

That’s instant mainstream visibility — the very thing that Carter’s sports management agency has promised to give their athletes. And what better blueprint to follow than the one of the man of 1,000 businesses, as writer Andrew Rice pointed out:

“Carter’s company, Roc Nation, already manages a stable of music clients, including Rihanna and M.I.A. It is the centerpiece of a portfolio that includes interests in technology (Powermat, a cell-phone-charging device made with Duracell), software (a video-sharing app called Viddy), real estate (small stakes in Barclays Center and the surrounding real-estate project), movie production (The Great Gatsby, a tale with a certain resonance), theater (Fela!), nightlife (the 40/40 Club, a high-end sports bar with locations in the Flatiron district and at the Nets arena), and apparel (in addition to Rocawear, the label he started and still endorses, he’s part of a joint venture that recently acquired half of Pharrell’s lines).”

If you tag on his restaurant with Bono (the Spotted Pig) and his lifestyle website (Life+Times), you’ll see why James would want to continue to build on their partnership as they would be the perfect example of a media one-two punch. Especially when Carter’s connections are a fast track to endorsements.

The question is should the Heat be afraid that Jay Z’s ability to succeed might come with an ulterior motive?

Check out the next seven slides to see the reach Carter is having throughout multiple leagues.

Please comment using the section below, or reach out to us using the hashtag #RantNBA.

Richard Nurse is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.

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7. Chris Paul

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Did you know that those Chris Paul vs. Cliff Paul “Born To Assist” commercials were also a product of Jay Z’s marketing company Translation, LLC?

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6. Geno Smith

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The endorsements have yet to roll in, but the combination of Jay Z and the potential of sneaking the New York Jets into the playoffs could lead to big things for Roc Nation Sports’ shakiest client.

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5. Victor Cruz

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“I think the main part that sold me, as well as having a conversation with Jay, is the team that’s around him,” New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said via the NY Daily News. “When you look at the things he’s done marketing-wise, as well as the layouts of his albums, everything’s been strategic, it’s been done the right way, and everything kind of just flows properly. I don’t think I’ve seen one deal they’ve done where I’ve been like ‘Eh, I don’t think I would’ve done that.’

“So I feel like if they can have that same approach with sports, I think they can be successful.”

The result was a new six-year, $45.879 million contract to keep the salsa in MetLife Stadium.

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4. Skylar Diggins

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike most WNBA players, Skylar Diggins has been spending her offseason in the states, largely because of her deals with Nike Air Force One’s and Sprint Post Up.

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3. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant's NBA and Nike contracts are already intact, but he wanted to bring in an agent who could raise his profile. And being around Jay Z and having him sit court-side at Oklahoma City Thunder games will sure do that.

Now let’s see if he can replace that Gatorade deal that was loss.

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2. Robinson Cano

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Yankees would not budge, Jay Z took Robinson Cano to Seattle and wrapped up the fourth-largest deal in major league history.

You can add that 10-year, $240 million to whatever he garnered when he became the new face of Pepsi for MLB -- another Roc Nation move.

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1. LeBron James

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With all of the work that the "Two Kings" have done together, we have to ask could LeBron be next?