NFL partners with Jay-Z on Super Bowl entertainment, social justice initiative

The NFL is forming a partnership with music mogul Jay-Z in a deal that allows him to help manage entertainment ventures tied to league events and is closely connected to the sport’s community activism efforts.

The partnership will make Jay-Z and his Roc Nation agency a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show. It does not contain a provision for him to be the halftime performer, he and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

“He was very quick to say that he does not want this to be about him performing, that it was broader than that,” Goodell said in an interview. “It quickly went beyond that. Do I hope he’ll perform in the Super Bowl sometime in the next several years? Yes. But I think we’ll all know if that time comes. He’ll know in particular.”

Roc Nation will choose entertainers who will perform in televised NFL promotional spots throughout the season. Jay-Z, whose given name is Shawn Carter, said he believes Roc Nation will have the freedom under the partnership to produce the kind of entertainment that it wants.

“I think we have autonomy,” Carter said in an interview at Roc Nation’s offices in New York. “I anticipate that there will be a lot of — with any big organization, in this building right here we have internal problems. Anything that’s new is going to go through its growing pains. We put what we want to do on the table. The NFL agreed to it. So we’re going to proceed with that as if we have a partnership.”

Financial terms of the partnership, which makes Roc Nation the league’s official live music entertainment strategist, were not available.

The community activism portion of the partnership will be tied to the NFL’s existing “Inspire Change” program with its players.

“It very quickly went beyond the Super Bowl in our early conversations,” Goodell said. “We have an opportunity to make an impact well beyond just the Super Bowl. It could be every other event. It could be every week of our regular season. It could be in ‘Inspire Change’ and how we use platforms to drive positive change in our communities.”

Carter said that “of course” he had some misgivings about partnering with the league at a time when quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the movement of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police treatment of African Americans, remains unsigned by any team, and amid the recent controversy over Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hosting a lavish fundraiser for President Donald Trump. But he put such wariness aside, he said, to try to do some good by building on the NFL’s social justice initiatives.

“I think that when you’re discussing these sort of issues, everything is going to be tough,” Carter said. “You can either go home, you can pack your bag and sit in the house, or you can choose to take it head-on. And that’s pretty much how we operate at Roc Nation. We seek to identify things that we …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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