When Jay-Z was announced as part owner of the recently Brooklyn-based Nets franchise, everyone from casual sports fans to savvy business minds wondered what Shawn Carter’s actual impact would be on the franchise. While he only owns one-fifteenth of a percent (while Mikhail Prokhorov owns 80 percent), the piece makes it very clear that he has had his hands in everything from uniform design to arena music choices. Below, choice excerpts can be found while the entire editorial can be read at The New York Times.
He helped design the team logos and choose the team’s stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (the N.B.A., according to a person with knowledge of the discussion, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied). He counseled arena executives on what kind of music to play during games. (“Less Jersey,” he urged, pushing niche artists like Santigold over old favorites like Bon Jovi.)
Suite owners will have access to a Champagne bar serving Armand de Brignac, an expensive bubbly that Mr. Carter promotes and in which he holds a financial interest, according to a biography by a writer for Forbes. The arena will contain a 40/40 Club, an iteration of his sports-bar-style nightclub chain. There will be a Rocawear store, selling his clothing line, on the arena’s exterior. Even the advertising agency used by the Nets, Translation, is half-owned by Mr. Carter.