Jay-Z raps “I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man” on the remix for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.” The rapper-turned-entrepreneur has proven prophetic with those words and looking to expand his vast empire. According to TMZ, Jay-Z wants “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team.
While the report doesn’t name a specific NFL franchise, it does say the bold move is expected to happen soon. Jay-Z had been a minority stakeholder in the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets but sold his ownership stake in 2013. His Roc Nation music label recently entered into a multi-year partnership with the NFL to enhance the league’s live game experiences and to amplify their social justice efforts. Now he’s sizing up an even bigger role by searching for a minority ownership stake in a team.
Predictably, the news was met with skepticism from many people in the media and around the league. Jay-Z seems to be using his superstar platform to enact change, while the NFL appears to be securing a permanent producer for their Super Bowl halftime show. It could be a win-win.
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Jay-Z Longtime Dallas Cowboys Fan
Despite claiming Brooklyn as his hometown, Jay-Z has gone on record many times with this Cowboys fandom. He’s been photographed interacting with Dallas players at games and even discussed his allegiance to “America’s Team” in 2013 on Power 105.1 in New York.
“It’s my pop’s fault,” Jay-Z told the radio station. “He grew up in that era, that era where all them guys wanted that whole Cowboy lifestyle. All those guys was on coke, you know. I got the whole thing pegged. I could give you the whole profile.”
Would Jay-Z be interested in acquiring a stake in the Cowboys? You better believe he already made that call to owner Jerry Jones. However, Jones is the majority owner and has never entertained any thoughts of adding a minority owner.
The Cowboys are the most valuable professional sports franchise in the world valued at $4.8 billion, according to Forbes. In 2018, he told The Dallas News he wouldn’t sell the team for less than $10 billion. And he made it perfectly clear that the Cowboys were not for sale.
“If I had to sell the team tomorrow I wouldn’t accept anything less than $10 billion. But, I don’t want to imply that I would take $10 billion for them,” Jones told The Dallas News. “The Cowboys are just not for sale. They’re a long-term asset and my immediate family — which has been a part of making them what they are today — they’ll own the Cowboys long after I’m gone.”
Jay-Z Has Spoken Glowingly of Philadelphia
Jay-Z’s long-running “Made in America” music festival has been taking place in Philadelphia, on the famed “Rocky Steps,” since 2012 and attracts a diverse audience to the city. The rapper headlined the inaugural festival and referred to the city as an “iconic place” when announcing the lineup. The first concert grossed $5 million in ticket sales and attracted nearly 80,000 people.
More recently, Jay-Z formed a business alliance with Philly-born rapper Meek Mill on their new DreamChasers record label. The two have been working together to lift up young artists and create awareness for social reform.
“The music and culture we create, you know we’ve been giving it away for so long. Which is understandable, you’ve got to start somewhere,” Jay-Z told CBS’ Gayle King. “You’ve got to clean the floors up before you own the building but we don’t shine shoes anymore.”
Would Jeffrey Lurie Sell the Eagles?
Jay-Z’s well-documented Cowboys fandom probably ensures he has no love for the Eagles, right? Maybe not. He actually shouted out the City of Brotherly Love on the iconic song “Heart of the City” when he rhymes: “And I did handle my biz, I scramble like Randall with his — Cunningham, but the only thing runnin’ is numbers, fam.”
Perhaps the music mogul would be interested in taking a piece of the Eagles, the 22nd-richest professional sports organization in the world. Owner Jeffrey Lurie doesn’t seem like he would want to sell the team, but it’s not all up to him. Lurie already has three minority owners, including his ex-wife Christina Weiss Lurie who received an ownership stake as part of their divorce settlement.
Would Lurie ever consider bringing Jay-Z on board as a consultant and part owner? It seems highly unlikely. In 2017, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia there was no chance he’d ever sell the franchise.
“Oh my God, no,” Lurie told NBC Sports. “Not a chance on the planet. No. You can tell Wall Street forget about it.”