Roc Nation Sports, a sports management company founded by US rapper Jay-Z, has reportedly made its first foray into rugby union, with the signing of recent World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi.
The South African has been in the UK recently following his lifting of the Webb Ellis Cup earlier this month, with the long-term Liverpool fan heading to Anfield to see the Premier League side take on Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
According to South African media personality Robert Marawa and multiple media outlets, Kolisi also met with Roc Nation Sports International president Michael Yormark at the company’s London offices and has agreed to be represented by the organisation.
No details on the arrangement have been made public yet, although neither the South Africa Rugby Union or Rugby Football Union list any staff from Roc Nation Sports as accredited agents on their official lists, potentially indicating that Roc Nation Sports will look after Kolisi’s commercial interests rather than his rugby commitments.
It’s an interesting move for rugby union, with the US-based company boasting the financial muscle to establish themselves as a global agency within the sport should they wish to.
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The rugby player market is currently dominated by global agencies such as CSM Sports and Entertainment, Esportif and Stellar Rugby, but the arrival of Roc Nation Sports on to the scene could change that dynamic.
Set up in 2013 in partnership with Creative Artists Agency, Roc Nation Sports has grown quickly and boast clients such as basketball superstar Kyrie Irving, boxer Andre Ward and a number of NFL standouts, including Ronnie Stanley, Saquon Barkley and Todd Gurley.
'Certainly, the players we have we do random testing ourselves on a consistent basis and that is not just for steroid abuse' – Robbi Kempson challenges the sweeping doping culture accusations being made about South African rugby
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 28, 2019
The company has also recently branched out into football, picking up players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and budding English full-back Reece James.
Rugby player salaries may not offer the same financial incentive as those other sports, although wages are rising and Roc Nation Sports would be more than capable of establishing themselves within the market, given their financial position.
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