JAY-Z’s Roc Nation Sports has teamed up with the Gaming Community Network, Inc. (GCN), which is a part of GameSquare, to create worldwide global gaming solutions for athletes, according to a memo released on Wednesday (Aug. 18). Under the multi-year partnership, original athlete-centric strategies will be created, including live streaming events, gaming content production, content syndication across the GCN Network and esports tournaments.
“Increasingly, athletes are engaging in the world of esports gaming,” said Brodie Van Wagenen, COO and Head of Strategy and Business Development at Roc Nation Sports. “Younger audiences represent a hugely influential and important demographic to reach. By pairing GCN’s vast network and capabilities with Roc Nation Sports’ diverse global footprint, our clients will be able to connect to a broader community while growing their personal brands and businesses through innovative and multi-facing gaming projects.”
GCN will generate strategies for each athlete that is suitable for their interests in esports and gaming. Under the social media outreach and marketing of Roc Nation and GCN’s knowledge of esports, unique strategies will be created for the members of the Roc Nation roster, which currently includes Skylar Diggins-Smith, LaMelo Ball, Saquon Barkley and more.
“To be able to partner with such a premier entertainment and sports organization in Roc Nation Sports is an amazing opportunity for GCN,’’ said Chris Kindt, Chief Marketing Officer of GCN. “With this being our first formal collaboration with a talent agency, we can’t wait to get started working with Juan Perez and Brodie Van Wagenen. This partnership will allow us to continue to bridge the gap between traditional media and gaming. We are excited to build esports content and tournaments with Roc Nation Sports.”
This news comes just days after JAY-Z and Roc Nation invested in Michael Rubin’s $18 billion Fanatics company, which is looking to expand into avenues outside of merchandising. New employees have been brought onto the team to explore new opportunities in sports gambling, gaming, NFTs and new ticketing models.
Soon after the investment in Fanatics was announced, JAY-Z submitted an application to the New York State Gaming Commission for approval to obtain an online sports betting license.