The NFL American football league has struck a long-term deal with Roc Nation for the entertainment company to become its official live music entertainment strategists.
Roc Nation will take the lead and advise on the selection of artists for major NFL performances such as the Super Bowl. The company will also work with the league on the production and promotion of new music, as well as culture- and cause-focused initiatives.
Roc Nation will consult and collaborate on a range of production, promotion, marketing and communications aspects for live music events and related activations, including new endeavours such as ‘Songs of the Season’ and a Pro Bowl Community Concert.
Roc Nation founder Jay-Z has publicly supported the actions of former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who protested against racial injustice in the US by kneeling during the pre-game national anthem. Kaepernick’s actions prompted a number of other players to follow suit and led to a wider debate over race and free speech in the US.
The NFL’s partnership with Roc Nation will seek to amplify the Inspire Change platform priority areas identified by players, such as education and economic advancement, improving police-community relations and criminal justice reform. The two parties will also work to create and distribute music content across music streaming services.
Roc Nation founder Jay-Z said: “With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country. Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas – instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell added: “Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organisations in entertainment. The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”
The 2019 Super Bowl was held at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium (pictured), with Maroon 5 headlining the half-time show. Other acts to have headlined in recent years include Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Beyoncé.
The partnership is set to give Jay-Z a say on who performs during the half-time show, which each year attracts an audience of more than 100 million people. The 2020 Super Bowl will take place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, with Rihanna rumoured to be the half-time headline act.
Image: Mercedes-Benz Stadium