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Jay Z's Gift To Cano Questioned, Showing Hazards Of Synergy
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Robinson Cano: His birthday gift from Jay Z is being watched.
watches Robinson Cano has had quite the offseason thus far. As his free agency begins, the Jay Z client and longtime Yankees second baseman has appeared at the top of nearly every list of the best players on the market; he’s said to be seeking a 10-year deal worth $310 million, which would be the largest in the history of professional sports.
all brand watches His agents–Jay Z and Roc Nation Sports, in partnership with Creative Artists Agency–are known as shrewd negotiators, and Cano is virtually guaranteed a nine-figure payday, if not his desired sum. In the meantime, the perks have been terrific, particularly on a recent trip to Belgium. Cano traveled there to celebrate his 31st birthday and attend a Jay Z concert; afterwards, the rapper presented him with a limited edition Hublot watch valued at nearly $34,000.
swiss replica watches The MLB Players Association did not look so kindly on the matter. According to ESPN , the organization is investigating to see if Jay Z violated any of the players’ union’s rules for agents by giving Cano the timepiece. MLBPA regulations state that “No Player Agent or Applicant shall provide, cause to be provided or promise to provide, any money or any other thing of value to any player, or any person related to or associated with such player, the purpose of which is to induce or encourage such player to use or continue to use any person’s or firm’s services.”
swiss replica watches aaa+ This is not the first time Jay Z has run afoul of league regulations by cozying up to professional athletes and teams with the intention of boosting his own businesses. Last spring, the NFL probed his relationship with quarterback Geno Smith to see if he and his associates had violated league rules while wooing the Jets star to Roc Nation Sports; a postgame visit by Jay Z to the locker room of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team in 2011 drew a $50,000 fine from the NCAA.
copy watches Such are the perils of being a multihyphenate mogul. From the beginning of his career, Jay Z’s business strategy has centered on synergy and cross-promotion. When representatives of the Iceberg clothing wouldn’t compensate him for lyrical mentions in the late 1990s, he decided to start his own fashion line, Rocawear (he and his partners sold the brand for $204 million in 2007).
best swiss replica watches Since then, Jay Z has launched or partnered on a slew of products in many categories frequently referenced in hip-hop songs. There’s been vodka (Armadale), champagne (Armand de Brignac), sneakers (S. Carter, with Reebok), cologne (first, 9IX; more recently, Gold Jay Z), basketball teams (first at Rucker Park, then in Brooklyn), nightspots (the 40/40 Club) and watches (Hublot), many of which I detailed in my Jay Z biography  Empire State of Mind .
The overarching theme: why give free publicity to somebody else’s brand when you can rap about your own–and reap the rewards? It only seems fitting that Jay Z’s latest issue stems from an instance of him giving a product of one venture (Hublot) to Cano, an individual crucial to another (Roc Nation Sports).
Jay Z has shown a willingness to make adjustments to his strategy to avoid penalties; for example, he sold  his stakes in the Brooklyn Nets and their arena to prevent a conflict of interest that could have gotten in the way of establishing Roc Nation Sports.
But don’t expect the investigation over Cano’s watch–or any potential financial penalties–to dissuade him from hobnobbing with athletes.
As he raps in one recent song: “What’s 50 grand to a [person] like me?”
Want to learn more about the business of music?  Follow me on   Twitter  and check out  my  Jay Z  biography,  Empire State of Mind . My next book,   Michael Jackson, Inc , is due out next year.
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