After landing clients in the NFL, MLB and NBA, Jay Z and his Roc Nation Sports hopes to make a push into the boxing world.
Company president Michael Yormark tells ESPN.com that they want to make their mark as a boxing promoter and have made it “a huge priority.”
“There’s no question the sport of boxing needs a new player, someone who can do something different,” Yormark told ESPN.com. “We’re energized, and we’re going to make a difference. This is a huge priority to us. This is a highly serious business to us.”
To help lead the way is David Itskowitch, who the company has hired as COO of its boxing division — a highly respected and experienced executive with 18 years in the boxing business.
“This is a serious business for us moving forward, and Dave has one of the great reputations in the boxing industry,” Yormark said. “Hiring him should be a loud and clear statement this is serious for us and that we will do this the right way. We have one of the most respected individuals in the sport leading the charge for us.
“We didn’t wake up yesterday and decide we wanted to get into the boxing business, but our first significant move was to bring Dave into the organization. This is an opportunity for us to change the game. It’s been in the works for the last six or eight months, and now we are making our move. Jay Z has an incredible passion for boxing. We want to take the platform we’ve created and bring that to the boxing industry. We want to bring more money and visibility to the sport and give the boxers opportunities outside the ring.”
Since launching the Roc Nation Sports division, the company has made a splash, signing the likes of Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Seattle Mariners star Robinson Cano, New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and Indianapolis Colts receiver Hakeem Nicks, among others.