Dale Earnhardt, Jr. became the latest big name in sports to sign on with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports Agency and the first from the world of NASCAR.
“I feel like my brand is well-known among NASCAR fans, but I want it to grow beyond stock car racing,” said Earnhardt, Jr. “And Jay-Z is where it’s at right now. I am excited to work with him and the good folks at Roc Nation.”
Earnhardt joins a Roc Nation client roster that includes Robinson Cano, Geno Smith, Skylar Diggins and Kevin Durant. The Earnhardt, Jr. partnership could allow Jay-Z to make plays for up-and-coming NASCAR stars such as Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard. Next could be forays into NHRA truck racing and professional bass fishing.
Jay-Z scoffs at those who suggest a pairing with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is an odd match.
“Why? Why would you say that? I think I know why you’re saying that,” said the entertainment mogul. “I aim to make Roc Nation the premier sports agency. This is legitimate. You can’t pigeonhole me to just black athletes in the three major sports. You might want to, but you can’t.”
Jay-Z also vowed the partnership would “be far more successful” than the recent hip hop and country collaboration between LL Cool J and Brad Paisley.
Earnhardt, Jr. said he is already pleased with his decision.
“Before today, I never spoke to a black person, so this is pretty exciting,” he said. “This is something I can scratch off my bucket list.”