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Jay-Z's Role With Nets Bigger Than His Small Stake, a LOT Bigger

Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets

In the ubiquitous Budwiser commercial that started running during the Olympics, Jay-Z's voice is heard throughout, but his face is only shown once and for a short time. Yet, every second he's on camera, he's shown wearing a Brooklyn Nets cap. It's product placement of the highest order, subtly associating the "cultural icon" with the team he owns a small part of...and someone else is paying for it.

Now, in a page one article, David Halbfinger of the Times provides the most extensive examination of Jay-Z's role with the Nets and Barclays Center, with a flurry of details never before reported. His ownership stake in the team, once about 1.5%, has shrunk to one-fifteenth one of one percent. It's but a tiny reflection of his role.

The arena architect says he's helped design interior spaces. His graphic designer and he put together the team's logo. He and his partner in a New York ad agency is responsible for the "Hello Brooklyn" campaign and it was he who convinced the NBA to let the Nets use the black-and-white motif.

As Brett Yormark recounts, Jay-Z is always on the lookout. "Brett, I’m watching," Yormark recounts Jay-Z saying. "And every detail matters." Still, not everyone thinks the Times piece is fully reflective of his role. Both the Basketball Jones and SB Nation review the article and find it wanting.