Jay Z's athlete representation agency Roc Nation Sports has already made big splashes in the NBA, the NFL, and MLB over the course of the last year. But don't expect the company to slow down anytime soon. The agency just hired respected boxing promoter David Itskowitch to be the COO of the boxing division of Roc Nation Sports and, according to Roc Nation president and chief of branding and strategy Michael Yormark, it marks Roc Nation Sports' official entrance into the boxing ring.
"There's no question the sport of boxing needs a new player, someone who can do something different," Yormark told ESPN.com last night. "We're energized and we're going to make a difference. This is a huge priority for us. This is a highly serious business to us."
As of right now, Roc Nation Sports hasn't signed any actual boxers or announced how they plan to help the sport of boxing. But Yormark believes that, by hiring Itskowitch, the agency is putting itself in place to make some serious moves in the world of boxing.
"Dave has one of the great reputations in the boxing industry," Yormark said of Itskowitch, who has worked in the business for nearly two decades. "Hiring him should be a loud and clear statement that 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."
Some background on the 39-year-old Itskowitch:
- He worked closely with HBO Sports senior vice president Lou DiBella back in the late 1990s before taking his talents to DiBella's promotional company from 2000 through 2006.
- He served as the COO for Oscar De La Hoya's promotional company Golden Boy Promotions from 2007 through 2013.
- He was first introduced to Yormark during his time with Golden Boy when he promoted several fights that took place at the Florida Panthers' home arena, the BB&T Center (Yormark was the president and CEO of the Panthers before joining Roc Nation Sports).
Much like it does with all of its athletes, Itskowitch says that Roc Nation Sports won't simply promote boxers in the days leading up to fights. It will work closely with them to help them land endorsement deals and serve as a one-stop-shop for their promotional needs.
"We will be a promoter," Itskowitch told ESPN.com, "but our job won't end once a guy fights on a particular Saturday night. We will promote him 365 days a year."
According to Itskowitch, Roc Nation Sports is interested in promoting their first event by the end of the year. So stay tuned to see how Jay Z's agency decides to attack the sport of boxing in the near future.
[via ESPN Boxing]