The Footballers Who Have Signed With Roc Nation Sports

24 June 2020 03:23

Roc Nation was founded in 2008, and over time, the agency has continued to grow rapidly. It has been a very similar case with Roc Nation Sports, which was set up in 2013 by none other than Jay-Z.

Roc Nation Sports International President Michael Yormark has previously explained that they don't see themselves as a traditional agency, but rather a movement. RNS pride themselves upon helping athletes achieve their objectives both on the field and off the field, helping them to leave a positive, long-lasting legacy on society.

Roc Nation Sports have been doing just this as they teamed up with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford in April to help manage his off-field activities and provide him with the chance to use his platform to make such a positive difference to the UK and society in general. Most notably, the England forward ensured the UK government reversed their decision to halt the Free School Meals vouchers and has continued campaigning for those who need help since.

He has also learned sign language to judge a poetry competition at a deaf school, while also tackling the issue of homelessness. Rashford's work has been truly remarkable. Here, 90min looks at the players who have joined in teaming up with Roc Nation Sports.


1. Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)

Signed: April 2018

Romelu Lukaku became the first Premier League player to team up with Roc Nation Sports when he signed with them in April 2018.

Thing is, Lukaku was already with a pretty big agent before signing with RNS. In fact, he was with a 'super agent' who goes by the name of Mino Raiola. Yet, the Belgian left Raiola to go and sign with Roc Nation - and it's safe to say it has worked out very well for him,

It was a major step forward in the industry for RNS and Lukaku himself, who was in elite company alongside Boateng at the time.

Lukaku went on to meet Jay-Z in New York, with the forward describing it as a dream come true. Since teaming up with Roc Nation, the Belgium international has made a mega money switch from Manchester United to Inter, where he is enjoying a very successful first season.

Additionally, it has been said that his record deal with Puma came about as a result of his connection with Roc Nation as Jay-Z is a fan of the brand.


3. Eric Bailly (Manchester United

Signed: January 2019

Man Utd's Eric Bailly became the third footballer to become a member of Roc Nation's 'family' when he signed in January 2019. This saw him also team up with good friend Lukaku, who voiced his delight once news had broken that Bailly had joined.

The pair were teammates at United together and Lukaku was keen to stress that RNS had done outstanding things for his career, and he was sure the agency could do the same for Bailly.

Despite Bailly's injury struggles, he remains a huge fan favourite at Old Trafford, with his personality (as well as his footballing ability, of course) playing a major role in this.

Bailly has his own charity, named the Eric Bailly Foundation, and he recently used this to help support people from his home nation of Ivory Coast. Sending food, drink and other essentials during the global pandemic, Bailly was able to help support a number of people in isolation.


4. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Signed: April 2019

With De Bruyne and Lukaku already with RNS, Axel Witsel became the latest addition. The midfielder joined Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2018 after spending some time away from European football - featuring in China.

Since then, Witsel has gone on to become a key member of Dortmund's first-team, making 81 appearances up to this point. He also remains a hugely important member of the Belgium national team and despite being just 31, he sits second for his nation with regards to caps.

Witsel remains a very underrated footballer.


6. Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)

Signed: October 2019

Who?!

Dakota Watterson is the youngest footballer on this list, with the youngster teaming up with Roc Nation in October 2019 at the age of just 14 years old.

Watterson is also the second-youngest American footballer to turn professional, and there are high hopes for her. Training weekly with different teams, Watterson is working tirelessly to make a real name for herself. However, being a member of Roc Nation Sports comes with responsibility and despite her age, she has not shied away from this. She is already a role model in her local area, hosting training camps for young aspiring athletes.


8. Reece, Lauren & Nigel James (Chelsea/Man Utd Women/N/A)

Signed: November 2019

Roc Nation describes itself as a 'family' - with each new athlete becoming the latest member of the group. But, in this case, quite literally, the James family decided to sign with RNS.

Reece has emerged as one of the most exciting young talents at Chelsea, putting in a number of impressive displays in a variety of positions - notably right-back. Upon signing, Reece was keen to allude to the strong bond at RNS, explaining his delight at being able to join with his sister Lauren, currently at Man Utd Women, and father Nigel, who's a well-renowned coach.

As for RNS, it was the latest example that not only did they want to be the best, but also the most unique - a place where not just individuals are welcome, but also families.


9. Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford has pioneered change for those who are under privileged | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Signed: April 2020

Marcus Rashford MBE is more than just a footballer.

An empathetic, selfless individual, he's devoted his young life to helping those who are less fortunate in the world, challenging the Government on countless occasions to do better for society.

His partnership with RocNation was confirmed upon announcement as a "strictly off-field, encompassing philanthropy, PR and marketing, communications, digital strategy and commercial partnerships." - one that is aimed to help Rashford touch the lives of as many individuals as possible.

10. Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus)

Signed: May 2020

Just a matter of days after announcing the addition of Bernardeschi, Roc Nation confirmed Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings had also teamed up with the ever-growing company.

Mings has already begun preparing for life after football by boosting his business knowledge, investing in fashion and tech companies as well as showing an interest in property development. Additionally, he has also set up the Tyrone Mings Academy.

It is clear to see the type of athlete Roc Nation look for, and Mings meets the criteria. With Rashford officially becoming the most recent player to team up with RNS, it is a case of who will be next?


12. Wilfried Zaha

Signed: November 2020

Wilfried Zaha is one of the most charismatic and talented footballers to ever have a Premier League ball at his feet, so it's appropriate that RocNation signed him up towards the back end of 2020.

The Ivorian's relationship with the agency is one that is designed to help Zaha "reach all of his on and off-field goals and objectives in the future",
something that he was unable to achieve under super-agent Pini Zahavi (in terms of a big money transfer, anyway).

He is also involved in many philanthropic projects across England and Ivory Coast, something that RocNation have vowed to help expand throughout his time on their books.


For more from Adam Aladay, follow him on Twitter!

Source: 90min