Jay-Z’s Rocawear partners with the New York Yankees for 2012 baseball season.
Photo: Getty Images
As if the man doesn’t already have his hands full raising American music’s little princess, Blue Ivy Carter, Jay-Z has just announced that his revitalized Rocawear brand is partnering with the New York Yankees. Rocawear will have branded signage featured prominently in Yankee Stadium as part of an integrated promotional campaign rolling out this year. The news couldn’t be coming at a more opportune time, at the top of the 2012 baseball season, and knowing that Jay “made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can” (à la “Empire State of Mind”) it seems like a natural fit. Key word: seems. Leave it to us mouth-breathing keyboard tappers to be forever skeptics, but we just can’t shake the feeling that this Yankees deal might not quite fit in line with Hov’s Brooklyn-centric personal branding let alone that of the reinvigorated Rocawear.
Far be it from us to stir up inter-borough beef, but if you’re on a mission to revive BK, doesn’t signing a deal with the Bronx Bombers maybe send out a little mixed messaging? We knowwwww Jay is a gigantic Yankees fan and Brooklyn hasn’t been home to a major league team in over 50 years, and ideally, this should all be part of one larger New York family, but we just can’t help but feel that culturally the Yankees embody something that isn’t quite “Brooklyn” in attitude. It’s a smart business deal, for sure, because NY residents and tourists alike look forward to summertime Yankees games as a kind of American rite of passage, meaning the Rocawear ads would reach a LOT of eyeballs. We just wonder if they’re ultimately the right ones. Originally, Jay’s Rocawear commercial was titled “From Marcy to Madison Square,” but it seems that some time between early February when the OG spot was revealed and April 2 when this YouTube video was uploaded, the brand’s team felt they should change it to “From Marcy to Barclays,” shifting away from the Manhattan venue/Home of the Knicks and toward the forth-coming Brooklyn arena Jigga is heavily involved in erecting. HMMMmmmm.
We’re not saying that Jay’s support for basketball’s soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets means he and all his tributaries need to hold fast to the “Mets, Jets, Nets” community of sports fandom. But okay, maybe we are. To be real, it’s a catch-22 for the dude no matter which baseball team he links up with for Rocawear. We’re griping here about this Yankees partnership, but turn the tables and imagine if Hov was shaking hands with the Mets. He’s made the world so aware of his allegiance to the Pinstripers in his lyrics, ubiquitous fitted cap, and even his adorable personal video of Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit that we’d surely come roaring down the man’s throat about a different host of inconsistencies. So we’ll leave it up to you. What do you think? Should Jay-Z’s Rocawear be partnering with the New York Yankees?