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Michael Jordan to Dez Bryant: ‘Stay out of trouble’

dez-bryantDallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant recently took a major step toward cementing his financial future when he signed an endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand, as in Michael Jordan. Bryant is obviously a risk for Jordan’s company because of his checkered past, which includes but is not limited to assaulting his own mother and causing a scene at the mall with his pants.

However, Dez also has the potential to be a superstar in the making and a major marketing tool. That’s why His Airness wants the 24-year-old to keep his head on straight.

“The only thing he told me was ‘stay out of trouble’”, Bryant said of the first time he met Jordan, via the Star-Telegram. “Hearing it from him, he is a strong voice. His opinion matters. It just adds fuel to trying to do things great at all times, that’s something you don’t want to mess up. Now, I do pay attention to that, just because of the fact of who he is and what he is about. Everybody knows Michael Jordan is about his business, so that makes you want to be about yours.”

For the most part, Bryant has kept his nose clean since the Cowboys gave him a strict set of rules to abide by last season. If he respects Jordan as much as he says he does, signing a contract with the Jordan Brand should only help motivate him to stay on track.

“I don’t know one guy who doesn’t admire him,” Bryant said. “It’s very rare to be a part of that group (a Jordan Brand athlete endorser). Just to be blessed to be part of that group means a lot to me. Before I was even signed to the brand all I rocked were Jordans. I’m blessed to be part of that. I’m going to stay focused and do my job and hold myself accountable with my actions.”

Bryant caught 92 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, so we know what he is capable of on the field. If his new deal with the Jordan Brand inspires him to keep a low profile off the field, Tony Romo could be getting an even better Bryant in 2013.

Dwyane Wade has a giant Gatorade fridge in his house (Picture)

Dwyane-Wade-Gatorade-fridge

Dwyane Wade is one of Gatorade’s most recognizable endorsers. Like any other major corporation that sponsors a superstar athlete, Gatorade compensates Wade with a lot of money and a lot of sports drinks. And by a lot, we mean D-Wade has a fully stocked Gatorade fridge in his house.

“Just came home to a packed #gatorade machine,” Wade wrote along with the photo above that he posted on Instagram. “I give it 2 weeks b4 we need a refill..#kidsdrinkupeverything.”

Now all the Wade household needs is a machine that will yell at Dwyane before he leaves the house wearing something like this. If they can get one of those bad boys installed, what more could they need?

H/T Darren Rovell

Geno Smith officially signs with Jay Z’s sports agency

Geno-Smith-JetsGeno Smith received a lot of attention last month when he reportedly fired his agents because he was not the first quarterback selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Whether you believe it is a coincidence or not, Jay-Z happens to have started his own sports agency just a few weeks prior to Smith ditching his agents. You probably know where this is going.

According to the Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News, Smith announced on Wednesday that he has hired Jay-Z’s agency, Roc Nation Sports, to represent him going forward. He insisted that Jay-Z himself played “not that big of a role” in his decision.

“I think it’s just his agency,” Smith explained. “When you talk about being in New York from a standpoint of what they can do in the city, the connections that they have, I think it’s a good move. My mother and my family were comfortable with it. I’m comfortable with it.”

“I’m just going to move on from there. It’s not going to be a big deal and just remain humble and keep focusing on football.”

Anyone who tries to downplay the role of Jay-Z in their decision to sign with Roc Sports Nation is lying. There are very few people in the world who can drop everything they are doing to break into the business of representing athletes, and Jay-Z is one of them. If I decided to start my own sports agency, you wouldn’t see people like this MLB All-Star and this Pro Bowl wide receiver jumping on board. That’s because I’m not Jay-Z. His power and reputation have plenty to do with it.

Smith, who reportedly fell in the draft because of character concerns, said improving his image is not important.

“The only thing that’s important to be is the image that is perceived around this lockerroom, the guy that I am to my teammates, to my coaches and the work that I put in on the football field,” he said. “I’m all about football. I’m all about getting better and that’s the one thing that I’m focused on: Better myself daily and prepare myself to be there when the time comes.”

One thing we know for certain: Roc Nation Sports has had little trouble rounding up star power in its month-plus of existence.

Jay-Z reportedly giving up Brooklyn Nets ownership to become agent

Jay-Z is about to change the sports agent game.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Jay-Z has begun the process of divesting his ownership share in the Brooklyn Nets in order to become a certified NBA agent. HOV owns less than one percent of the team and league rules prevent owners from also representing players.

One could almost see this move coming. Jay Z’s Roc Nation company recently partnered with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to launch a sports representation firm, and they are already making noise. Robinson Cano signed with Jay-Z’s company last week, as did New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.

The allure of working with Jay-Z and being associated with his brand is very strong and should be enough to steer many clients toward CAA. Much like his relationship with the Nets, Jay-Z won’t have to be involved too much in the hands-on business, but he will come into play as a visible front man.

Agents are said to be panicking about this development, and they should be. We all know that many athletes love the music game (and vice versa), and often have aspirations of becoming more than just an athlete. Many will believe that partnering with Jay-Z will give them the opportunity to do so.

Kevin Ware wears pink Nike foamposites; Louisville is Adidas school

Kevin Ware Nike Foamposite

Louisville may have done Kevin Ware wrong by attempting to profit off his broken leg while he couldn’t get a cut of the proceeds, and it looks like the sophomore guard got them back (intentionally or not).

Ware, on crutches, came out of Louisville’s tunnel inside the Georgia Dome to join his team for the national championship game Monday. He was shown wearing his jersey, sweat pants, and pink Nike Foamposite shoes.

Just when Adidas was catching a huge break by having two of its schools play against each other in the national championship game, Ware got the swoosh a moment of unexpected air time on TV.

H/T CJ Zero

NBA forces Iman Shumpert to remove Adidas logo from his head (Picture)

Iman-Shumpert-Adidas-logo-hair

Iman Shumpert recently decided to showcase his support for Adidas by shaving their logo into the back of his head, but the new look didn’t last long. Because of NBA rules, Shumpert if left with nothing but a triangle.

On Saturday, the New York Knicks forward posted a before and after shot on his Instagram account.

“Banned,” the caption read. “(Sorry) @nba didn’t realize there were branding issues wit da logo #iPUToN.”

As SI.com’s The Point Forward pointed out, sporting a corporate logo during games violates Item 5 of Section H in the NBA’s official rule book. Players are only allowed to wear the logo of their choice on their sneakers.

Shumpert is endorsed by Adidas and I’m sure his endorser loved the advertising stunt while it lasted. Such is life when it comes to sports business. If Shumpert wants to get a crazy haircut that looks like this, he’s more than welcome to do so.

Victor Cruz signs with Jay-Z’s sports agency

Victor-Cruz-GiantsJay-Z is building an empire. Actually, Jay-Z has already built more than an empire. He has now turned his focus toward adding some of the biggest names in sports to his realm. On Tuesday, Robinson Cano announced that he had fired agent Scott Boras and signed with Roc Nation, which has paired with Creative Artists Agency to begin representing athletes. Victor Cruz is joining them.

According to the NY Post, the New York Giants wide receiver signed with Jay-Z’s sports agency on Wednesday. Last season, Cruz incorporated Jay-Z’s diamond-shaped “Roc” symbol into his touchdown routine, which makes a lot more sense now.

Unlike Cano, Cruz did not have to fire his current agent to sign with Roc Nation Sports. Cruz’s agent Tom Condon is already affiliated with CAA, so his deal with Jay-Z is expected to have more of an impact on endorsement deals than his football contract. The Giants have put a first-round tender on Cruz, meaning they would receive a first-round pick for him if another team offers the 26-year-old a contract New York chooses not to match.

As the Post speculated, Cruz’s decision to sign with Jay-Z’s agency could actually be good news for the Giants. Jay-Z has tremendous influence in New York and the surrounding area, so it probably would have no benefit to Cruz from an endorsement standpoint to leave New York. Eli Manning is certainly hoping that is the case.