How much does Kevin Durant have to gain by partnering with music mogul Jay-Z?

The Thunder superstar is on so many commercials these days that had the Thunder made the NBA Finals, people might actually be getting sick of him. What more does he want? We're about to find out.
by Jenni Carlson Published: June 12, 2013

Kevin Durant is on a quest for world domination.

What else are we to think after the news that he plans to partner with music mogul Jay-Z and his newly formed Roc Nation Sports?

Durant recently parted ways with agent Rob Pelinka, who he'd only been with a little over a year. While it's not clear whether Durant wants to be represented by Roc Nation Sports — the Thunder superstar is under contract through 2015-16, so there's no immediate need for an agent — he absolutely wants to tap into the marketing opportunities that Jay-Z and Co. could provide him.

This from a guy who is already a pitchman for Nike, Gatorade, Sprint and Degree.

Durant is on so many commercials these days that had the Thunder made the NBA Finals, people might actually be getting sick of him.

What more does he want?

We're about to find out.

“There's a sense of what he could do (endorsement-wise), as long as his game stays strong, is kind of on autopilot,” ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell said. “Companies will come to him, and they know who he is. I don't feel like he has anything to lose.

“The question is, how much does he have to gain?”

Durant is already something of an unorthodox figure in the marketing world. Even though his game is dynamic, his personality is not.

You know, the whole KD is not nice thing.

But the truth is, he really is a nice guy. Shakes hands with strangers. Makes eye contact with people. Knows the arena workers between the locker room and court.

A decade ago, that personality might not have appealed to companies, but nowadays, it works.

“There's so much fake in the world that he turns out to be refreshing,” Rovell said.

But now Durant is reportedly going to join forces with Jay-Z, a man who's all about buzz and hype, splash and flash. He does everything bigger and bolder.

Honestly, though, the biggest thing to happen to Jay-Z since starting Roc Nation Sports is Durant. The agency only has a small base of clients. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is at the top of the heap. New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and WNBA rookie Skylar Diggins are also on the roster.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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