With Roc Nation and Serie A officially partnering up ahead of the 2023-24 season, we take a look at the agency’s quest to take the football world by storm.
Serie A is a league that seems to be dwindling as it tries to re-establish itself among the elite of the modern game. One issue it’s facing is massive mismanagement from the top down, as well as an excruciating financial disparity across European football, which is also partly due to the running of the league itself.
Roc Nation, the agency founded by Jay-Z, has just signed a major deal with Serie A in order to strategically raise the league’s profile in North America. It’s not the first time the agency has worked in Italian football, as it struck a deal with AC Milan in 2020 and represents a few players in the league, including Romelu Lukaku. Becoming a strategic Serie A partner seems like a logical next step.
Roc Nation is clearly trying to expand throughout football rapidly. There are arguments for an attempt at monopolization, with the business securing partnerships and deals in increasing numbers. Many see the agency’s motivations as dubious, but with Serie A in the situation it is, it needs all the help it can get.
The finances of Serie A are disastrous, rotten to the core. The collapse of TV rights sales combined with COVID-19 and various factors such as stadium ownership have seen the league crippled and unable to compete with the likes of La Liga and the Premier League. The product Italian football now offers to the demanding market is diminished, no matter if you think the actual football itself is good. Italian football is struggling, and if this continues, it becomes dangerously close to falling into the abyss.
The partnership, whether or not you like it, gives the league an opportunity to kickstart a revival. Roc Nation offers a better pathway into a huge market in North America and also access to a global audience through social media and other digital forums.
I’ve no idea what the plans are for this partnership nor what it will entail. The agency has already shown support for Italian football and made moves to clean up its image following various racist incidents last season. But apart from that, all I know is that it seems to be somewhat of a step in the right direction for the growth of the league. Or at least a step towards shifting mentality.
The issue now lies with the league’s management, as it remains a blockade for any potential fulfillment.
“By collaborating with Roc Nation, Serie A also intends to undertake projects that go beyond football, recognizing the potential of sport as a catalyst for significant transformations,” said Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo.
Believe it if you want, but the cynic in me remains strong, and I feel skeptical of any drastic changes happening with the current regime in charge of the FIGC and the league. I hope to be proved wrong, however, and I hope to see Serie A and Italian football reinstated where they deserve to be in the future: the very top.