Roc Nation Sports president Michael Yormark says his agency didn’t sign Springbok captain Siya Kolisi because he is a star athlete but because of the man he is and what he stands for.
Roc Nation is an American-based full-service entertainment company, inclusive of artist and athlete management, label, publishing, touring, film, television and new ventures founded and owned by renowned hip-hop artist and business tycoon Jay-Z.
Yormark, who heads up the company’s sports division, has revealed that Kolisi is currently the only rugby player on the agency’s books, but that he is already remoulding their athlete brand.
‘After learning about his story, during and after the World Cup, and also understanding what his personal and brand goals and objectives are, it was a natural opportunity for Roc Nation to sign him and expand his good work globally,’ Yormark told SportsPro magazine.
‘The work he is doing isn’t only impacting South Africa and the [African continent], it is having an impact on the entire world. The Kolisi Foundation, as an example, has been profiled three times over the past 45 days in the New York Times.’
‘People are noticing what he is doing. He has developed this iconic status and, again, not just in South Africa, but around the world. That is why we signed him. It had all to do with who he is as an individual.’
Yormark also confirmed that they are looking into a book deal and the production of a documentary based on Kolisi’s life story.
‘It is one thing to have a great story but, in the case of his documentary, we have to make sure that it has the right distributors and we need to make sure that distribution has a global footprint.
‘So, while we’re shooting the documentary, we are also talking to some of the biggest media companies in the world and we are very optimistic that it will have global distribution and it will continue to amplify his story.
‘We’re also working on another major project with Siya called United for Africa, a virtual live-streamed music and cultural experience, that will profile artists throughout the world to help raise money to feed those in need in Africa.
‘Although the goal isn’t to tell Siya’s story, he will have significant visibility during that event and people will get to know Siya in a different way. These are all opportunities that continue to build the Siya Kolisi brand and continue to allow us to share his story with the rest of the world.’