Jay-Z Reportedly Convinced the NBA to Allow the Nets’ Black-and-White Color Scheme

by August 16, 2012

There’s an interesting feature in today’s NY Times about Jay-Z’s influence over the Brooklyn Nets (you should probably go check out the whole thing), but one piece of information that stood out was that the NBA, according to the writer’s sources, wasn’t going to approve of the Brooklyn Nets’ new black-and-white jerseys—until Hov stepped up and changed their minds. More details: “Now, with the long-delayed Barclays Center arena nearing opening night in September and the Nets bidding in earnest for Brooklyn’s loyalties, Jay-Z will perform eight sold-out shows to kick things off. But away from center stage he has put his mark on almost every facet of the enterprise, his partners say. He helped design the team logos and choose the team’s stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (the N.B.A., according to a person with knowledge of the discussion, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied). He counseled arena executives on what kind of music to play during games. (‘Less Jersey,’ he urged, pushing niche artists like Santigold over old favorites like Bon Jovi.) He even coached them on how to screen patrons for weapons without appearing too heavy-handed. (‘Be mindful,’ he advised oracularly, ‘and be sensitive.’) In the two and a half years since groundbreaking, as taxi-roof advertisements promised ‘All access to Jay-Z,’ and sponsorship salespeople trumpeted how “hip and cool” he and his wife, Beyoncé, would make the arena, he and the Nets have effectively written a new playbook for how to deploy a strategic celebrity investor.”