Thursday September 21, 2023
The Best Employers in Sports Survey is Now Open!

Roc Nation’s “Off Script” Dinner Series is Changing the Way Athletes Connect With Brands

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 29: (L-R) Todd Gurley, Josh Hart and Chris Hibbs attend Roc Nation’s ‘Off Script’ Dinner Series, presented by Jetlux at Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas on March 29, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for Roc Nation )
Front Office Sports Today

Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?

The proposal aims to create an exciting media product while reducing travel for non-football sports.
Listen Now
September 21, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Michael Yormark, Normani, Todd Gurley, Josh Hart and Chris Hibbs at Roc Nation’s ‘Off Script’ Dinner Series. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for Roc Nation )

Brand partnerships and endorsement deals provide unique opportunities for athletes to build their personal platforms and set themselves up for long term financial success. Too often, though, these deals lack authenticity and, without appearing genuine, are unable to provide a sustainable impact for athletes or brands.

Roc Nation, an athlete and artist management agency founded by Jay-Z, is striving to change that through the “Off Script” dinner series – an initiative designed to cultivate relationships between its clients, business leaders, and brands.

Michael Yormark, who joined Roc Nation as its president and chief of branding and strategy in 2014, has been essential to the launch and success of the series. Through his role, he helps build out the brand strategy for Roc Nation athletes and artists by seeking out unique and authentic opportunities for them to align with the corporate world. One of the ways he has been able to do that is through “Off Script” events. 

“The idea behind it was to provide our young athletes and young artists the opportunity to interface with brand leaders, CEOs, COOs, CMOs, so that they could develop relationships with brand leaders throughout America, understand what those brands were all about and begin to create a personal relationship with those leaders.”

Last week, Roc Nation hosted its 30th Off Script event at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles. The event brought together Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, Lakers guard Josh Hart, and Normani, a singer formerly with Fifth Harmony, with top executives from 23 brands, including Beats by Dre, Adidas, PMK*BNC, Revolve, and Tinder.

“It’s an opportunity for the brand leaders to get quality time with these personalities and celebrities and it gives these celebrities the opportunity to interface with these celebrities in their backyard,” says Yormark.

(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for Roc Nation )

The events are strategically placed in cities around the country to help athletes and artists familiarize themselves with brands in the areas where they are living or working. Once the markets have been identified and the athletes or artists have expressed an interest in participating, Roc Nation works with them to determine their passion brands and send out invitations accordingly.

This is an important step in the process as Yormark and Roc Nation want to be sure there is a genuine connection between their clients and the brands at the events.

“For us, it’s all about authenticity. We’re not an agency that just does transactions. We’re an agency that really tries to build partnerships that are rooted in authenticity so that if an artist or athlete aligns with a specific brand, it makes sense. It’s real and it’s genuine,” explains Yormark.

For the brands, the opportunity is exciting, which Yormark attributes to the uniqueness of the program.

“Quite honestly I don’t think any other agency is doing anything like this,” he says. “We try to do things that are a little different, a little out of the box for our clients and find opportunities for them that they, quite frankly, can’t find anywhere else.”

Yormark and Roc Nation have found success in their unique thinking as the dinners have resulted in tangible benefits for their clients. Throughout its four year existence, the series has seen participating athletes and artists develop mentoring relationships and secure brand partnerships through conversations had at the dinners. The series has grown in size throughout its lifespan as well. The event Los Angeles was the largest “Off Site” to date, hosting about 65 people, and the first to bring together athletes and artists in the same event.

Given its success, Yormark expects the series to continue and is in the process of identifying the next location with his team at Roc Nation.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Stanford soccer field.

The Biggest Problem With The Conference Realignment Craze

For many, the tradeoff between revenue and travel isn't worth it.
GetYourGuide has raised $194 million at a $2 billion valuation.

Justin Jefferson, Khris Middleton Invest in GetYourGuide Startup Worth Nearly $2 Billion

GetYourGuide raised $194 million total at a $2 billion valuation.
Williams is joining Consello Group alongside Tom Brady and Pau Gasol.

Consello Group Adds Serena Williams, Joining Tom Brady, Pau Gasol

Tom Brady and Pau Gasol are also part of Consello Group.

Commonwealth Investment App Hits Big With Mage's Kentucky Derby Win

About 400 Commonwealth users had ownership shares in Mage.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?


Featured Today

Boise State Broncos running back Ashton Jeanty (2) runs the ball against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks during the first half at Albertsons Stadium.

The First Official Proposal for Promotion-Relegation In College Football

Realignment is forcing Group of 5 schools to rethink their structure.
A general view of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Stadium.
September 20, 2023

Political Support Grows for RFK Stadium Bill

The Commanders exited RFK after the 1996 NFL season for FedEx Field.
Philadelphia Eagles jerseys.
September 19, 2023

Fanatics Fumbles Eagles Merchandise, Pauses Future Shipments

Michael Rubin has apologized for crooked Eagles apparel sent to fans.
September 19, 2023

Coach Prime Is Ratings Gold, And Everyone Wants A Piece Of The Pie

Colorado games continue to deliver huge viewership numbers.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
Drew Brees smiling while wearing hat

Drew Brees, PointsBet Pull Off Elaborate Lightning Publicity Stunt

The video racked up over 2 million views in about 12 hours.
September 16, 2022

NBA Legend Scottie Pippen Latest Celebrity To Endorse LIV Golf

The former Chicago Bull is part of LIV's celebrity marketing campaign.
June 21, 2022

NBA Finals Broke Records on Social Media

The NBA closed out the season with a bang on social media, eclipsing 2 billion video plays for a 19% increase over last year.
June 21, 2022

Gallo Winery Could Be New Player For Super Bowl Spots

Anheuser-Busch is giving up Super Bowl alcohol exclusivity for first in decades. NFL sponsor E. & J. Gallo Winery might step up with own commercials in the Big Game.
June 13, 2022

NBA's Latest Floating Court Hits London's River Thames

Hennessy continued their global initiative with the NBA by creating a floating court in the River Thames.
June 13, 2022

Steph Curry Is NBA's Social Media King

Steph Curry isn't only dominating on the court, he's become the king of the NBA's social and digital push.
June 7, 2022

The NBA Continues to Dominate the Social Media Space

The NBA seemingly capitalizes in the digital and social space more than most leagues. Here's some of the data from the Finals.
June 1, 2022

Golf Sponsors Dump PGA Tour Players Defecting To Rival LIV

Golf sponsors RBC and UPS have ended their deals with Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood over their decision to join LIV Golf.