Jay Z Picks Former Florida Panthers Exec To Be President Of Roc Nation Sports

Mar 3 2014, 5:11pm CST | by

Jay Z Picks Former Florida Panthers Exec To Be President Of Roc Nation Sports
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Michael Yormark is stepping down as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers as part of a move to become the President and Chief Strategy Officer of Roc Nation Sports.  The sports division of Roc Nation, owned by rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z, was originally unveiled as a real venture in April 2013.  In less than a year of operation, it has grown to officially represent MLB pitcher CC Sabathia, NFL quarterback Geno Smith, wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, NBA forward Kevin Durant, second baseman Robinson Cano, and the WNBA’s Skylar Diggins.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that after 11 years of incredible memories, moments and relationships, I am departing Sunrise Sports & Entertainment to open an exciting new chapter in my career,” said Yormark in an open letter recognizing his departure from Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which operates the BB&T center (where the Panthers play their home games) and manages the Florida Panthers.

“Roc Nation represents a wonderful new adventure for my family and me, and I am thrilled to join an exciting, innovative organization led by Desiree and Juan Perez,” continued Yormark.  ”Roc Nation Sports is poised to grow in to one of the most influential companies in the industry and I am looking forward to taking on this new challenge . . . Moving forward, I will be working out of Roc Nation’s New York City offices while maintaining my residence in South Florida.”

Juan Perez, referenced by Michael Yormark, is the President of Roc Nation Sports and has been greatly involved in the representation of the division’s clientele.  For instance, it is Juan Perez and Jay Z who co-represent one of Roc Nation Sports’ newest clients — New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia.  ”CC exemplifies everything Roc Nation looks for in an athlete and a partner,” Perez said around the time that his company signed Sabathia.

Juan and Desiree Perez (also mentioned by Yormark) were additionally involved in the contract negotiated between MLB second baseman Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners.  ”At the end we took them down into the locker room to give them a tour of the field, and we had lockers set up for them.  There was Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, (Roc Nation president) Juan Perez, (Roc Nation’s) Desiree Perez, Jay Z, the whole group,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said after the contract was signed.  ”And Juan Perez, he gets in front of a locker and flops down in a chair, leans back into a locker, got a baseball bat in his hand, like he’s a player.  And he’s yelling at nobody in the locker room.  It’s like he’s a locker room guy.  It was pretty neat, I mean, it really was.”

In Michael Yormark, Roc Nation Sports really does get a “locker room guy” to lead the charge of the still relatively new sports agency.  He has run a professional team sports organization for more than a decade and understands the complexities of negotiating major playing contracts with those who now sit on the other side of the table.  Yormark is also widely known for his tremendous work-ethic, which includes working out seven days a week and getting to the gym as early as 3:45 a.m.

Yormark will join two other individuals who recently left the Florida Panthers organization to work for Roc Nation Sports.

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Source: Forbes Business


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