Samsung and Jay-Z are currently negotiating a sponsorship deal worth upwards of $20 million revolving around Samsung Mobile. One source reported that, “The eight-figure deal will be inked in the next few weeks, and is the biggest of its kind. You can speculate that he’ll want to develop some kind of new music-streaming service to promote his acts and music on mobile devices.”
In recent years, Jay-Z has entered into a variety of business ventures, which have proven mostly successful. He serves as co-brand director for Budweiser Select, a lager under Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD), is a co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, and has recently teamed with Creative Arts Agency to form his own sports agency.
The move by Samsung is not unprecedented. In January 2013, BlackBerry appointed Alicia Keys as its global creative director while Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am has served as “director of creative innovation” at Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) since 2011. When Polaroid was mired in bankruptcy proceedings, they hired Lady Gaga as their creative director because of her work in industrial design and precision optics.
The partnerships between celebrity and business seem to show a model of success. Blackberry’s stock spiked in January and has performed better than it had for the majority of 2012. Polaroid improbably relaunched the company with a focus on fine arts using the staunch support of artists and enthusiasts. With Samsung’s famously public battle with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), their partnership with Jay-Z might represent another method of stealing some of Apple’s user base.
If the Blackberry’s success with Alicia Keys is any indication of the effects of celebrity and technology partnerships, Samsung’s partnership with Jay-Z has the potential for major business. Considering that Jay-Z has an even larger global sway than Keys, Samsung seems poised to make a big splash in the market share where they already own the number one spot.
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