Rapper Wale wants to enlist Kanye West to design the NBA‘s Washington Wizards‘ uniforms. Wale was named the NBA team’s “creative liaison” this season. The DC rapper talked to ESPN about his new role and vision for the Washington Wizards, “My job is to provide a spark, at all costs. I’m not going to do anything corny, but I’m talking to Kanye about designing new uniforms.” Wale continued, “I want to see the phone booth rocking every time I come here. I want to create the Lake Show [Lakers], create what the Bulls had. I want to take the personality of our stars– John, Otto, Marcin– and create what Kemp and Payton had, what Lebron and D-Wade had. That’s the vibe I want.”
Wale’s role is similar to the role Drake has with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. Drake is the Raptors’ Brand Ambassador. The Toronto Raptors are currently ranked first in the Atlantic Division with a record of 27-15. The Raptors are worth an estimated $920 million, a $400 million dollar increase from last year. The team accredits very “savvy marketing” and a trip to the playoffs last year, as part of the reason for their success.
There are also recording artists who are part owners of NBA franchises. Usher is part owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The R&B singer is part of a group who reportedly purchased the team for over $300 million dollars. The Cavaliers are led by arguably the best basketball player in the world, Lebron James. The team has a disappointing record of 23-20 this year, but they are expected to make it to the NBA playoffs.
Hip-hop mogul, Jay-Z was part of a group who owned stake in the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. In 2013, Jay-Z sold his stake in the Brooklyn Nets franchise. According to Forbes, the rapper’s stake in the team decreased from 1.5 percent to less than one percent, which was an estimated value of $350,000. Rapper Nelly also had part-ownership in an NBA team. Nelly was one of the owners of the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) until Michael Jordan became the new owner in 2010.