By Barry Janoff
August 1, 2012: The Nets' move from New Jersey to Brooklyn has put a lot of attention on minority team owner Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter. Now, internationally renowned artist and producer Jay-Z is using hoops to put some of the focus back on his music.
2K Sports has unveiled what it called an "unprecedented partnership" with Jay-Z to serve as executive producer of its NBA 2K13 videogame.
NBA 2K13, which will feature Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose on the cover, includes a 24-song soundtrack selected by Jay-Z to "reflect a balance of basketball and musical influences."
In addition to several tracks from Jay-Z, the list includes Kanye West, Daft Punk, U2, Coldplay and Puff Daddy and the Family (featuring Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes).
A dedicated Facebook page has the full soundtrack and sampling (using Spotify). A Twitter destination includes updates from Jay-Z.
“This has been a unique opportunity to collaborate with 2K Sports and be a part of one of the best sports video games in history,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “NBA 2K13 will be the next evolution in sports and basketball culture, and I’m ready to usher in the new era of the franchise.”
2K is supporting with a multi-media campaign that includes a spot touting Jay-Z's presence. "A champion never rests, never stops, never settles," a voiceover explains over shots from the videogame and a Jay-Z track. "So we didn't. NBA 2K13, executive produced by Jay-Z." (See the full spot here.)
According to Jason Argent, vp-marketing for 2K Sports, Jay-Z's role in NBA 2K13 represents a unique fusion of basketball, music, art, and entertainment, and illustrates the evolution of NBA 2K into something much bigger than simply the best basketball video game series ever made.”
NBA 2K13 is scheduled for release Oct. 2 for Xbox 360, PlayStation3, PlayStationPortable, Wii and Windows PC.
“We aren’t content with just being the best," said Argent, "and we will continue to grow the NBA 2K franchise into one of today’s premier entertainment experiences."
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