Big 12 Will Reportedly Hire Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Exec For Next Commissioner

Jun 27, 2022, 10:12 PM | Updated: 10:13 pm
Brett Yormark, Big 12, Big 12 Conference...
Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has impressed many, including BYU basketball coach Mark Pope. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Big 12 Conference reportedly has a lead target in its commissioner search.

According to multiple reports — first from Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde — Brett Yormark will be the next commissioner in the Big 12.

Like the Pac-12’s George Kliavkoff, Yormark comes from outside the college sports structure. Yormark is currently the COO of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, an entertainment company that works with recording artists, producers, athletes, songwriters, and others in entertainment.

Some clients that work with Roc Nation include Rihanna and Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball.

Brett Yormark: Reportedly next Big 12 Commissioner

Yormark was tabbed for the COO role this past January. Before joining Roc Nation in 2019, Yormark was the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets CEO for 14 years. He was part of the group that moved the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York—also the NHL’s New York Islanders from Jersey to Brooklyn.

Yormark will take over the commissioner office in the Big 12 for Bob Bowlsby, who has led the league since 2012. Bowlsby will immediately step away from the Commissioner’s office once the next commish is hired.

One of the big tasks in front of Yormark will be the league’s next media rights contract. The current contract with ESPN and FOX expires after the 2024-25 academic year.

Media rights will be a key focus for the Big 12

Negotiating on the next contract won’t begin until February 2024, but it’s already on the minds of many in the conference. As it will be a big piece to the league’s viability moving forward after Texas and Oklahoma move to the SEC.

After Texas and Oklahoma announced their intentions to join the SEC, the Big 12 Conference added BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF to join the league. All four members are set to join the conference on July 1, 2023. They will be in the Horns and Sooners for at least two years, unless the two Big 12 bell cows lawyer up and find a way to exit early for the SEC.

The Big 12 Conference retained TurnkeyZRG for its commissioner search.

TurnkeyZRG had an application and job requirements for the Big 12 Commissioner job on its website for a while. The executive summary of the position included the following attributes that the Big 12 was looking for in its next commissioner: Leader, Negotiator, Winner, Motivator, and Role Model.

Earlier this month, at the Big 12 Spring Business Meetings, the Big 12’s Board of Directors Chairman, Dr. Lawrence Schovanec from Texas Tech, said the league targeted the Big 12 Football media days in July as the time they would announce the next commissioner.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Big 12 Will Reportedly Hire Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Exec For Next Commissioner