Marcus Rashford's link with rapper Jay-Z helped his free school meals fight

Rashford signed with Jay-Z's Roc Nation brand in April [COURTESY]

Marcus Rashford's recent decision to sign with Jay-Z's talent agency Roc Nation helped him with his free school meals fight.

The Man Utd and England forward drew high praise after his recent campaign persuaded a Government U-turn to provide meals to disadvantaged children throughout the summer.

While Rashford was the brainchild behind the initiative, he had plenty of support from Roc Nation whom he signed with in April.

As reports The TelegraphJay-Z even reserved special praise Rashford to say how "extremely proud" he was of his efforts.

President of Roc Nation Sports International, Michael Yormark, said: "We don't really consider ourselves a traditional agency – we really are a movement.

"We don't tell anybody what to say and how to say it, all we do is try to amplify it."

Mr Yormark discussed how sport stars and athletes had such a huge platform with which to connect with fans now, and praised Rashford for being a "shining example" of embodying Roc Nation's focus of "protecting and defending those that can't protect and defend themselves".

He added: "Companies today want to align with people that are passionate about community, that want to take a stand against injustice, and so we encourage all of our clients to be aggressive in this space."

Among the football stars on Roc Nation's books are Man City's Kevin De Bruyne and Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings.

Rashford's brothers still handle all his football-related business, but Roc Nation are in charge of his PR and marketing

"We look for those figures who stand for something beyond just the sport that they play," said Kelly Hogarth, the director of brand strategy and business communications, who represents Rashford.

"What he did transcended race, transcended any social unrest that we're experiencing.

"This was a 22-year-old young man who was saying: 'No child should be going hungry in this country. That is unacceptable'.

"And even if you were the meanest person in the world, it was an argument you just couldn't fight against. He was able to resonate with so many people by just being himself."

Thanks to Rashford's work, the Government announced a £120million 'Covid food fund' had been set aside to provide over 1.3m vulnerable children with meals.

Ms Hogarth added: "We had a company-wide call this week and our owners, including Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter, addressed what he just achieved and spoke on just how proud as a company we are of him."


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