Jay-Z's dealings with major corporations show that he's not afraid to go with the market underdog. In 2003, instead of pursuing a sneaker deal with industry-leader Nike, he entered a four-year partnership with Reebok. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but the company reportedly sold about 10,000 pairs of his sneakers, priced at $150 each, within the first hour of their release.
In 2010, instead of partnering with the No. 1 search engine Google, he launched a million dollar marketing campaign for his book, "Decoded" that doubled as promotion for Microsoft's search engine Bing, which was fairly new to the market.
When he decided to buy a percentage of an NBA team in 2004, he purchased one-fifth of the Nets, not the Knicks, and eventually moved the team's location from New Jersey to his hometown, Brooklyn. According to Forbes, the music-turned-business-mogul invested $1 million into the team, and sold his stake in 2013 with a reported gain of approximately 135 percent.
"In some ways, because of that business focus that he's always had throughout his career and that he's done a very good job of publicizing, he's seen more as a dealmaker than a sellout," Forbes' Zack O'Malley Greenburg told Complex.