Cortez Bryant & Gee Roberson
The Blueprint Group
POWER MOVE: Big brand deals for Nicki Minaj (Pepsi, Elizabeth Arden, “American Idol”) and Lil Wayne (Mountain Dew, Macy’s, Beats by Dr. Dre).
THE RUNDOWN: To say 2012 was a busy year for Cortez Bryant and Gee Roberson’s Blueprint Group is an understatement. For starters, the company scored lucrative deals with Pepsi and Mountain Dew for its management clients Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, respectively. Lil Wayne also launched his Trukfit clothing line in such outlets as Macy’s and Dillards, while Minaj further mainstreamed herself by way of a new Pink Friday fragrance (in association with Elizabeth Arden) and a judging stint on “American Idol.” And that’s before factoring in both of those artists’ successful tours.
Blueprint’s other clients include T.I., who released the No. 1 album Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head and bowed the popular VH1 reality series “The Family Hustle,” and producer Hit-Boy, of “N****s in Paris” fame.
Roberson himself made a transition from Geffen chairman to head of Blueprint Records, distributed by Interscope Geffen A&M. “Knocking down barriers in corporate America while overcoming different types of opposition and wrong stereotypes -- that’s a blessing to say the least,” he says. “We love it when things go beyond what a partner thinks will happen in a particular space.”
The year ahead promises even more activity, like the full rollout of Lil Wayne’s Beats by Dr. Dre, a partnership that encompasses both home and portable speakers, and the ramp-up of Blueprint as a label, along with multiple co-branding, fashion and touring partnerships. “It’s about adding building blocks to the foundation every year,” Roberson says. “Sustaining longevity amidst the ups and downs . . . that’s the definition of power in this crazy game.”