Darren Rovell is CNBC's Sports Business Reporter. He is responsible for both analyzing and reporting on the sports business world on all of CNBC's programming including "Squawk Box," "Power Lunch" and "Street Signs." He is also author of the "Sports Biz" blog on CNBC.com.
Since joining CNBC in July 2006, Rovell has interviewed many of the world's greatest athletes including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong. Other interview subjects also include the sporting world's top power brokers including NBA Commissioner David Stern, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, Major League Baseball President and COO Bob DuPuy, super agent Scott Boras, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Nike CEO Mark Parker and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
Rovell reported and anchored the CNBC primetime documentary "Swoosh! Inside Nike," which took viewers through the company's history to the factory floors in Vietnam. It was nominated for an Emmy. He also anchored two other prime-time documentaries, including "Inside Track: Refueling the Business of NASCAR," "As Seen on TV," an in-depth look at the informercial business, "Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising" and "Business Model: Inside the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue." Rovell won an Emmy for his contribution to NBC's 2008 Election coverage.
Rovell doesn't just report, he does. He finished the New York Marathon in 2004, the same year he ate six hot dogs and buns at a hot dog eating qualifier. He finished fifth in the world in the World Championship of Watermelon Seed Spitting in Luling, Texas, in 2005, and scored one point in a two-minute stint for the Washington Generals at Madison Square Garden in 2008. He is also on the Green Bay Packers season ticket waiting list, has searched for golf balls in the water of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass and has been tutored by the Dallas Mavericks free throw coach. In February of 2008, when Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns, he gave Shaq the idea to call himself "The Big Cactus." In 2009, he played then No. 2 ranked Andy Murray in a game of tennis and sat in Kyle Busch's car during the Pennzoil Burnout Competition at the Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte.
Prior to joining CNBC, Rovell served as sports business writer for ESPN.com and reported on the world of agents, stadium deals, endorsements and contracts on ESPN's flagship, "SportsCenter," its investigative show, "Outside the Lines," and had weekly segments on "ESPNEWS."
Rovell is also the author of two business books: "First In Thirst: How Gatorade Turned The Science of Sweat Into A Cultural Phenomenon," and "On the Ball: What You Can Learn About Business From America's Sports Leaders." "First In Thirst" was named by Soundview Summaries as one of the top 30 business books of the year, while "On the Ball," co-written with industry insider David Carter, was named to the Top 25 list of "What Corporate America Is Reading" by the Knight Ridder/Tribune News.
In 2004 and 2007, Rovell was named to Newsbios' "30 under 30," a list of the top 30 national business reporters under the age of 30. He is the only sports reporter in the two-decade history of the awards to have been honored.
Rovell graduated cum laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he is on the advisory board for graduate programs in sports administration.
The most remarkable sports business story of last week had to be the item highlighted by the New York Times on Sunday by Dave Caldwell. It talks about how jerseys of the former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Pat Tillman, who died while serving in Iraq – killed by friendly fire – was the seventh most popular player jersey on NFLShop.com in October.
A couple weeks ago, Nike sponsored the entire 6pm SportsCenter to promote the Air Zoom LeBron IV. Then, soon after, Philips Electronics paid a reported $2.5 million to buy out the entire 33-minute ad block in the Oklahoma State-Texas game on TBS.
The Oakland Raiders are horrendous. They are 2-9 and have lost their starting running back LaMont Jordan for the season, thanks to an MCL tear. A great article out of San Francisco, where apparently the Raiders managing partner Al Davis can't unload 31 percent of the team.
So the New England Patriots are now suing online ticket reseller StubHub saying that allowing fans to resell its tickets on its site for above face value is against the state anti-scalping laws and against team policy. The Patriots are also suing 50 other Patriots fans...
While we're on this topic, the NFL is definitely the best of all sports leagues in terms of trying to sell you their gear. I got the NFLShop.com catalogue the other day. An amazing 21 of the 57 pages in the catalogue are Dolphins products, including the front and back cover.
I'm not sure if you know this but oil tycoon Boone Pickens (net worth: $2.7 billion) made the largest donation in sports booster history when he donated a whopping $165 million to Oklahoma State's athletics department, and what's unbelievable...
Have to give some love to that NFLShop.com commercial where the fan who loves the Vikings and his neighbor who the loves the Bears are facing off in a "Who Can Be A Better Fan" face-off contest. For those of you who haven't seen it, LET ME RUIN IT FOR YOU.