Over the weekend, our pals at BuzzFeeᴅ published a long, insightful profile of sports business cyborg Darren Rovell. We felt compelled to share our thoughts on some of the choicer moments from the story.
"'You need to have a good charging strategy,' he says. 'Have one charger that’s only in your bag. When you travel, leave your home ones at home.'"
"'I’ve arranged with the NFL to send me a picture of the name card from the first pick so I can tweet that,' he says. 'I have to have greater facts that other people won’t have. You’ll see at 7:15 when the Vikings photo hits, the retweets are going to be crazy.'"
"'If people are going to dislike me for commodifying the sports experience, or the idea that I’ve taken the fun out of it, that’s ridiculous,' he says. 'If you’re a fan today and you don’t understand the business, then you’re a bad fan. You will lose at the watercooler every single time.'"
"'There’s not many who do what I do, and that makes people uncomfortable,' he says. 'I’m taking a picture of the shoes while everyone else is talking about the game.'"
"'I think I’ve trained people to be mini sports reporters; they know what I want. Half my content is someone in Topeka, Kansas, who saw a soda display. I’m the conduit, I’ll give you credit.'"
"I said, ‘If ESPN wants to be the worldwide leader in sports, why wouldn’t you want to be the worldwide leader in sports business?' Ten days after I graduated, I was in Bristol.'"
"'Rather than a standard résumé, Darren handed me a media guide — spiral-bound and laminated — that broke down his experience, interests, and included his interview availability on the back cover.'"
"Rovell returned to ESPN last summer; he won’t say how much his contract is worth (speculation starts at around $500,000)."
"'I’m not so money-minded that I let everything pass,' he says. 'Am I more likely to be on the side of pro-business? Of course.'"
"'I knew I’d get killed,' Rovell says, smiling. 'He had six inches on me and 60 pounds. And I suck at basketball. I’m good at tennis. He didn’t think I’d do it, none of his followers thought I’d do it. Even my dad didn’t understand — he said, 'You’re going to be embarrassed.' I told him, 'You don’t understand, this is good for my brand.'"
"...he announced his daughter’s birth by boasting that he’d already registered her Twitter account (@harperrovell).
'I did that to protect her intellectual capital,' he says."
'"And maybe the word ‘brand’ is laughable to some people, but I think the people who are on the cutting-room floor in this industry are the ones who could not find their brand, who were not any more than what they wrote.'"
"For years, he has gone through back issues of Sports Illustrated and the like and cut out noteworthy ads and business-related stories, partially to put what he does into context — he often tweets out choice selections — but mostly because this is all just something he likes."
"...he’s excited to get some face time with [Pepsi] CEO Indra Nooyi. (The next day, Rovell will tweet that he 'cherished' the opportunity to talk to her about the company’s many, many brands.)"
"He’d rather talk about branding than stats. He cares more about earning potential than personal narrative. He is a crazy fan, but of conspicuous consumption."
"He smiles. 'My whole life is a strategy.'"