Chat with Darren Rovell
Send in your questions now -- LeBron's new agent, stadium deals, endorsements ... cow chip contests -- anything goes!
Just enter your question below and join Darren in The Show on Monday at 3 p.m. ET.
Buzzmaster (2:48 PM)
OK, Darren Rovell will be here shortly to talk sports business. Send your questions now!
Darren Rovell (3:00 PM)
Hello, everyone. Lots of questions and plenty of sports biz to talk. Keep 'em coming and I'll try to get to as many as I can.
Michael (Atlanta, GA)
How often does the question, "Who does an athlete really work for" come up in negotiations? Lebron is being paid 10 times as much by his endorsement deals than by the NBA.
Darren Rovell (3:03 PM)
LeBron does get about 10 times more in endorsements than he gets paid by the Cavs. But I don't think it comes up as much as you think it is. All these columnists have speculated that LeBron will get more from Nike if he's in NY. That's not true. Not in the contract. So the idea that Nike could be pushing him to NY isn't ridiculous, but just remember, NY is not what it once was. LeBron is all over SC and if he's on a losing Knicks team, it doesn't do much for their marketing.
Hey D, one quick question that can settle an argument between my buddy and i: do you think MLB will ever feature advertisements on the bases? If so, when? I think it will definitely happen.
Darren Rovell (3:05 PM)
Never ever on bases. I think it will go on uniforms but never on bases. The ad can't possibly be big enough. That was the stupidest part of the whole Spiderman 2 thing. It's not like anyone but the second baseman and the shortstop would see it. I do think it will hit uniforms in the next five years.
Don't the Browns set a dangerous precedent by allowing Winslow to keep all or even part of his signing bonus? I understand if they do reclaim the $, chances of landing future free agents is threatened. What do you think?
Darren Rovell (3:06 PM)
I think every team has to think of this on an individual basis. What the player means to them and the circumstances. I doubt other teams are pressuring the Browns just because they are concerned about precedent. The Bulls liked Jay Williams and they took care of him even though they didn't have to.
Darren, what do you make of the Manchester United fans boycotting their next game by wearing black and ignoring all sponsors because of Malcolm Glazer's takeover. Is Glazer really THAT bad, or is this just the English upset over an American run soccer team?
Darren Rovell (3:09 PM)
Big, big news from today. Glazer now owns Manchester U. We will have to say what the NFL says about this. People are so upset because they are concerned that the debtload to finance this will hurt the team financially and others say that an American shouldn't be owning the team. They also don't like the fact that he's apparently not a rabid soccer fan and is into this for the business of it all. If everything goes through, the fans anger will calm down over time. Not unless Glazer starts messing with the players and meddling in business that destroys the dynamics on the field.
Do you think MLS will hit the big time within the next 10 years?
Darren Rovell (3:09 PM)
No Mark. They've been around too long. It would have happened already.
I always wanted to be in some aspect of sports management/business. It just seems like an extremely difficult field to get into. Any schools have great graduate programs or recommendations you can offer to following my dream?
Darren Rovell (3:11 PM)
There are plenty of schools out there. There are some 250 sports management programs. But a lot of the positions can be had by just jumping in. You might have to start in tickets if you want to work for a team, or as a copy/coffee guy at an sports creative agency or PR firm. But if you work hard and put in the extra hours, I think it's even more effective than going to school. Plus, you get a jump on your next big contract like NBA 2nd rounders.
Frank (Shaw AFB, SC)
Do the individual leagues stand to make more money by allowing exclucive rights to one video game company?
Darren Rovell (3:14 PM)
Good question Frank. I think that's still up in the air. EA ruffled some feathers when they signed the exclusive deal with NFL. I guess we won't know until five years down the road to see if EA wants to up the money or if there are any other companies that will bid. I just thought the problem could be that since NFL is a money generator for the entire sports franchise, that not having any competitors in this space would stifle the dollars the next time around. Check back in 2009.
Would Danica Patrck winning the poll at Indy have any impact on American motorsports in the short or long term? Or would it have been just a nice story?
Darren Rovell (3:15 PM)
It would have been a nice story. If she wins Indy somehow and becomes a factor in future races that could do something for the sport.
John (Portland, ME)
Is Drew Rosenhaus evil?
Darren Rovell (3:17 PM)
Drew is working for his clients. He tries to get the best deals and he often does very well. Despite the bad rep that some people say he has, the bottom line is that he has close to 100 clients in the league. Drew is just a capitalist who wants to maximize the size of his players wallet. We'll see how long this Terrell Owens/Javon Walker holdout situation goes.
who has greater endorsement ability carmelo anthony or Dwyane wade?
Darren Rovell (3:20 PM)
Great question. Please check back on the sports biz page/nba page later today to see a story on Dwyane Wade's endorsement deals. I'd say Wade. Carmelo had a good ramp up and the fact that he plays on a team that has those hot UCLA colors didn't hurt him, but Dwyane has a better chance to win a title, Miami market is better than Denver and I think the jump that he's made makes consumers more relaxed. There was so little hype, yet he performed. We will see if he can help sell Converse shoes, which is a tough task given the relaunch of the brand.
What do you think is the worst contract in sports right now? How about worst endorsement deal?
Darren Rovell (3:22 PM)
Let's go with the Blazers. Wesley Person is probably the worst contract ($7.7 million) and Sebastian Telfair and adidas at more than $2 million per is the worst endorsement deal in sports.
Does the Fridge make any money for getting whupped in the cake eating contest? I mean, obviously he's no Kobayashi (the most dominating athlete in any sport), but hes a draw. Shout out to Cat hoops legends Collier Drayton and T-bone Hardy!
Darren Rovell (3:24 PM)
I'm a Northwestern guy, so I have to take the question from Evanston. I guess the Fridge makes some money, but I think it hurts the integrity of the sport. They are way past this gimmick stuff, yet they continue to bring him back. The skill of the athletes alone at the table should be enough for the International Federation of Competitive Eating.
danny (new haven)
hey darren, any interesting soon to be free agents who do have advertising incentives in their contracts?
Darren Rovell (3:26 PM)
very rare that this would happen. If the agent is doing his job right, he will make sure to do the deal before his client goes anywhere. The reason LeBron doesn't get anymore for going to NY is because his ex-agent Aaron Goodwin did the deal the night before the lottery, so he got maximum value. Agents should be trying to get maximum value before their client goes somewhere, because if a free agent goes to a bad market, that's not good.
What are your thoughts on a horse racing league? Set number of events per year including the triple crown, points awarded for each race, with an overall points champ. Might generate more interest in the sport of kings.
Darren Rovell (3:27 PM)
Like the idea Paul. The question is, can you keep the horses healthy for a significant amount of time.
Kurt (Los Angeles)
Was the Telfair deal due to New York hype or just good old bad judgement?
Darren Rovell (3:29 PM)
I think it was just adidas' concern that someone else would get him. Telfair is probably the sorry story of the hype that led into LeBron and Carmelo. There had to be a guy who was hyped who the shoe market fell for and I think that guy was Telfair.
Karl (San Diego)
Darren, how much money in future endorsements do you think Dwayne Wade has made with his performance so far in this year's playoffs? Company's must be falling all over this guy, especially after the People's 50 Most Beautiful list.
Darren Rovell (3:32 PM)
You guys have to read this story I have on Dwyane Wade today. LeBron's making 20 times more than him per year for his shoe deal! The question is, who benefits most if the heat win it all, Wade or Shaq?
Sam NY, NY
How much power should advertisers have with teams, leagues, etc..
Darren Rovell (3:35 PM)
I think it depends on how much they pay. The more they pay, the more control they want to exert. I'm shocked by how much advertisers pay for league sponsorships. For the most part, they are huge wastes of money. People have allegiances to players, then teams, and finally leagues, yet huge dollars keep flowing in on the league end. The right to use the insignia shouldn't cost that much.
Darren, I'm about to graduate college and am trying to get into a front office of a Pro sports team....any advice?
Darren Rovell (3:36 PM)
Find out who has the ideal job. Write, email call that person. Work for that person in any capacity. Get in front his face. Do what he wants you to do and more. Replace him.
Do you think it's good policy for owners to sit on the bench with their teams? And, why is it that Dallas is plagued with these guys (M.C. & J.J.)?
Darren Rovell (3:38 PM)
Funny. I think that an owner for whatever they pay should be able to suit up if they want. I don't think a meddling owner is the best because I don't think they have the best personnel minds, but they can do whatever they please. Dallas only has Cuban because it was the first team available. At that time, he would have taken anything.
This may seem silly, but how important is a good nickname to commercialize yourself?
Darren Rovell (3:40 PM)
names definitely play a part in terms of marketability. LeBron and Carmelo are great. So is Dwyane -- if anyone learns to spell it right, or wrong, that is. Nicknames are good, though some are forced. Not sure how I feel about "King James." Wade is now being dubbed as "The Flash." Names do make you stand out and they are part of the overall mix, but I don't think a great name/nickname can do it for you. You have to show up.
Sean (Washington DC)
Hey Darren: Sean from Greylock, my brother was in camp with you, how you doing. Quick question...is the deal between Man United and the Yankees still in effect? and if so, how much will that be affected by the recent purchase by Malcolm Glazer?
Darren Rovell (3:43 PM)
Camp Greylock...special place in my heart. The Yankees/Man U deal never really came to fruition. Neither did the Yankees/Yomiuri Giants deal. They were supposed to combine powers to do a lot of things together, but the bottom line is that all international business is split equally among all of MLB teams. So the Yankees would have been working for the Devil Rays and every other team developing these alliances and I think they give enough money in revenue sharing to begin with.
is Kobe losing is market value right now, would he be able to bounce back with the existence of wade and lebron
Darren Rovell (3:45 PM)
LeBron was the first option, now Wade might be another option. I don't think Kobe is going to be a force in the endorsement world anymore. The question is, will Nike be able to salvage him?
When is M.L.B. going to wake up and level the playing field in its sport? A salary cap, whether hard or soft seems like a good place to start.
Darren Rovell (3:47 PM)
Two way street. Everything has to go through the union and it's the strongest union in any sport. The NFL might get props for labor peace, but the players don't have guaranteed contracts and they are playing a brutal sport with a shorter average playing time.
John (Portland, ME)
Will Sharapova be bigger than Kornikova in the marketing world? She seems to have the same sex appeal, plus she can actually play tennis.
Darren Rovell (3:49 PM)
All indications say yes, but I'm not completely sure yet. Is it important for her to win? I think it is in the tennis related products. Everything else, Kournikova might have been just as good. The plus is that if she wins more, she'll be out more. Kournikova bowed out of the spotlight too early.
Andrew (Oceanport, NJ)
Darren, I once heard that every time Madison Square Garden opens for a Knicks or Rangers game, the Dolans make $1 million. Do you think this is very accurate, roughly accurate, or way off base?
Darren Rovell (3:51 PM)
I think it's close. The problem is that they are spend $160 million on payroll. So if they have 82 games where they make $1 million, that isn't that impressive is it?
Are Lebrons Shoes a big seller or big enough to give him that kind of money?
Darren Rovell (3:52 PM)
I think it's hard to tell. Nike is paying him $13 million a year and has pumped millions more in marketing. I don't think his shoes are selling enough at this point for them to make their money back. Will that change? I think a lot of it has to do with the LeBron and a lot of it will have to do with the shoes. The first two models have been nothing special.
If you were NHL commissioner and were all-powerful, would you strongly consider reducing the number of teams in the league? And if so, what's a good number?
Darren Rovell (3:54 PM)
Tough question. More teams means more expansion fees and ultimately I'd be working for the owners who want to pocket more money. So the question is, reduce teams at what cost? You'd have to buy people out and does the league suffer that badly by having a couple teams with very low attendance. Sometimes I think that is overplayed.
Darren Rovell (3:55 PM)
I have to go. If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, there's no business, like sports business.
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