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June 26, 1:23 PM ET
Chat with Darren Rovell

Buzzmaster
  (3:05 PM)

Darren will be here shortly. Send in those questions!

Darren Rovell
  (3:10 PM)

Hey, I'm here. Ready to talk the business of the NBA draft. First off, I'd probably say this is the least marketable draft since 2000 -- Martin, Swift, Dooling...gosh that was brutal. But there are still some good story lines from a marketability standpoint.

Kevin (Chicago, IL)

Big D: Which of this years NBA draftpicks will be the most marketable? And what sneaker company will the great Vedran Vukusic be representing?

Darren Rovell
  (3:12 PM)

Kevin, Thanks for your question. Most marketable pre-draft will be Adam Morrison. People just know him and I think he can make a good buck locally in portland. He already has deals with Electronic Arts, Adidas and Topps and will have a diabetetes drug/apparatus deal coming. Nike has signed J.J. Redick, Sheldon Williams and Brandon Roy. As for Vedran (a reference to the leading scorer for my alma mater Northwestern), he's not making the league, so he'll wear whatever shoes he buys to put on his feet.

john (ny)

What teams are most interested in JJ Redick?

Darren Rovell
  (3:13 PM)

I'm not working the phones on the team front. I let Andy Katz handle that.

Darren Rovell
  (3:14 PM)

I'm willing to take other sports biz questions if you got 'em.

Derek (Lincoln)

How marketable is Rudy Gay right now?

Darren Rovell
  (3:15 PM)

Derek, Totally depends on where he winds up and more how well he plays. In order to get a national endorsement deal, marketers have to believe that people know you. No one knows Rudy Gay as far as the general population is concerned. He hasn't earned his way into a national Cool Whip commercial.

Widmer (Portland, OR)

Really, how many more season tix can Adam Morrison sell for the Blazers? Only winning would make me buy season tix. One, unproven rook, just isn't enough.

Darren Rovell
  (3:17 PM)

I think in the beginning, he can sell a couple hundred more per game. But in the end, you are right. It's about winning.

Julia (East Lansing)

Is Shannon Brown marketable at all, i just love his smile, some toothpaste comany has to be after him right?

Darren Rovell
  (3:18 PM)

I think his predecessor Mateen Cleaves was the guy to get the Crest spot. But Shannon will have to fare better than Mateen did to be marketable. That's actually a good example of what I'm talking about. Mateen Cleaves was the man, but he became a bench warmer and no company will associate themselves with someone who isn't a starter. People think that great college careers earn you national deals and that's just not true.

big bad barry

what is the biggest mistake most 1st rd picks in choosing an agent?

Darren Rovell
  (3:20 PM)

This is obviously generally speaking, but I think that in some cases they picks themselves don't do the talking and choosing and instead let a family member handle most of it. I think a guy has to be comfortable with the person he's going with. The truth is that there is very little differentiation in this business - they are all taking close to the same cut -- so personality is more important than you'd think.

Matt (Grand Rapids)

Is Morrison helping his marketability by making jokes about himself. I think it makes him more likable. The line about him and his mustache driving in a muscle car solving mysteries made me laugh.

Darren Rovell
  (3:22 PM)

Absolutely. Supposedly he makes fun of his crying at the end of his college career in a new EA spot. I think that's effective.

luke (los angeles)

Darren, are the picks priced in a certain range or do the teams have some manuverability?

Darren Rovell
  (3:22 PM)

as far as salary, it's basically all slotted per the Collective Bargaining Agreement parameters.

Tyrod (Greensboro, NC)

How far will Redick's recent DUI arrest and his reported back problems cause his marketability to drop?

Darren Rovell
  (3:23 PM)

Definitely some questions that weren't there before. Not squeaky clean. He's going to have to earn his deals, but he would have had to do that for the most part anyway.

Jeff (Tampa)

We all know what kind of shoe deal LeBron got. What can Morrison, Reddick, etc expect to get?

Darren Rovell
  (3:24 PM)

LeBron made $13 mil. a year, Carmelo made $6 mil. a year and no one this year will make more than $1 mil. a year.

CC (Atlanta)

If Shelden Williams is drafted by the Hawks, will Nike ask for it's money back?

Darren Rovell
  (3:25 PM)

Not if he tears it up on the court. Atlanta is a tough market though. That's why the agents do the deals to get maximum dollars BEFORE the draft. So that it won't be dependent on their client going to a good/bad market.

Tyrod (Greensboro, NC)

What did Dwayne Wade make?

Darren Rovell
  (3:26 PM)

wade's initial deal was a three-year at $400,000 each with converse. But he proved himself and Converse just gave him multi-millions for an additional six years.

Jeff (Iowa)

Is it possible to market a European player in the U.S.? I'm always surprised we don't see more from Nowitzki and Ginobli.

Darren Rovell
  (3:26 PM)

Very tough. No foreign player has been that successful marketing in the US, aside from Yao Ming.

Charlie (Chicago)

Darren, how can i get a million dollar shoe deal if I'm not good at basketball?

Jacob (Seattle,WA)

who is most marketable: Andrea Bargnani,LaMarcus Aldridge, or Tyrus Thomas?

Darren Rovell
  (3:27 PM)

It's whoever plays better, but assuming all else is equal, whoever goes to Chicago.

Jimmy (San Diego)

Assuming a player puts up similar stats on a similar performing team, how much more money can a player make from endorsements in a "big / good" market vs a "weak" market? For example, if Brandon Roy puts up 18 pts and 6 assts in Toronto for the 30-52 Raptors or in Boston for the 30-52 Celtics? 50% more? 100% more?

Darren Rovell
  (3:29 PM)

Great question, Jimmy. It's hardly a science. A player will make what Madison Avenue thinks he deserves. It's not, you score this many points, you make this much in marketing. You have to remember with the markets that it's not only a function of size and if the team is winning, but it's who else is in that marketplace. A basketball player in Portland can rule because the city doesn't have a football, baseball or pro hockey team. In the Boston area, you have all four major sports.

Jacob (Seattle,WA)

what professional athlete would be more marketable a football player or a basketball player?

Darren Rovell
  (3:29 PM)

Basketball. Because most of the money comes in big shoe deals and cleats don't sell. Basketball shoe sell.

Josh (Chicago)

Does Rudy Gay's last name hurt his jersey sales? I know I don't want "Gay" on my back while playing streetball!

Darren Rovell
  (3:30 PM)

I guess you'll have to ask the Patriots and sales of Randall Gay's jersey.

Shaun (Madison WI)

As shallow as it may be could Ben Roethlisberger have trouble making a lot of endorsement money if his face doesn't return to what it was?

Darren Rovell
  (3:31 PM)

Yes. Look is very much a part of making money off the field.

Katelyn (Syracuse, NY)

If I want to be a sports agent, whats the best law school to go to?

Darren Rovell
  (3:32 PM)

Save the money and start developing relationships with firms and athletes. The problem is that no small to medium sized firm wants to give you an internship because they'll be concerned you'll steal their clients.

Jeff (Iowa)

Is Canada more or less a graveyard for a player's marketability? If Bosh was playing in the U.S., I think we would see him much more.

Darren Rovell
  (3:32 PM)

Marketing Siberia. Killed Vince Carter.

Joe (Chicago)

Living in Chicago I'm comfortable with the idea of happy fans supporting a bad team (the Cubs), but I wonder if it would benefit the Bulls to draft local Illinois products Dee Brown or James Augustine. Brown doesn't fill a need, but Augustine seems as good as anybody else in the 2nd round. Is that kind of mindset more applicable to bad teams (Charlotte drafting 2/5 of the '05 Tarheel team)?

Darren Rovell
  (3:33 PM)

Great question, Joe. To be honest, I think in the second round, they take best available. A second rounder usually isn't a starter so it won't affect purchasing decisions.

Tom (Chicago)

Will people actually buy Kobe's new jersey or has his latest image changing charade finally obvious?

Darren Rovell
  (3:34 PM)

This will be one of the most intriguing sports biz stories to watch in early fall.

Brian (Itasca, IL)

How about a non-draft question. Is EA Sports over-saturating it's product line with "Head Coach"? Since HC, College Football and Madden all come out within two months of each other, is this too much?

Darren Rovell
  (3:37 PM)

I've spoken to some people about Head Coach. Apparently you have to be really, really hard core to play this game. But I don't think it's possible to oversaturate the market, Brian. The truth is that EA paid hundreds of millions for an exclusive to the NFL license and they are going to do what they have to to offer everything and make some money off it. That being said, if it's too hard core and they spend $20 million to make the game and market it (which is around the costs of doing it these days), they won't make their money back.

Ben (Denver)

Do players get a kickback from their jersey sales? If so wouldn't it make sense to go to a team with cool uni's?

Darren Rovell
  (3:37 PM)

I understand your thinking. Nuggets jerseys took off because of the colors. But the majority of jersey purchases still come from fans over those who care about the fashion.

ryan (NYC)

how do you view the fallout from the dolan/brown/isiah/knicks mess? is there any potential that the MSG corp. suffers, or is NYC too big of a market?

Darren Rovell
  (3:39 PM)

I think eventually they will suffer. But that argument is hard to make when you consider that they've had 14 straight seasons at 18,900 fans or more.

jerry don gleaton (chicago, IL)

Darren, have recent allegations hurt Armstrong's marketability?

Darren Rovell
  (3:40 PM)

I doubt that's your real name, Jerry, but I think the former pitcher would be proud someone remembers him. Armstrong seems to be Teflon to me.

Dave (Bushnell, IL)

How much is there to be made from a video game cover? Is it comparable to a sneaker deal?

Darren Rovell
  (3:41 PM)

Can't make more than $200,000 in a video game cover deal.

Jamie (Toronto, Ontario)

Have shoe companies been less willing to hand out large amounts of money this year in the hopes they can sign Greg Oden, presuming he enters the NBA next season?

Darren Rovell
  (3:44 PM)

Absolutely. They don't want to just hand out money. They want to give deals to guys they think can drive purchasing decisions. There's also collusion bringing the price down. With Adidas buying Reebok, Adidas controls two brands and Nike controls three -- Nike, Jordan and Converse. That's not good for the player. It's not the free market it use to be five years ago.

Rich (Richmond)

Does moving to a new team enhance or hinder one's marketability? ie: Would someone like Daunte Culpepper be more likely to get some endorsements as a Dolphin?

Darren Rovell
  (3:46 PM)

He's gotta win in Miami. The only player still killing it over there is Dan Marino and he's been retired forever.

Mark (NJ)

Is Jeter the most marketable baseball player?

Darren Rovell
  (3:47 PM)

Probably and he will continue to be as long as he doesn't get married.

Alex (Roslyn, NY)

What goes into an athlete's thought process when deciding which shoe apparel company he will sign with? Is it strictly about the dollars? By the way, your Mother was my spanish teacher.

Darren Rovell
  (3:48 PM)

Hey, Alex. Glad you worked my mother in. She is in fact a spanish teacher. It's not always strictly about dollars, but it often is. Michael Jordan never wore Nikes before he did his Air Jordan deal, but since adidas -- which he loved -- wouldn't pony up, he went to the swoosh.

Jay (Boise)

Collusion? That is a violation of antitrust laws. Are you saying that Nike and Adidas are actually breaking the law?

Darren Rovell
  (3:49 PM)

Didn't mean to be so strong with my terms. Let's just say they know more about each other and can better come close to fixing the marketplace. I know there are some antitrust lawyers who do not like the fact that the adidas/reebok deal went through.

BJ Carmel NY

If Nike owns Converse, or Adidas owning Reebok, why would a player go to Converse and Reebok. Thats like flying coach with a first class ticket.

Darren Rovell
  (3:51 PM)

Not necessarily. Dwyane Wade doesn't have to play second fiddle to Lebron if he's on the Converse brand and he's the top name.

Darren Rovell
  (3:53 PM)

Thanks for the tremendous questions. It was truly my best chat ever here. Have fun watching the draft. I'll be on sometime in the second round when your head hits the Doritos bowl.