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May 24, 3:22 PM ET
Chat with Darren Rovell

Darren Rovell
  (2:11 PM)

Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for being here. We have a lot of good questions, so let's get things done.

Jason, NYC

Do you think hockey will be back next year?

Darren Rovell
  (2:13 PM)

Yes, Jason. I do think the NHL will be playing next year. And I do think a lot of fans are going to be frustrated when they see that the deal that both sides ultimately took is the one that was close to what was on the table a few months ago when they were trying to save the season. I think both sides know that they have no choice.

Logan (Columbus, OH)

How come I never see Tim Duncan doing many endorsements? He is one of the top 5 players in the NBA. Is he not as marketable as some flashy players like Lebron and Vince, or does he just decide to keep away? Thanks for taking time to answer the questions Darren.

Darren Rovell
  (2:16 PM)

He is not one of the most marketable guys in the league, Logan. One marketer once told me that the only ad Tim Duncan could get in was one for Sherman Williams, in which he'd watch paint dry. Championships and MVP's does not mean automatic endorsements. He's just not that excitable, plus he's a center and centers -- besides shaq -- have been known to be duds of shoe salesman (his former teammate David Robinson included). The last I heard Duncan's shoe contract with adidas was something like $350,000, which is pennies compared to LeBron and Vince.

The Dish (C Stream, IL)

D Rov, I have a Chicago Bulls marketing dept professionaly made banner that reads "Chicago loves T-Mac" with the Bulls logo, that the Bulls used to help recruit Tracy McGrady with. Do you think it's worth anything?

Darren Rovell
  (2:17 PM)

Love that question. Any memorabilia questions you guys have -- it's one of my favorite topics. If you can get a letter from the Bulls marketing department, I bet you could get a couple hundred dollars from it. A photo of where it was would also be a nice addition for a potential buyer.

Dayne (Dublin,GA)

The Bucks got the #1 pick in the draft lottery, how much does a number 1 pick boost income for a teams merchandise?

Darren Rovell
  (2:20 PM)

Depends on who it is, Dayne. If it's LeBron James, it's a big deal. If it's Kwame Brown, it's not. There are many factors that sell a jersey. Name on the back. Popularity of team. Market size. New/Old jersey. New name is just one of those factors. I don't think Andrew Bogut or Marvin Williams will make a significant different off the bat. But remember, even if a team sells a ton of jerseys, the revenue from that is split among all the teams equally. So that one team doesn't benefit any more.

Greg (Ulsan, Korea)

The offer for the NHL has been upped to $4 billion for the league. An offer was made for the Saints for $1 billion. Is one NFL team really worth a quarter of the NHL? How much would it take for the NHL to accept an offer for their league? And how much are the Saints really worth?

Darren Rovell
  (2:22 PM)

Greg. Good question. That $4 billion number averages out to about $135 million per team, which is a pretty good number for half the league's teams. The problem is that i don't think it would be a stable business if they offered much higher and I don't think every one of the team owners is willing to take the offer. It's all or nothing and I think that's going to prove to be the death knell for that idea. They only way the Saints are worth $1 billion is if they have a chance to move to LA. Once LA is gone, the leverage for all these owners to get new stadiums and move to new cities is severely hindered.

Bo Bice (Hollywood)

If I don't win American Idol, what sports profession do you think I would be best at

Darren Rovell
  (2:24 PM)

You should replace Ronan Tynan singing "God Bless America" at stadiums worldwide.

Cortney (New York, NY)

Who do you think the Knicks first round pick will be?

Darren Rovell
  (2:27 PM)

Lot of questions about the Knicks as usual. They should pick anyone who is going help them get back into the playoffs. Because if the Dolans ever want to sell the team, a season ticket waiting list is always worth tens of millions. From a business standpoint, it's amazing that the Knicks attendance (at least what has been reported) has not suffered. If they continue to play poorly for the next five years, maybe they'll finally see a decline if the Nets to Brooklyn deal is pulled off.

Seth (Omaha)

What about the Contender winner last night does he have a big future?

Darren Rovell
  (2:28 PM)

Loved the Contender last night. I'm not a huge, hard-core boxing guy, but I thought that was a great fight. (Though it's strange that they didn't present him with the $1 million check at the end). I think if Sergio can continue to win fights, he will be an attraction, despite the fact that ratings for the show were lower than they had anticipated.

Tony (Danbury, CT)

What do professional sports leagues do with the money they collect in fines and suspensions? NBA must certainly have positive cash flow this year.

Darren Rovell
  (2:29 PM)

All sports leagues donate their fines to charity. So Ron Artest has some nice tax deductions this year.

Scotti (Richmond, Va)

Is sports all politics, or can someone really get, lets say a GM job in the NBA without knowing someone?

Darren Rovell
  (2:31 PM)

In order to get a GM job, Scotti, you have to come up through the system. So it's impossible that a guy that would be tabbed to that type of position wouldn't be connected in the league. You can't just come out of your fantasy basketball league.

Cameron Atlanta

Do you think the NFL will allow a franchise in Las Vegas?

Darren Rovell
  (2:31 PM)

No. They don't need it. MLB will be there in the next 5 years.

mj (davis, ca)

what kind of endorsements will alex smith get?

Darren Rovell
  (2:32 PM)

He will get mostly local deals. He already has a deal with Reebok. I'd say until he becomes a star, he earns less than $850,000 a year in endorsements.

Seymour (Brooklyn)

Who is the most marketable MLB player right now?

Darren Rovell
  (2:35 PM)

Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter. I give Jeter the edge because A-Rod has come under fire recently and Jeter's single, which always help draw in the female demographic.

Matt (NY)

Should I hold on to my baseball cards from early 90's, they are not worth anything right now.

Darren Rovell
  (2:37 PM)

Don't hold on to them. They will only take up space. They will be worth nothing. The reason the old cards were worth money was because they were scarce. For some reason, we all thought that the cards of our generation would be the same. But they were making 50 million Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck rookie cards. So there's no reason for the cards to be worth anything. There's simply more supply than demand. There always was, but the market tricked us.

Leno (Detroit)

In a Best sports Franchise list posted on ESPN earlier this year it stated that the Detroit Pistons were the #1 Franchise. Isn't it Ironic that they really don't have many marketable players?

Darren Rovell
  (2:38 PM)

There's a lot of factors that make up a good franchise. The Pistons have great promotions, have a solid team (obviously) and have a good arena experience. I think it's more ironic that the arena is one of the oldest in the league because everyone complains about having the amenities of a spanking new arena.

John (Portland, ME)

Outside of the Indy 500, there seems to be little interest in the IRL / CART series. Could an F1 type series in the U.S. be as or more successful?

Darren Rovell
  (2:40 PM)

Good question, though I think NASCAR rules this turf. While the internationalization of the NBA has been a big part of its growth, I think the internationalization of IRL/CART hasn't really helped because F1 is so popular outside of this country. Reunification is the only solution.

Trevor (Fargo, ND)

Do you see an eight team college football playoff as a chance for increased revenue for the power conferences and the seven bowls that would be included? Also what kind of setup do you believe woould be the best for college football?

Darren Rovell
  (2:42 PM)

I don't know. The only company that put forth a real playoff proposal with dollar figures attached was a swiss company that soon after the proposal went through, they went bankrupt. It seems like it would be worth more, but the question for advertisers (who ultimately drive the rights fees) is, does having so many important games cannibalize the value of having one national championship?

Gabe (Baltimore)

Darren, From a endorsement standpoint, would Nash be at the top of the heap for most wanted NBA players? That is if actually took all the deals he was gettting offered this year??

Darren Rovell
  (2:45 PM)

Nash isn't in the top 5. His MVP and a run (which doesn't look like it is going to continue) might vault him into the top 10, but there are so many factors out there.

Dayne (Dublin,GA)

R U on the Hotlist 2day?

Darren Rovell
  (2:46 PM)

No. I'll be on the Hot List tomorrow at 4:20.

Jimmy (Westerville, OH)

Has Kobe Bryant picked up the endorsements he lost due to his trial?

Darren Rovell
  (2:47 PM)

Nope. I think he has probably been offered some deals with second tier companies, but he might not want to cheapen himself. It seems like has enough money to live on. I don't expect any big company, besides Nike, to be backing him for a long time.

Widmer (Portland, OR)

Let's say LeBron is in New York or LA, how much more $$ would he get from Nike, or any of his deals?

Darren Rovell
  (2:49 PM)

It's amazing how many times this question comes up in chats and on radio interviews. LEBRON MAKES NO MORE MONEY IF HE'S IN NY OR LA. That's strictly from the contract. Now, if he manages to sell more shoes as a result of being in those cities, he might make a little more if he sells more, but that's not a given. He doesn't automatically receive more money by going to these markets.

Tony (Chicago)

How come people mention detroit alot when talking about small market teams. Arent they the 5th largest media market in the US

Darren Rovell
  (2:51 PM)

Yeah, the funniest thing is how Mike Illitch is the small market owner of the Detroit Tigers and the large market owner of the Detroit Red Wings. Market in this sense should be replaced with revenue.

Shawn (Vegas)

Do you really believe that MLB will be in Vegas in 5 years?

Darren Rovell
  (2:52 PM)

Yes. I think either the Florida Marlins or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays will move to Vegas, assuming there is no contraction, which owners can unilaterally decide on after the 2006 season.

Brian (Englewood, NJ)

I just read The Jump and was amazed at the amount of juice the sneaker companies all have. Do you see this as a problem that will continue into the future? I mean the part about the Nets wanting to draft Kobe Bryant but a sneaker exec told them not to because he didn't want Kobe playing in NJ is amazing.

Darren Rovell
  (2:53 PM)

Sometimes I think this is overstated, Brian. But remember, LeBron gets paid $4 million a year to play for the Cavs and $13 million a year to play in Nikes. They have to have influence.

R.Keane (Old Southington, CT)

What do you think of Malcolm Glazer purchasing Manchester United? It is said he will take it off the stock market by June 22nd. Can he possibly make money and make this team a dominant winner? All the Boothroyd's are in a uproar over there and say it can't be done. Do you agree?

Darren Rovell
  (2:55 PM)

The finances don't make sense to me and his rationale for buying the team doesn't either. He doesn't appear to be a fan and it seems like the debt load is enormous. Only time will tell on this. You'd like to give Glazer the benefit of the doubt, maybe he sees something I don't, but it's hard to make sense of this all.

John (Portland, ME)

Does Tom Brady just turn down a lot of endorsements? He seems to easily be one of the most marketable athletes in all of the major sports, but you just don't see that much of him.

Darren Rovell
  (2:56 PM)

Yes. In baseball, no one turns down more deals than Ichiro and in football no one turns down more deals than Tom Brady.

Darren Rovell
  (2:58 PM)

I have to run. Please make sure to check out my new blog on Insider. If you have any additional questions, I will try to answer them at darren.rovell@espn3.com.