Chat with Darren Rovell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN sports business analyst Darren Rovell stops by to chat about the dollars and cents in the sports world.
Rovell re-joined ESPN in 2012, after having previously worked at the Worldwide Leader in Sports from 2000-06. He appears across all ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and even ABC News. Between stints at ESPN, Rovell worked as an analyst for CNBC.
Send your questions now and join Rovell Friday at 3:15 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:21 PM)
I just talked to Darren and we are moving his start time to 3:15 p.m. ET. Keep sending in those questions!
Darren Rovell (3:32 PM)
i am here. sorry i am late.
Darren Rovell (3:33 PM)
Haven't done a chat here since 2006. Long time. What questions do you guys have for me?
Where do you see Super Bowl Ticket prices going next week?
Darren Rovell (3:33 PM)
I don't see them going down. As I've said before both 49ers and Ravens fans are hungry to be in New Orleans. I expect them to travel very well.
Darren Rovell (3:34 PM)
One thing about the ticket marketplace that's different as compared to say 10 years ago is it's so transparent. there aren't many secrets anymore. So you have a good idea as to how it's going to go.
Darren, with the crazy TV contract the Dodgers just signed, are teams like the Braves who signed theirs years ago going to be put in an even bigger disadvantage that could hurt the game?
Darren Rovell (3:35 PM)
People I've spoken to within in baseball aren't convinced that this Dodgers deal is definitely a home run. Let's see how it works out.
Will Lance Armstrong be able to make any money in the near future? All of his sponsorships are dried up. He lost his job with Livestrong. He can't compete. He's being sued. How does he make any money?
Darren Rovell (3:36 PM)
It's hard to say never but it's going to be very hard for Lance Armstrong to earn a buck in the future.
Daniel (New York)
Any word on NFL prospects and endorsement deals? Nike, Adidas, Under Armour?
Darren Rovell (3:37 PM)
To my knowledge, no one is signed yet. Under Armour pushes the game because they like to have a new guy on their roster for the combine, which they of course sponsor.
Adam (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
If you were the NHL, how would you market to fans now that the work stoppage is finished and they had to wait so long?
Darren Rovell (3:39 PM)
Adam, I'm not sure that in most NHL cities they will need to market. Part of the reason why the lockout went so long was because both parties knew the fans would return. I do think Columbus, Florida, Phoenix and a couple other teams will clearly struggle.
Jonathan (St. Louis)
Darren - I think you still have some wing sauce on your chin from GMA this morning! We've seen some franchises sell for staggering amounts, more than they are even valued at. In your opinion, what's the most valuable sports franchise and what would it be worth if up for sale?
Darren Rovell (3:41 PM)
It was fun to be on Good Morning America this morning. Great crew. Secret: The wings were cold. I would normally say go get an NFL team but I'm not convinced that the owners are insulated from the concussion lawsuits --that's important. I'd want to buy a significant piece of the Yankees, but make sure I get a piece of their network YES too.
Once Teo is on the field making hits, no one will care about his situation right? Sponsors will forget too?
Darren Rovell (3:42 PM)
Depends how good he is, what market he is in. If he's a pro bowl player, he will get deals. The worse he plays, the more marketers will be reminded of the fake girlfriend. Right now, all he has lost is some pre-draft deals he would have scored.
Todd (San Francisco, CA)
How would you handle all the endorsement and marketing opportunities Kaepernick is receiving so quickly? Would you jump at the marjority to capitalize now? or wait for the biggest and the best?
Darren Rovell (3:44 PM)
Depends if you believe in him. if you truly believe he's great, you might want to wait. If you have an opportunity to do a deal before the Super Bowl, I'd do at least one deal to take some pressure off. But there's a great reward to waiting if the 49ers win. Only deal he has is a Nike deal right now (worth less than $75K base a year), that's good because there's a clean slate.
Shawn (Saskatoon, Canada)
Hey Darren! Whats your take on the new "Pelicans" logo and the name change from the "Hornets"? How much does New Orleans stand to make from this change?
Darren Rovell (3:46 PM)
I'm not a huge fan of the Pelicans. Love the Charlotte Hornets logo. They're making a lot of that stuff now but it would be interesting how much more they'd make if the Bobcats become the Hornets. I'm sure Hornets retro stuff is selling better some current NBA teams.
Nick (Virginia )
Hey Darren hows it going? Thanks for taking this time to chat! I'm trying to decide between UNC and Ohio State to study Sports Management/Administration Undergrad at..any insight??
Darren Rovell (3:49 PM)
There are too many sports management programs. The curriculum at these schools is quite similar. My advice is find out what school gives you the best chance to get great internships and mentorships. Those are the programs that stand out. Also find people online who graduated, see what they are doing now and call them up.
Jeff (Bay Area)
True or False? By 2020 there are no major sports franchises playing in Oakland.
Darren Rovell (3:50 PM)
I know you want the answer, but I'm still 50/50 on this. There's a lot of politics in california and the state budget crisis doesn't make it easy to get a sweetheart deal.
Explain how NCAA ball tourney money is distributed and how most conferences further distribute
Darren Rovell (3:53 PM)
Each game is worth a certain amount (called a unit) and a conference receives that amount for 6 years. The farther you go in the tourney, the more units you earn. Though the championship game doesn't count. Most conferences divide this money equally, but sometimes there is disproportionate sharing depending on if one school has had signficantly more success than the others in the conference (like Butler).
Moving forward what do you think the average life span of a stadium will be? Atlanta is about to build a new NFL stadium even though the GA Dome is only ~22 years old. That seems so insane. How can anyone -- owners, politicians -- argue that 20-25 yrs is outdated?
Darren Rovell (3:57 PM)
I think 20 years is about right, which is scary. But I think teams are learning that you have to build a stadium to be flexible from a technology standpoint. Look at Met Life Stadium. Look at what the 49ers will do. Build less hardware and work with more software. The next five years is going to be a test for teams fighting for relevance with the TV at home. Can they make their stadium a destination that is worth paying for and going to?
What is the next technological innovation that will help change the sports landscape and generate more revenues for teams?
Darren Rovell (3:58 PM)
I'm interested to see what the 49ers do with in-seat ordering. I know they're talking about serving a huge amount of people in their seats, which if the right infrastructure is built, could lead to big money.
Darren Rovell (4:00 PM)
Have about 10 more minutes to answer questions and if I don't get to your question, you can always find me on twitter (@darrenrovell).
Darren, when do you expect the NBA to implement jersey advertising? How much could that bring to the league and its 30 teams? More importantly, how do you think fans will respond to the jersey ads?
Darren Rovell (4:02 PM)
yes, small patches that I think a group of fans will get angry at. Like everything, it will fade. People will get used to it. But no. It won't lower ticket prices either. Just another revenue stream. Think it's a $200M a year add on if it's done right.
What exactly does it mean when a team like the browns is sold for close to a billon dollars? They aren't even one of the best teams in the league.
Darren Rovell (4:05 PM)
The NFL is the anomaly because revenue sharing, especially TV revenue sharing is so robust. Last year, each team made more than $106 million each on the national TV deal. Each. Think about that. A lot of the Browns value comes from the fact that there are only 32 teams and teams don't come up often. So people pay what they need to pay if they have the money. A team is often worth much more as defined by the sales price as compared to the actual asset value of the team.
With no overwhelming favorite who do you see landing the cover of SI's swimsuit issue this year? My money would be Chrissy Teigen or Nina Agdal.
Darren Rovell (4:07 PM)
How could you move on from Kate Upton? If she's in it she has to be on the cover. Too much potential revenue to leave on the table. Though I'm a big fan of Teigen. Didn't know of Agdal until today when I saw the Carl's Jr./Hardees Super Bowl ad.
Buy or Sell the future of the MLS?
Darren Rovell (4:09 PM)
I'm going to buy. That's probably the first time I have said that. But I think Don Garber has done an excellent jobs. There are robust markets in Portland and Seattle and in some other areas that frankly I would have never believed. Is soccer going to be the next big thing? No. But like the NHL I like the niche that it is in.
Darren Rovell (4:11 PM)
Enjoyed my time here today. We'll do it again soon. You can of course find me on ESPN.com, in the Sports Business playbook section, on Sportscenter (my weekly feature on Tuesday is called "Money Talk") and all of ESPN's platforms as well as Twitter. Enjoy Super Bowl week.