5 Questions with...CNBC's Darren Rovell

5 Questions with...CNBC's Darren Rovell
March 14, 2012, 4:30 pm
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CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the city's most popular personalities on the spot with everyone's favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guest ... one of the standout national voices in sports business media today ... he's a Northwestern grad, an Emmy winner, author, info junkie, active athlete and, if your'e not already following him @darrenrovell, he doles out more information on Twitter in one day than most average Twitter users send out in a month (or six months for that matter) ... plus, his daughter is only 2 weeks old and already has over 500 Twitter followers! (ah, the power of social media) ... among numerous outlets, you can catch him on CNBC Sports Biz: Game On! Friday nights at 6:00 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network .., get ready, here are 5 Questions with ... DARREN ROVELL!

BIO: Darren Rovell is CNBC's Sports Business Reporter. He is responsible for both analyzing and reporting on the sports business world on all of CNBC's programming including "Squawk Box," "Power Lunch" and "Street Signs." He is also author of the "Sports Biz" blog on CNBC.com and hosts CNBC Sports Biz: Game On! every Friday night on NBC Sports Network.

Since joining CNBC in July 2006, Rovell has interviewed many of the world's greatest athletes including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong. Other interview subjects also include the sporting world's top power brokers including NBA Commissioner David Stern, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, Major League Baseball President and COO Bob DuPuy, super-agent Scott Boras, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Nike CEO Mark Parker and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.

Rovell reported and anchored the CNBC primetime documentary "Swoosh! Inside Nike," which took viewers through the company's history to the factory floors in Vietnam. It was nominated for an Emmy. He also anchored other primetime documentaries, including "Inside Track: Refueling the Business of NASCAR," "As Seen on TV," an in-depth look at the infomercial business, "Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising" and "Business Model: Inside the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue." Rovell won an Emmy for his contribution to NBC's 2008 Election coverage.

Rovell doesn't just report, he does. He finished the New York Marathon in 2004, the same year he ate six hot dogs and buns at a hot dog eating qualifier. He finished fifth in the world in the World Championship of Watermelon Seed Spitting in Luling, Texas in 2005, and scored one point in a two-minute stint for the Washington Generals at Madison Square Garden in 2008. He is also on the Green Bay Packers season ticket waiting list, has searched for golf balls in the water of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass and has been tutored by the Dallas Mavericks free throw coach. In February of 2008, when Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns, he gave Shaq the idea to call himself "The Big Cactus." In 2009, he played then No. 2 ranked Andy Murray in a game of tennis and sat in Kyle Busch's car during the Pennzoil Burnout Competition at the Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte.

Prior to joining CNBC, Rovell served as sports business writer for ESPN.com and reported on the world of agents, stadium deals, endorsements and contracts on ESPN's flagship, "SportsCenter," its investigative show, "Outside the Lines," and had weekly segments on ESPNEWS.

Rovell is also the author of two business books. First In Thirst: How Gatorade Turned The Science of Sweat Into A Cultural Phenomenon and On the Ball: What You Can Learn About Business From America's Sports Leaders. First In Thirst was named by Soundview Summaries as one of the top 30 business books of the year, while On the Ball, co-written with industry insider David Carter, was named to the Top 25 list of "What Corporate America Is Reading" by the Knight Ridder/Tribune News.

In 2004 and 2007, Rovell was named to Newsbios' "30 under 30," a list of the top 30 national business reporters under the age of 30. He is the only sports reporter in the two-decade history of the awards to have been honored.

Rovell graduated cum laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he is on the advisory board for graduate programs in sports administration.

1) CSNChicago.com: Darren, as one the nations leading journalists on the continuously-expanding and always unpredictable world of sports business, it has to be a Herculean task to gather, disseminate, verify and ultimately share all the information you obtain on a daily basis. With that said, what would you say is the most challenging part of your job?

Rovell: First of all, thanks for thinking of me for this, Jeff. The most challenging part of my job is clearly dealing with information and reacting to it. The speed of information today is scary these days and my job is to give the business take on every important story in sports.

There are so many stories going on though that Im charged with also figuring out what stories matter most and taking care of them in the right order to maximize the impact of my work. Twitter has been great for that. Not only to disseminate information, but to look and see what stories matter most. Its a mix of what people want to know about and stories that have the responsibility to break and report.

2) CSNChicago.com: As many of your followers already know, you have taken the social media platform of Twitter from a reporting standpoint to new heights (you've already posted over 25,000 tweets for crying out loud!). For Twitter, in particular, do you think professional sports franchises (and leagues) will eventually encourage all of its players to use Twitter to better connect with their fan base?or is social media still that unknown territory that teams/leagues should be concerned about as it pertains to maintaining a professional and proper image?

Rovell: I think its a mixed bag. I understand why teams and schools are concerned with players and social media. For so many years, they've had this control over the talent and they set up occasions for them to speak, but now a player can say what he wants, when he wants to say it and immediately have an audience. Some teams and schools have discouraged social media because, ultimately, they think there is more to lose than gain and I think that's a mistake. The rules for smartly dealing with social media are just like anything else in this world be careful what you say, understand sensitivities and take a breath before you respond to your critics.

3) CSNChicago.com: Speaking of Twitter ... you have had some highly-publicized back-and-forth battles with various fellow media members on Twitter for one reason or the other over the past year. Does this ever bother you from a professional standpoin,t, and from a personal standpoint for that matter?

Rovell: If they bothered me, I couldn't be doing this job. Do they get me fired up? Of course. But I understand that people engage with me and my one rule is to be myself. I believe in everything I write and I passionately defend what I believe. Its funny to me how insider media battles, something that many people never cared about, have become a sport to watch on Twitter.

4) CSNChicago.com: You've never hidden your deep love for your alma mater Northwestern University and the city of Chicago in general. Tell us the top three things you love the most about our great city.

Rovell: Love the cold ... seriously. Love that fresh air coming off the lake. Love the people. So friendly. And love the memories. I had a great four years in Chicago and cant help but smile when I think of my time here.

5) CSNChicago.com: Congrats again the birth of your daughter! Aside from everything else you have going in your profession 24/7, hows having a baby in your life changed you and are you getting any sleep?

Rovell: Sleep has never really been a strong point for me. I get four and a half hours and I'm good. What has changed is that my daughter is such a priority for me. I love being a father. I think my job has honed my skills in doing many things at the same time and I can already see how that will come into play, though Mrs. SportsBiz says computer or iPhone while the baby is in my hands is a no-no!

BONUS QUESTION! CSNChicago.com: Anything you'd like to promote Darren? Tell us ... CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it!

Rovell: Continue to watch me on CNBC during the day. If you miss anything, you can always watch it on DarrenRovell.com and also keep up with my blog posts. You can watch my show, CNBC SportsBiz on NBC Sports Network at 6pm Central time every Friday night. I think we have great, unique content that you wont find anywhere else on the dial. And of course, follow me on Twitter -- @darrenrovell.

Rovell LINKS

CNBCs Sports Biz with Darren Rovell home page

NBC Sports NetworkSports Biz: Game On! home page

Darren Rovell on Twitter (@darrenrovell)