Get the newest book by Darren Rovell about the Gatorade phenomena in sports and it's impact on the world. What began in 1965 as the after-hours project of four University of Florida doctors, Gatorade has grown into an internationally renowned brand that today comprises 80 percent of the U.S. sports drink market it created. A lifelong Gatorade consumer and ESPN.com's sports business writer, Rovell locates the increasingly wide intersection of sports, business and popular culture, creating an account wide in scope, rich in details and sufficiently varied to keep the pages turning.
Rovell's research pays big dividends in entertaining stories, relating, for instance, when Florida's head football coach, Ray Graves, initially allowed the doctors to test Gatorade, but only on his freshman team; or the late nights before games when the doctors could be found in the lab squeezing lemons into the concoction to mask its then-rancid taste; or Stokely Van-Camp's decision, when buying Gatorade from the doctors and their investors, to compensate the Gatorade Trust on a royalty structure instead of paying a flat $1 million fee, which "turned out to be a boon for the doctors. Instead of collecting a couple of hundred thousand dollars each, they were to earn more than $30 million each over the next 40 years;" and even criticism of Gatorade by those who assert the company "overpromotes hydration in order to promote its product."
Throughout his account, Rovell reveals the many secrets of Gatorade's success, portraying the company as an ever-evolving pioneer that continually tweaks its business model to remain on top, a sports analogy to be sure. (From Publishers Weekly)
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." 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 two other primetime documentaries, including "Inside Track: Refueling the Business of NASCAR," and "As Seen on TV," an in-depth look at the informercial busines. 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 a 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.
"...an account wide in scope, rich in details and sufficiently varied to keep the pages turning."
– Publishers Weekly
"A good read about a product's ups and downs for those into sports, business, or supposed hangover cures."
"He [Rovell] writes a fascinating chronicle of how Gatorade's superb marketing overcame obstacles."
– Detroit Free Press
"I started reading it, and...couldn't put it down."
– Chris Murray, Former Editor-in-Chief of Soundview Executive Book Summaries as quoted in The Chicago Tribune
"[A] new book by ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell provides fascinating insights into the original development--and sale-of Gatorade."
– Beverage Digest
"this book is a rewarding read."
– Ft. Worth Star Telegram
"…a fascinating business story."
– Mississippi Business Journal
“[A] fascinating new book….[Author] Rovell does an excellent job keeping a business story moving by interweaving plenty of sports and bigger picture ideas into First in Thirst. There is enough here for the businessperson, the sports fan and anyone who loves a story about how one small, simple idea could become so big.”
– Yahoo! Sports
"...an engrossing read...the book is captivating."
– Business Ledger
"It’s a lively book rich in detail."
– Steve Powers, Dallas Morning News anchor and nationally syndicated columnist