Gatorade And ESPN Blur Blogging, Reporting

    October 24, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

For many consumers, a love of brands has led them to blog about them; one blogger’s occupation and brand affection are a lot closer than most, though.

Darren Rovell gets a mention in today’s New York Times article about people who blog about the brands they love. Rovell shares space with a Barq’s root beer booster, a Netflix nitpicker, a Trader Joe’s talker, an advocate, and a Disney devotee.

But Rovell’s relationship with Gatorade is a bit different than those of the other bloggers the Times detailed, and it’s strange how the “paper of record” didn’t mention it.

Rovell works for ESPN as a business reporter, and has appeared in several ESPN outlets including its website and on ESPN radio. He provides excellent insights on the inner workings of sports behind the scenes, where the business of salary cap management and “moneyball” happens.

The drink maker has been an ESPN advertiser for some time, and has had numerous ads on the network. Gatorade has become practically synonymous with sports, so much that the company is the featured topic in Rovell’s new book, “First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon.” His blog’s name? First In Thirst.

How did an ESPN reporter become so associated with a sponsor? The times discussed his relationship with Gatorade today:

Darren Rovell, of Bristol, Conn., whose blog,, focuses on the sports drink Gatorade, said that people who typed “is Gatorade unhealthy?” into a search engine often landed at his blog. It carries both positive and negative articles about the drink, culled from the Internet, and his own commentary.

“I’m certainly not driving Gatorade’s agenda,” Mr. Rovell said. But after publishing the book “First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon,” Mr. Rovell has become something of an unofficial company historian for Gatorade, which is owned by PepsiCo.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.