Darren Rovell

Darren Rovell attempted to call out a Buick commercial for being “weird,” but whatever that point would have been was overshadowed when he paired his complaint with a much weirder take about NCAA women’s basketball.

Rovell used less than stellar videography skills to capture Buick’s ad promoting women’s college basketball. The commercial begins by recounting Arike Ogunbowale’s buzzer beater to win the 2018 NCAA championship, while citing the lack of coverage the sport gets. “Over 40% of athletes are women, but they get less than 10% of the media coverage,” the ad notes.

Darren quickly pushed back on the attempt to promote women’s basketball, claiming the “spot by Buick is really weird.”

“Women get less coverage during March Madness because there’s less madness, fewer upsets and the bracket is predictable,” Rovell tweeted. “That’s all. It’s not the same product.”

Women’s basketball is not as popular as men’s basketball in North America and it may never be. It certainly never will be if people like Rovell write it off. But that shouldn’t prevent the sport from garnering fair coverage. The NCAA has undervalued women’s basketball by marrying the tournament to 28 other college championship events, rather than selling it as a singular product. Women’s basketball is also restricted from using the NCAA’s massive March Madness tagline when marketing the product, branding reserved for men’s basketball.

The drastic difference in how the NCAA treats men’s and women’s basketball was further depicted last year, when images and videos from the respective tournament bubbles highlighted shocking disparities in the accommodations provided by the NCAA. Needing to spend three weeks inside a bubble, world class athletes from women’s basketball teams were provided food that looked like a TV dinner, while their gym equipment was laughably inequitable.

The disparity in coverage between men’s and women’s basketball isn’t because the women’s product “has less madness,” as Rovell described. Men’s basketball is given a head start, while the NCAA seemingly chooses to set women’s basketball back and make the product harder to find. After calling Buick out for their “weird” commercial, Rovell was roasted on Twitter for his take.


It would be lovely to just ignore what Darren Rovell says, but with his platform (somehow 2 million Twitter followers) his words and actions have real impact. Delivering a take as potentially harmful as this one deserves the criticism it received.

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com