On yet another rainy day in New York City, we were blessed with the wonderful opportunity to head over to the offices of NBC Sports. This was their last day at the famous, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, as they are moving to a new address in Stamford, Connecticut.
Upon walking into the crowded building, with the hustle and bustle of tourists and businessmen, we walked up to security and presented our ID in order to receive our visitor’s pass.
After we all received our passes, our wonderful speaker, Rob Simmelkjaer, came down and greeted us. We walked to the elevators and headed for the 15th floor into a conference room, where our speaker series would commence. Prior to Rob speaking, we went around the room in what has become an MSBA tradition and each told Rob a little about ourselves. The one part of our introduction that made this opportunity special was we each had the chance to share our favorite NBC Sports moment.
Whether it was Michael Phelps claiming his eighth gold medal or Sarah Hughes winning figure skating gold at the Salt Lake City games or even, my personal favorite, the NBA on NBC with the famous theme song “Roundball Rock”, this provided a great opportunity to remember all that NBC Sports stands for. Just sitting there and listening to each of my fellow aspiring sports professionals discuss their famous NBC Sports moment really brought to light how meaningful this speaker series with Rob was going to be.
For those who do not know, Rob Simmelkjaer is the Senior Vice President of NBC Sports Ventures. While this is his official title, he also finds time to talk on NBC Sports Radio every Sunday morning. Rob discussed his background, illustrating the unique path he took to get to the point he is today, from radio host, to lawyer, to assistant to George Bodenheimer, to news anchor and finally to his current position at NBC Sports.
After Rob discussed his history, he opened the floor to questions from MSBA participants. This is the best time of the speaker series as it allows for all of us to really get a better feeling for what it is truly like behind the scenes of the sporting world. Questions for Rob ranged from soccer to world fighting to the Olympics and even touched on Fox Sports One and its possible effect on NBC Sports. Rob gave great insight into the network and some of the inner workings that go into deciding what events to bid on and sponsors to pick up.
Following our discussion, Rob took the time to take some pictures with all of us in front of the NBC and NBC Sports logo. This was probably the last photo that will be taken of NBC Sports on the 15th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It was an honor to be there, and it is an experience that I will never forget.