Dan Rookwood is an award-winning creative content strategist and editor, with an impressive portfolio that includes Nike, Men’s Health and Copa 90. We chatted to Rookwood in our latest Media Unscripted podcast to find out more about the man behind the business, and the business behind the brands.
Rookwood doesn’t stay still for long. His career in media has seen him move from best-selling glossies, into the corporate world of Nike, then back into B2C publishing, before making a giant leap into capital investment.
However, creating great content remains at the forefront of his work, and as operating partner and head of brand at VGC he is charged with the task of looking for investment opportunities within consumer, digital media and tech. Indeed, VGC’s latest investment was in the UK’s fast-growing independent podcast production company, Novel.
Rookwood’s career has taken him all around the world. He started at The Guardian before moving into the then glamorous world of magazine journalism, working on titles including Time out, Men’s Health, Women’s Fitness and GQ.
However, it was a move across the pond to become the editor of Mr. Porter that changed his career. During his time there, Rookwood was poached by Nike and he made the move into the corporate world. Rookwood went on to become global senior director of editorial, creating strategies for all consumer-facing content.
At the time of this interview Rookwood was back in the UK, and back in B2C publishing, as the consultant editor in chief of Copa 90. He has since moved, once again, to VGC, where he is using his vast media experience and contacts to grow their portfolio and ensure that brand strategy is central to the business strategy of VGC’s investments.
Rookwood has seen all sides of the media industry. In this podcast he speaks about its challenges and stresses, as well as his passion for creating great content – whether he is working for one of the world’s biggest brands, or a start-up.
It was really interesting seeing how the huge, well-oiled machine that is Nike goes about creating content. And it was also fascinating to hear about how Rookwood had to adjust to their way of thinking and working, and what it taught him about his own life and career.
He is brutally honest about how ego got in the way at the start of his career, and how he went from a know-it-all to a learn-it-all.
We hope you also learn a thing or two from listening to this podcast. Listen now.