Tim Cook calls into ESPN to talk sports

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Tim Cook’s Charisma
Cook is a big-time Auburn sports fan.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has made no secret of the fact that he’s a sport fan — with a particular love of the teams at his alma mater, Auburn University.

With the Auburn Tigers basketball team entering the Final Four against Virginia this weekend, Cook called the Paul Finebaum Show on ESPN to geek out about sport.

Introduced, hilariously, as “Tim from Cupertino,” Cook spoke about the positive role that sport can play. Specifically, he described sport as a “great unifier.” Talking about whether Cook talks sport with rival CEOs, he continued that:

“It’s the one thing we can all rally around and people put their other interests aside to either fight the other side or hopefully join forces. Sports always comes up. CEOs are people too. They love sports.”

A sport fan at the helm

Cook’s love of sport has manifested itself previously when he has tweeted out his congratulations to favorite teams during moments of triumph.

He’s not the only big Apple executive to be a sport fan, either. Eddy Cue is also a massive basketball fan — although he might challenge Cook’s perception of sport as a “great unifier.” In 2017, Cue was criticized for lashing out at Rihanna during Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, California.

Having sport fans heading up Apple is certainly different to how things were in the past. When I interviewed members of the original Macintosh team, I asked how many of them watched the famous Super Bowl commercial live. Answers ranged from people who had skipped it altogether because they weren’t sport fans to those who had just turned it on for halftime to watch the commercial.