SBD/March 7, 2013/People and Pop Culture

SI Names Roger Goodell The Most Powerful Person In Sports

NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL tops SI's list of the 50 most powerful people in sports, and as the “de facto CEO of the King of All Sports Leagues," he wields "considerable influence by dint of job title alone.” But Goodell has “consistently pushed, and sometimes trespassed, the boundaries of that authority.” He is “akin to the boxer who has more than power -- he has reach too.” Either you “approve of him or … you disapprove of him.” But like “his league, his supremacy is unmistakable” (SI, 3/11 issue).

RANK
EXEC TITLE
1
Roger Goodell NFL Commissioner
2
David Stern NBA Commissioner
3
Phil Anschutz AEG Owner
4
John Skipper ESPN President
5
Bud Selig MLB Commissioner
6
Stan Kroenke Kroenke Sports Enterprises Owner
7
Mark Lazarus NBC Sports Group Chair
8
Jacques Rogge IOC President
9
Phil Knight Nike Chair
10
Hedge Fund Dude  
11
Mark Walter Dodgers Chair
12
Robert Kraft Patriots, MLS Revolution Owner
13
Sean McManus CBS Sports Group Chair
14
Michael Dolan IMG Chair & CEO
15
Eric Shanks Fox Sports co-President & co-COO
16
Sepp Blatter FIFA President
17
Mike Slive SEC Commissioner
18
Adam Silver NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO
19
Jerry Jones Cowboys Owner
20
Larry Ellison Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Oracle Racing Owner
21
Richard Scudamore EPL CEO
22
Bernie Ecclestone F1 CEO
23
Scott Boras MLB agent
24
Kevin Plank Under Armour President, Chair & CEO
25
Tim Finchem PGA Commissioner
26
Jim Delany Big Ten Commissioner
27
Gary Bettman NHL Commissioner
28
David Levy Turner Broadcasting President of Sales, Distribution & Sports
29
Glazer Family Buccaneers, EPL club Manchester United Owner
30
Carlos Brito A-B InBev CEO
31
Donald Fehr NHLPA Exec Dir
32
Herbert Hainer adidas Chair & CEO
33
Bob Bowman MLBAM President & CEO
34
Casey Wasserman Wasserman Media Group Chair & CEO
35
DeMaurice Smith NFLPA Exec Dir
36
Sheikh Mansour bin
Zayed Al Nahyan
EPL club Manchester City Owner
37
Travis Tygart USADA CEO
38
Mark Emmert NCAA President
39
John Riccitiello Electronic Arts CEO
40
Brian France NASCAR Chair & CEO
41
Alison Lewis,
Sharon Byers
Coca-Cola Senior VP/Marketing,
Senior VP/Sports & Marketing Partnerships
42
Al Haymon Boxing promoter
43
Ed O'Bannon Former UCLA basketball player
44
Barack Obama U.S. President
45
Dana White UFC President
46
Cindy Davis Nike Golf President
47
Tom Condon CAA Football co-Head
48
Mark Cuban Mavericks Owner
49
Stephen Espinoza Showtime Sports Exec VP & GM
50
Michael Jordan Bobcats Owner

THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LIST: ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic went over the list this morning and Greenberg said of Goodell, "It's hard to argue right now that he isn’t the most powerful man in sports.” He noted there were "two glaring omissions" to the list, one of them being the fact there are "no current athletes” named. Golic said if an athlete had been picked, it has "got to be LEBRON." Golic: "I think LeBron has, in sports, become the guy.” But he added, “Just to understand this list, there are 13 CEOs, there are numerous presidents, other commissioners. So it’s that kind of list.” Greenberg suggested MARK EMMERT should not be on the list, saying, "It’s been fairly well documented at this point that he doesn’t have any idea what’s going on at the NCAA and the NCAA doesn’t have any idea what’s going on anywhere else. So I think we have more power than them” (“Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN Radio, 3/7). Meanwhile, several Golf Channel on-air personalilities debated Finchem's legacy. Damon Hack said it is the "focus on charity, the fact that every tournament event helps a local community when the PGA Tour visits.” Hack added that it is not only what Finchem has “done in terms of tournaments and growing the PGA Tour schedule,” but also the “focus on charity that helps a lot of people beyond the game of golf.” Gary Williams noted charitable dollars have "remained very robust ... in a time in which everybody has been affected by what has happened in the global markets." Williams: "The fact is that they never saw a significant dip at all in terms of the type of purses they were playing for or the charitable dollars that were given back into the local communities” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 3/7).

BREAKING IT DOWN: SI’s writers came up with their individual lists of the top 10 in their respective beats. Tom Verducci ranks the 10 most powerful people in baseball, while Don Banks ranks the NFL. Ian Thomsen ranks the NBA, Grant Wahl ranks global soccer, Andy Staples ranks college sports, Stu Hackel ranks the NHL and Richard Deitsch ranks sports media (SI.com, 3/6). ESPN's BILL SIMMONS was named the most powerful media figure, and CBS Sports Network’s Allie La Force said, "He sort of reaches a large platform of people with podcasts, obviously known for his award-winning writing, now he’s on television and he makes appearances. He has his Grantland website and he sort of approaches it from a fan's point of view, a guy covering sports who is also a sports fan.” CBS Sports Net’s Doug Gottlieb said, "I’m going to say it’s MIKE TIRICO, and maybe this is more for TV media and it’s just kind of the world I live in.” Gottlieb listed all of the sporting events Tirico hosts and said, “He’s incredibly well-rounded. I think he’s actually better in-studio as a studio host. ... He’s also good at play-by-play." La Force: "When I think of breaking news right now in multiple different sports, its ADAM SCHEFTER. Not only does he have over 2 million Twitter followers, he’s constantly breaking news on Twitter and he’s constantly on ESPN doing updates, giving reports on multiple teams.” Gottlieb: "I would say he and JAY GLAZER are 1-A and 1-B as far as covering NFL stories” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 3/6).
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