SBD/December 12, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Fox' Freer, Shanks Top SBJ's List Of Most Influential People In Sports Business

Fox Networks Group President & COO RANDY FREER and Fox Sports President & COO ERIC SHANKS top SportsBusiness Journal's annual "50 Most Influential People In Sports Business" list. Freer and Shanks might seem like an "unlikely pair to take the top spot," but Fox Sports under their direction "dictated, shaped and in some cases inflated the sports media marketplace in recent years, gobbling up rights in a buildup to the August launches" of FS1 and FS2. Below is the complete list of this year's honorees. (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/9 issue).

RANK
NAME TITLE
1
Randy Freer/
Eric Shanks
Fox Networks Group President & COO
Fox Sports President & COO
2
Roger Goodell NFL Commissioner
3
John Skipper ESPN President
4
David Stern/
Adam Silver
NBA Commissioner
NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO
5
Bud Selig
MLB Commissioner
6
Dick Costolo Twitter CEO
7
Robert Kraft The Kraft Group Founder Chair & CEO
8
David Levy Turner Broadcasting Systems President
9
Mark Lazarus NBC Sports Group Chair
10
Sean McManus CBS Sports Chair
11
Gary Bettman NHL Commissioner
12
Brian France NASCAR CEO & Chair
13
Phil Anschutz AEG Founder & Owner
14
Tim Finchem PGA Tour Commissioner
15
Jerry Jones Cowboys Owner
16
Mark Walter Dodgers Chair and Guggenheim Partners Founder & CEO
17
Mark MacDougall/
Mike Dolan/
George Pyne
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Partner
IMG Chair & CEO
IMG Sports & Entertainment President
18
Mark Parker/
Trevor Edwards
Nike President & CEO
Nike Brand President
19
Casey Wasserman Wasserman Media Group Chair & CEO
20
Sepp Blatter FIFA President
21
Tim Brosnan/
Rob Manfred
MLB Exec VP/Business
MLB COO
22
Don Garber MLS Commissioner
23
Mike Slive SEC Commissioner
24
Jim Delany Big Ten Commissioner
25
Melinda Witmer Time Warner Cable Exec VP & Chief Video and Content Officer
26
Kevin Plank Under Armour Founder & CEO
27
John Henry Fenway Sports Group Owner
28
Indra Nooyi PepsiCo Chair & COO
29
Larry Probst/
Scott Blackmun
USOC Chair
USOC CEO
30
Michael Levine/
Howard Nuchow
CAA Sports co-Heads
31
Tim Leiweke MLSE President & CEO
32
Paul Chibe/
Blaise D'Sylva
Anheuser-Busch U.S. CMO
Anheuser-Busch VP/Media, Sports & Entertainment Marketing
33
Mark Emmert NCAA President
34
Jeff Pash NFL Exec VP & General Counsel
35
Jerry Reinsdorf White Sox & Bulls Chair
36
Ed O'Bannon O'Bannon v. NCAA Lead Plaintiff
37
Thomas Bach IOC President
38
Don Fehr NHLPA Exec Dir
39
Herbert Hainer adidas Chair & CEO
40
Bob Bowman MLB Advanced Media President & CEO
41
Chris Tsakalakis StubHub President
42
Tom Long/
Andy England
MillerCoors President & Chief Commercial Officer
MillerCoors CMO
43
Sean Bratches ESPN Exec VP/Sales & Marketing
44
Jed York 49ers CEO
45
Rick Dudley Octagon Worldwide President & CEO
46
Alex Rodriguez/
Fred Horowitz
Yankees 3B
Chief Arbitrator
47
DeMaurice Smith NFLPA Exec Dir
48
Stephen Espinoza Showtime Sports Exec VP & GM
49
Asim Pasha Sporting Innovations Managing Partner and Sporting K.C. CIO & Chief Architect
50
Vladimir Putin Russia President


TWITTER REAX: Horrow Sports Ventures Exec Dir Brian Finkel wrote, "Sports media execs ARE the most influential. Sports would never be as big as they are today without the billions of TV $$$." Collegiate Licensing Co. Manager/Apparel Management Marcus Dittmer: "Interesting, #MLS' Don Garber ranks ahead of Mike Slive and Jim Delany on @sbjsbd's 50 most influential list." GoHeels.com columnist Adam Lucas: "Two of the top 25 most influential people in sports business (via @sbjsbd) are UNC grads: Skipper and Delany." American Cable Association VP/Communications Ted Hearn: "Russia's Putin lands dead last on SBJ's list of sports big shots [Guess Vlad needs to 'borrow' a few more SB rings]." Author James Andrew Miller: "Gotta love Putin at #50." K.C. Business Journal Editor Brian Kaberline: "Pasha comes in at #49, beating Vladimir Putin (Now THAT is cool.)." SportsPro magazine Editor James Emmett: "IOC pres Thomas Bach a lowly 37 in SBJ's 50 Most Influential. Reflection of US attitudes or publication's focus?" Check-In For Good co-Founder Rob Katz: "Arod making the list is awful. Too many others doing positive things for him to be listed." North Carolina State Univ. Assistant Dir of Marketing Kara Kovert: "The '50 Most Influential People in Sports' only includes 2 women. Interesting." LM&O Advertising Account Coordinator Alix Montes: "Another list in need of tanning. Also Jay Z is nowhere to be found."
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