SBJ/20081215/Special Report

50 Most Influential people in sports business 2008

This year’s list naming the 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business almost felt like a sidebar to the debate that dominated our selection process. Time and time again, the discussion veered back to whether the crippled economy, clearly influencing decisions throughout the industry, needed to be recognized.

Putting a phenomenon atop a list of people has been done before. It’s sometimes an innovative way to reflect extraordinary events, but it also can be a cop-out. So the debate turned to whether the man who would try to stabilize the economy, Barack Obama, was “the one.” Combine his outspokenness on the BCS and his love of sports, and we could envision him being the most active president this business has ever seen. But many sources stressed that the economy, not so much Obama, should be considered.

In the end, ESPN’s historic deal landing the rights to the BCS helped catapult George Bodenheimer to the top of our list. He’s not a new face, but he’s a trusted visionary who is changing the media map every single day.

Much of ESPN’s success is dismissed as their having more money. They do, but they also have been ahead of the competition in delivering more content to more consumers through more devices and connections than any other media company.

ESPN is an extremely successful sports business, and the brand is nearly monolithic. That doesn’t just happen. Bodenheimer led the way.

View the List
He’s not #1 but he’s THE One
How They Stack Up
George Bodenheimer Tim Leiweke George Pyne Jeff Shell Don Fehr
Jerry Jones Robert Kraft Tim Brosnan Don Garber Scott Boras
David Stern Gary Bettman Jeffrey Kessler Tom Condon Jeremy Jacobs
Roger Goodell Charlie Denson Adam Silver Kevin Plank Billy Hunter
Dick Ebersol Herbert Hainer Myles Brand Mark Cuban Pat Bowlen
Bud Selig David Levy John Skipper Sean Bratches Rick Dudley
David Hill Tim Finchem Casey Wasserman Carlos Brito Randy Freer
Sean McManus Bob Dupuy Hal Steinbrenner Peter Moore Michael Levine
Brian France Chase Carey Bob Bowman Jerry Richardson Peter Ueberroth
David Cohen John Henry Jacques Rogge Tom McGovern Eric Schmidt
Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug