SBJ/December 12-18, 2011/Most Influential

50 Most Influential: 31-40

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31
SEAN
BRATCHES

Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing

ESPN

CHANGE FROM 2010: -9

Bratches is the executive who oversees all the revenue that comes into ESPN, from ad sales, which still is weathering the economic downturn, to affiliate sales, where ESPN still commands the highest carriage fees in the business.

32
HERBERT
HAINER

Chairman & CEO

Adidas

CHANGE FROM 2010: -9

Nike has made inroads, but Adidas still rules soccer, the world’s most popular sport. Some scoffed at Hainer’s prediction last year of 45 to 50 percent growth by 2015. They’re not laughing anymore, as Adidas’ results have been strong across the board.



33
CARLOS
BRITO

CEO

Anheuser-Busch InBev

CHANGE FROM 2010: NOT RANKED

MAARTEN
ALBARDA

Vice President, Global Connections

Anheuser-Busch InBev

CHANGE FROM 2010: -4

Anheuser-Busch has long been the principal corporate patron of American sports. Despite much hand-wringing when InBev purchased the business, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Anheuser-Busch InBev emptied its pockets in securing an NFL league sponsorship and litigated hard to keep its long-held MLB and NHL rights, although it ultimately lost the NHL. Perhaps it’s time to stop worrying about whether the King of Beers is still King of Sports.


34
MICHAEL
LEVINE

Co-Head

CAA Sports

HOWARD
NUCHOW

Co-Head

CAA Sports

CHANGE FROM 2010: +2

With the addition of Greg Luckman on corporate consulting and adding agent Jimmy Sexton to its roster, Nuchow and Levine continue to build by bringing on senior talent. The duo has CAA Sports quickly becoming the most talked about agency in sports.

35
MIKE
SLIVE

Commissioner

Southeastern Conference

CHANGE FROM 2010: NOT RANKED

Slive and the SEC were quiet on expansion in 2010, but that wasn’t the case this year. The league started a new round of realignment by taking Texas A&M, followed by Missouri. Now there’s talk that the SEC is again investigating its own TV network at a time when its football value couldn’t be higher.

36
DEMAURICE
SMITH

Executive Director

NFL Players Association

CHANGE FROM 2010: -31

Smith led players through the NFL’s first work stoppage in 25 years. The league sought major concessions from the players, and though the league is viewed as having won the labor battle, it didn’t get everything it was seeking. Going forward, Smith’s contract is up in March and he’s been mum about his future plans.

37
KEVIN
PLANK

CEO & Founder

Under Armour

CHANGE FROM 2010: +1

The two biggest brands in sporting goods retail are Nike and Under Armour. Any company that can carve out a piece of Nike’s hard-earned brand equity and market share has our admiration, and Plank is the heart and soul of Under Armour. The company just cracked $1 billion in annual revenue, and that’s without a significant amount of overseas sales.



38
ANDY
ENGLAND

Chief Marketing Officer

MillerCoors

TOM
LONG

President and Chief Commercial Officer

MillerCoors

CHANGE FROM 2010: +6

England and Long are the hands at the reins of the only real domestic competitor to Anheuser-Busch, which has around a 50 percent market share in the U.S. Sales of flagship brand Miller Lite have dipped recently, and while MillerCoors/Coors Light locked up U.S. NHL rights and Molson Coors the Canadian rights after a legal battle, it remains to be seen whether the loss of NFL rights to A-B will hit Coors Light like a blind-side safety blitz.



39
LARRY
PROBST

Chairman

U.S. Olympic Committee

CHANGE FROM 2010: +1

SCOTT
BLACKMUN

CEO

U.S. Olympic Committee

CHANGE FROM 2010: NEWCOMER

After returning stability to the U.S. Olympic Committee, the two executives at the organization’s helm are concentrating on the future: a new revenue-sharing agreement with the International Olympic Committee; retaining more than $140 million in domestic sponsorship; and perhaps most importantly, ensuring Team USA wins medal after medal at the London Games.

40
HAL
STEINBRENNER

Managing General Partner & Co-Chair

New York Yankees

CHANGE FROM 2010: -5

It was a quieter year in Yankeeland, with perhaps the exception of milestone marches by Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. But under Steinbrenner, the Yankees remain by far baseball’s most popular team, its most powerful revenue producer, and a leading measuring stick for industry success.

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