SBJ/December 10-16, 2012/Most Influential

50 Most Influential: 11-20


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11
Tim
Finchem

Commissioner

PGA Tour

CHANGE FROM 2011: +3

For a PGA Tour that was enjoying quite a strong run of good play from its stars and strong sponsorship sales, the status quo would have been just fine. But Finchem worked with the players to shake up the schedule and qualifying procedures, again putting his indelible stamp on the tour.


john ourand / staff
12
Mark
Lazarus

Chairman

NBC Sports Group

CHANGE FROM 2011: +4

2012 was the year that Lazarus oversaw the biggest audiences to ever sit in front of a television in the United States. NBC set a viewership record with Super Bowl XLVI, set another viewership record with its coverage of the London Olympics, and set yet another one, as “Sunday Night Football” became the first sports series to win U.S. TV’s prime-time ratings crown.


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13
Brian
France

CEO

NASCAR

CHANGE FROM 2011: +4

NASCAR’s TV ratings and viewership may have dipped in 2012, but its power as a media property was on full display when Fox paid $2.4 billion, a 33 percent increase, to lock up rights to the first 13 races of the season through 2022. France will try to build on that next year when NASCAR sells the rights to the season’s other 23 races.


Marc Bryan-Brown


Roxxe Ireland
14
Mike
Dolan

Chairman & CEO

IMG

CHANGE FROM 2011: NEWCOMER

George
Pyne

President

IMG Sports & E ntertainment

CHANGE FROM 2011: +4

The largest question surrounding the company that invented sports marketing continues to be when IMG will be sold. Dolan, spearheading a global push, has flipped larger companies, while Pyne has helped orchestrate a huge investment in college properties that has the industry’s attention. Whether those huge collegiate guarantees pay off will ultimately decide the fate of the industry bellwether.


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15
Gary
Bettman

Commissioner

NHL

CHANGE FROM 2011: -6

After reporting $3.3 billion in league revenue for the 2011-12 season, Bettman instituted a lockout Sept. 16, the third of his almost 20-year tenure. The lockout has now cost the league its first two months and two of its marquee events, the Winter Classic and All-Star Game. But while players and fans may have their complaints, Bettman has the support of his bosses — the owners of the NHL’s 30 clubs.


NEWSCOM


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16
Charlie
Denson

President

Nike Brand

Mark
Parker

President

Nike Inc.

CHANGE FROM 2011: -1

Nike’s culture is culled from Eastern philosophers and Stanford MBAs, and it takes a pair of Nike lifers — Parker and Denson — to consistently brew that heady mix and keep the brand relevant to a consumer base ever ready to jump. NFL rights, a buoyant Olympic year and being closer to its biggest retailers than ever has Nike maintaining its usual lead position.


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17
Jacques
Rogge

President

International Olympic Committee

CHANGE FROM 2011: -10

Next year will bring an end to the Belgian’s 12-year leadership of the Olympics. And when he walks away in September, he will leave behind an organization in far better shape than when he began. The IOC has amassed a huge cash reserve, signed a new revenue-sharing agreement with the U.S. Olympic Committee, and entered the emerging markets of China and Brazil.


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18
Jerry
Jones

Owner

Dallas Cowboys

CHANGE FROM 2011: -8

His team may struggle, he lost a battle with the league over salary cap penalties, and sometimes the media may not be kind, but in the end it’s still the Cowboys and he is still Jerry Jones. Cowboys Stadium continues to set the standard for NFL facilities, and win or lose, the franchise remains a proven ratings winner for the NFL’s network partners.


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19
Don
Fehr

Executive Director

NHL Players’ Association

CHANGE FROM 2011: +28

Fehr’s stature has grown as he has been locked in a labor showdown with the NHL that becomes more tense with each passing day. In fighting what he calls the lockout “playbook” used by most of the leagues, some believe how he steers the players through the NHL’s third lockout in 18 years could even influence player rights and pay in other sports.


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20
Adam
Silver

Deputy Commissioner

NBA

CHANGE FROM 2011: +6

Silver’s already sizable influence only increases as he adds NBA commissioner-elect to his duties after owners unanimously voted him to succeed David Stern in February 2014.

Most Influential: 21 through 30

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