SBJ/December 10-16, 2012/Most Influential

50 Most Influential: 21-30

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21
Bernie
Ecclestone

President & CEO

Formula One

CHANGE FROM 2011: NEWCOMER

Ecclestone single-handedly turned F1 into one of the most powerful international properties in sports, third in many brands’ eyes to the Olympics and World Cup. One of the few markets the property hasn’t penetrated is the U.S., but that’s changing. The inaugural race in Texas this year drew more than 250,000 spectators over three days, and the series hopes to hold a race in New York-New Jersey in 2014.


marc bryan-brown
22
Melinda
Witmer

Executive Vice President & Chief Video and Content Officer

Time Warner Cable

CHANGE FROM 2011: NO CHANGE

Witmer’s influence in 2012 extended beyond deciding which sports networks the country’s second-largest cable operator would carry. This year, Witmer made a big splash with the launch of two regional sports networks in Los Angeles with programming from the Lakers and Galaxy. Despite some early pushback, the channels have carriage deals with the main Los Angeles-based distributors and have produced big ratings so far.


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23
Casey
Wasserman

Chairman & CEO

Wasserman Media Group

CHANGE FROM 2011: +1

Long recognized for his clout and connections in sports, politics, finance and pop culture, Wasserman saw his vision for the NFL’s return to Los Angeles inch closer while his Wasserman Media Group had arguably its most successful year. The agency landed the first overall picks in the NBA, NFL, MLB and MLS drafts, while further building upon its strong media rights and corporate consulting division. Wasserman’s powerful advocacy for sports, mixed with his strong philanthropy and social responsibility initiatives, continue to elevate his standing.


Marc Bryan-Brown


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24
Rob
Manfred

Executive Vice President, Economics & League Affairs

Major League Baseball

CHANGE FROM 2011: NEWCOMER

Tim
Brosnan

Executive Vice President, Business

Major League Baseball

CHANGE FROM 2011: +3

Brosnan and Manfred are two key lieutenants under Commissioner Bud Selig, each with growing importance and stature in league affairs. Brosnan posted a career year with the new national TV deals, a major sponsorship extension with Anheuser-Busch and a marked expansion of the MLB Fan Cave. Manfred, meanwhile, has run point on a bevy of critical issues, including the Dodgers bankruptcy, the Nationals/MASN dispute and the Giants/A’s Bay Area territorial fight.


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25
Mark
Emmert

President

NCAA

CHANGE FROM 2011: +4

For those who thought that the NCAA’s leader had no influence in college football, Emmert dropped a sanction-filled bomb on Penn State’s football program. Under his watch, the NCAA also is working on ways to commercially modernize March Madness and revise the page-heavy and often confusing NCAA rule book, all of which is leaving a very clear imprint of his administration.


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26
Jerry
Buss
Jeanie
Buss

Owners

Los Angeles Lakers

CHANGE FROM 2011: -6

Jerry Buss owns the team while his daughter, Jeanie, runs the Lakers’ business operations. The Lakers drew flak for snubbing Phil Jackson in replacing the fired Mike Brown, but off the court the team remains a powerhouse. Their 25-year deal reportedly worth nearly $200 million annually with Time Warner Cable continues to set the bar.


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27
Mike
Slive

Commissioner

Southeastern Conference

CHANGE FROM 2011: +8

The SEC’s power on the field is never questioned, and neither is Slive’s influence off the field. He is carefully and methodically building an SEC channel that will further legitimize the conference’s leadership position in college sports, all the while dictating the look of the new college football playoff.


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28
Don
Garber

Commissioner

Major League Soccer

CHANGE FROM 2011: +2

MLS set an attendance record for the second straight year, another sign of the rising popularity of the league and building upon Garber’s strong operating foundation. On his agenda for 2013: helping struggling franchises such as Columbus and Chivas USA at the gate,
improving TV ratings and solidifying
a New York franchise in Queens.


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29
Jim
Delany

Commissioner

Big Ten Conference

CHANGE FROM 2011: NOT RANKED

The Big Ten has a history of setting the pace in college athletics, and Delany was at it again this year, taking a founding member — Maryland — from the ACC without anyone even suspecting it. The influence of Delany’s baby, the Big Ten Network, ensures that the conference will be one of the power players in the college space for years to come.


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30
Maarten
Albarda

Vice President, Global Connections

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Carlos
Brito

CEO

Anheuser-Busch InBev

CHANGE FROM 2011: +3

Along with being omnipresent in U.S. sports, the world’s biggest brewery has the rights to the most important global sports sponsorships over the next four years in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, both in Brazil. Can this duo use the power of global sports to expand the reach of worldwide labels Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and Brahma? It’s a heady task.

Most Influential: 31 through 40

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