SBJ/December 10-16, 2012/Most Influential

50 Most Influential: 31-40

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SHANA WITTENWYLER


SHANA WITTENWYLER
31
Michael
Levine

Co-Head

CAA Sports

Howard
Nuchow

Co-Head

CAA Sports

CHANGE FROM 2011: +3

Born in Hollywood, CAA is now fully established in sports representation, with the likes of David Beckham and Shaun White. But led by Levine and Nuchow, new business for the agency this year included the consulting assignment for JPMorgan Chase and the selection by UEFA of the CAA Eleven subsidiary to sell TV and sponsorship rights — wins that show it’s also building its influence elsewhere in sports.


greg puime/UMD Athletics
32
Kevin
Plank

CEO & Founder

Under Armour

CHANGE FROM 2011: +5

That Under Armour is a serious challenger to Nike in terms of cachet to youthful core consumers — at less than 1/12th its size — is a tribute to Plank’s vision and Under Armour’s corporate culture. To make a serious run at Nike’s dominance, success in non-cleated footwear and continued expansion outside of North America are vital.


Getty Images


Getty Images
33
Larry
Probst

Chairman

U.S. Olympic Committee

Scott
Blackmun

CEO

U.S. Olympic Committee

CHANGE FROM 2011: +6

The No. 1 priority for the U.S. Olympic Committee this year was negotiating a new revenue-sharing agreement with the International Olympic Committee. Not only did Probst and Blackmun get that done, the USOC also fielded the top medal-winning team at the London Games and brought on new sponsors including Liberty Mutual. Now, they have to bring the Olympics back to the U.S.


AP Images
34
Sean
Bratches

Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing

ESPN

CHANGE FROM 2011: -3

Bratches is the executive who oversees all revenue coming into ESPN, but his influence extends beyond the deals he cuts. It’s more how he’s cut them. Cable carriage deals generally get played out in the press. But in 2012, Bratches oversaw complicated long-term deals with Comcast and Cablevision without a whiff of public dissension.


pac-12 conference
35
Larry
Scott

Commissioner

Pac-12 C onference

CHANGE FROM 2011: -12

Scott’s vision for multiple Pac-12 networks came to life this year, and while distribution issues are a fact of life with new channels, there’s no disputing that Scott continues to be a leading innovator in what traditionally has been a conservative and slow-to-move space. Now if he can just breathe some life into his new championship football game.


Getty Images
36
Jeff
Pash

Executive Vice President & General Counsel

NFL

CHANGE FROM 2011: +12

Insiders call Pash the unofficial No. 2 executive at the NFL. Pash was front and center for years because of the labor standoff, but he retains a high profile and is a key adviser to Commissioner Roger Goodell as the league navigates tricky legal terrain. It’s not always easy to understand how important Pash is because he’s not necessarily quick with one-liners or forceful rhetoric. Instead, he abides by the maxim “Don’t get into a spitting contest with someone who shows up in a raincoat.”


Getty Images
37
Herbert
Hainer

Chairman & CEO

Adidas

CHANGE FROM 2011: -5

Hainer and Adidas are riding high. However, the company is still struggling to justify the billions it paid in 2006 for Reebok, which is weighed down in the U.S. by share losses; its loss of NFL rights; the NHL lockout; and massive problems in India. Even then, Adidas has had strong recent results, and Hainer insists Reebok, repositioned as a fitness brand, will rebound.


tony florez photography
38
Larry
Baer

President & CEO

San Francisco Giants

CHANGE FROM 2011: NEWCOMER

Move over Los Angeles and New York, baseball’s most powerful franchise arguably plays by the Bay. Baer oversees an attendance and merchandising power with two World Series titles in the last three seasons, plus a thought leadership role on emerging industry issues such as dynamic ticket pricing.


kristina paumen/limelight photography


guerry redmond photography
39
Alison
Lewis

Senior Vice President of Marketing

Coca-Cola North America

CHANGE FROM 2011: +4

Sharon
Byers

Senior Vice President, Sports and Entertainment Marketing Partnerships

Coca-Cola North America

CHANGE FROM 2011: NEWCOMER

Coke continues to rule the cola war, and even though Pepsi’s carbonated drinks have recovered some of their U.S. share, Wall Street is still more impressed by Coke’s leadership, which includes the marketing acumen of Lewis and Byers, as Coke has outperformed Pepsi by truckloads in terms of stock performance during the past five years.


Getty Images
40
John
Henry

Owner

Fenway Sports Group

CHANGE FROM 2011: -15

More on-field woes arrived this year for Henry in both Boston and Liverpool, as did fan anger. But with Anfield Stadium and the Red Sox roster poised for significant renovation and Fenway Sports Group maintaining a large, powerful portfolio of assets, Henry’s coming moves will still shift the marketplace.

Most Influential: 41 through 50

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