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Volume 23 No. 13
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50 Most Influential People in Sports Business

Our annual list of the executives who make the industry tick, who take it to new heights and, in some cases, can even bring it to a stop.

joe faraoni / espn



CHANGE FROM 2011: +2

It’s difficult to replace a legend, particularly one as well-liked as George Bodenheimer, but that’s exactly what Skipper has done in the last year. ESPN hasn’t skipped a beat under Skipper, cutting huge rights deals with the NFL, Major League Baseball, the Bowl Championship Series, ACC and Big 12, and investing more money in the content side of the business through the launch of Grantland, the hiring of two Pulitzer Prize winners and the expansion of “30 for 30.” (For more on Skipper, read his candid chat with Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and Media Writer John Ourand.)

New and notable on this year's list


SBJ's Abe Madkour and Tom Stinson on who rose, who fell, and who's new on the list.

Most Influential: 2 through 10

Most Influential: 11 through 20

Most Influential: 21 through 30

Most Influential: 31 through 40

Most Influential: 41 through 50