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2011 Most Influential People In Sports Business

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessWe recently ran a Facebook Contest asking our audience who they thought was missing from Sports Business Journal’s “50 Most Influential People in Sports Business“.  We received some great feedback and the people mentioned varied greatly from Michael Jordan (Owner – Charlotte Bobcats) to Lalit Modi (Creator – Indian Premier League).

The annual list put together by SBJ includes a wide variety of executives that have affected the sports industry in North America over the past 12 months. We wanted to know who you thought was missing from this list?  And, of course, our criteria was not restricted to North America. So, as a result, there are a couple of mentions below that you may have never heard of, but have had a huge impact in the sports world.

So, without further adieu, here’s a summary of the contest entries we received:

2011 Most Influential People In Sports Business

Michael Jordan – Owner  – Charlotte Bobcats

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessThe person I always looked up to was Michael Jordan. That is why I always wanted to work in the sports industry.Joe McGrath Jr

Michael Jordan is the most influential people in the sports business considering how he revolutionized the game of basketball during his playing career!Darrius Frazier 

Michael Jordan. Not because of what he has accomplished as a basketball player, but because of what he has YET to accomplish as an owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. The man is the most competitive individual the world has ever seen. People may view him as a selfish owner, but he will do whatever it takes to win. It took Jordan 6 years before he finally won his first championship. Once the Bulls found the right pieces in Pippen, Grant, and Paxson, Jordan excelled his game and led the team to multiple championships. I feel as if he’s still in the early stages of basketball ownership. He has much to learn. However, one thing I can almost guarantee is that he will find a way to win. He just needs to find the right pieces for his Bobcats and he’ll shock the world once again. – Akhil Pal

Jed York – President & CEO – San Francisco 49ers

I honestly have to say Jed York. What he has accomplished with the stadium funding is impressive. The turn around of one of the proudest dynasty’s with Coach Harbaugh and the staff he brought is almost a coup! My two cents. Hope everyone has a great weekend! – Asad Rahman 

 

Paul Swangard – Managing Director – Warsaw School of Sports Marketing at the University of Oregon

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessA major miss was Paul Swangard, Managing Director of the Warsaw School of Sports Marketing at the University of Oregon. When a journalist has a question regarding sports marketing, Swangard is usually the most sought after source for comment.Eric Yaillen 

 

Vince McMahon – Chairman and CEO – WWE

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessNeil Braslow. In all seriousness though, how about Vince McMahon. WWE has been a consistent brand for years and never has a labor dispute to worry about. I found in fascinating that Jane Geddes jumped from the LPGA to the WWE a few months ago. Whatever you want to classify their brand of entertainment as, it was interesting to see WWE hire an executive from a “legitimate” sports organization. – Neil Braslow 

Paul DePodesta – Originator of “Moneyball”

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessHow about Paul DePodesta (moneyball inventor). Your list is US heavy, maybe take some people from across the ocean – Michel Platini (UEFA president), Sepp Blatter (Fifa president), Roman Abramovich (Chelsea owner),  Qatar Investment Authority (new PSG owners, and sponsors of Barcelona FC), Evangelos Marinakis (owner of Olympiakos and Super League president). Then moving to Australia – Andrew Demetriou (AFL aussie rules football CEO), Russell Crowe (actor and owner of NRL South Sydney Rabbitohs)… And to top it off, don’t forget – Tim Tebow 🙂 Kolja Fidel Koracak  

Lalit Modi – Creator – Indian Premier League

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessHow could you miss out on Lalit Modi, the master mind behind Indian premier League (IPL). Players make more money then soccer player in just 6 weeks. He bridge the gap with Cricket, Celebrity and Business tycoons.  – Naveen Ningaiah 
Lalit Modi, the brainchild and architect of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Twenty20 cricket, which is a billion dollar industry that has revolutionized the game of cricket for the fans and spectators. – Aliya Bauer

Billy Beane – General Manager  and Minority Owner – Oakland Athletics

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessBilly Beane – How often does Hollywood make a movie about the business side of sports & he had Brad Pitt play him! – Mike Desmond

 

 

David Rone – President – Time Warner Cable

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessDavid Rone, President of Time Warner Cable Sports. A former agent at Creative Artists and senior executive at Fox Sports and Walt Disney Co, Rone has been instrumental in TWC’s push into the Sports realm. With plans to launch two 24/7 RSN’s, Rone was the primary force behind TWC’s 10 year, $55 million deal with the LA Galaxy, the largest TV rights deal in MLS. Combined with speculation about TWC’s role in upcoming Dodgers negotiations, you can plainly see this man deserves a seat at the big boys’ table. – Igor Mol

Michael Adamson – Vice President of New Products and Services – Turner Sports

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessMichael Adamson: VP of Sports New Products & Services @ Turner Sports. Mr. Adamson spearheaded the March Madness On-Demand Apps and social media integration into the 2011 NCAA D1 Men’s Basketball tournament. Over the years he has revolutionized fan interaction with various leagues, through NBA League Pass and NASCAR Race Buddy. – Alex Kartman

David Stern – Commissioner – NBA

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessThe ranking is very US-centric and so ’90s/’00s, despite the fact we enter the new decade. Most of the people listed there aren’t indispensable – it looks more like a ranking of “top roles in the (US) sports industry”, rather than well-known and respected personalities. Power here is associated with money rather than opinion setting. Yet, if we follow that path, given the impact of Arab money on ManCity, Malaga, PSG, Al-Jazeera’s TV rights for football and the 2022 World Cup, I have no idea how no-one from the UAE or Qatar made the list. With football (soccer) becoming the global game, putting it behind “traditional American sports” looks quite out of touch with the reality. And yes, the lockout has proven how influential David Stern is 🙂 – Robert Thomas Sebastian Błaszczak

Jose Ramon Fernandez – Contributor and Commentator – ESPN

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessIf we focus in the world, we have to consider Jose Ramon Fernandez. Director of Sports / Anchor in Spanish for ESPN Deportes. – Indiana Youth Soccer

 

 

Scott Boras – Agent – Scott Boras Corp

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessI hate to mention his name but I have to go with Scott Boras. Is there any agent most MLB teams hate to deal with more? There is so much disparity in MLB and he is as responsible as anyone. Worst part is the Bud-Meister has let him do it. – Sam Sankovich

 

Josep Guardiola – Manager – FC Barcelona

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessNo one from Spain or Europe??? Perhaps, Josep Guardiola is a very important people in soccer in Spain, he’s the coach of FC Barcelona TEAM!!!! – Juan José Lozano Sianes
 
 
 
 

Bryan Srabian – Director of Social Media – San Francisco Giants

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessBryan Srabian (Social Media Director at the San Francisco Giants)… Bryan has helped lead tremendous campaigns, innovations, and deals for the Giants ball-club. He not only exhibits his expertise via the Giants, but also online through Twitter (@srabe). He actively shares and engages with rich content on a day by day basis, and because of this his personal network, as well as professional (seen through the SF Giants) has grown substantially since he took the position in the beginning of 2010. – Tyler Becker

Richard Peddie – President and CEO – Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessRichard Peddie. What he has accomplished as President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is second to none in the industry. Adding 2 teams (Raptors + TFC), 3 networks (NBA TV Canada, LeafsTV, GolTV Canada), BMO Field, and Real Sport Bar & Grill – only voted the best sports bar in the world – to build an impressive sports and entertainment empire. If you’re going to have Steinbrenner (MLB), Cuban (NBA), Kraft and Jones (NFL), then you need to have Peddie – who is equally influential in the NHL and the sports industry as these other leaders are to their respective sports. Just my two cents. – Tom Fabian

Theo Epstein – President of Baseball Operations – Chicago Cubs (VIDEO)

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessI believe that Theo Epstein should be on this list. He was hired at the age of 28 (becoming the youngest GM in baseball history) to run the Boston Red Sox, one of the most prominent sports franchises in the world. He completely changed that team and put together a roster and coaching staff that ‘Reversed the Curse’, leading them to 2 World Series Championships. He has become the poster child of what a Sports Executive should be and now has been hired by the Chicago Cubs to the tune of $20 Million dollars to help turn them around. He represents the next generation of Sports Business Leaders – Albert Karschnia

Ben Sutton – President – IMG College

2011 Most Influential People In Sports BusinessBen Sutton, President of IMG College. College sports still have extreme potential in terms of growth and value, and IMG College is at the forefront of this movement. They have developed partnerships across the spectrum of college sports that include multimedia and sales. Sutton and IMG college are going to shape the future for college sports. – Mike Heeba

Sir Alex Ferguson – Manager – Manchester United

2011 Most Influential People In Sports Business3 names spring to mind for soccer in not only Europe but the world, Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola who has taken his team to the top but tends to be on the quiet side of networking, Jose Mourinho who has won Champions League titles wherever he has gone but is brash and loud, but for me, the biggest and best known around the world is Manchester United long time boss Sir Alex Ferguson who has quietly and efficiently went about his business. When he speaks, people listen. – Marc Roseblade

Are there other people you feel should be included in the 2011 Most Influential People In Sports Business list? Start the conversation in the comments below and feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

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