Sports Business Daily released its anual list of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports. Topping that list, after moving from No. 3 in 2011, is ESPN President John Skipper.
Following Skipper is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and NBA Commissioner David Stern. 2011’s No. 1, CEO and President of NBCUniversal, did not crack 2012’s top-50 list.
Other notables include Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones at No. 18 and the highest ranking female honoree Melinda Witmer at No. 22. NCAA President Mark Emmert comes it at No. 25, four spots up from his rank of No. 29 in 2011.
Getting to Know John Skipper
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.) – SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY