Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal announced its annual list of the "Most Influential People in Sports Business." The usual suspects are on the list but what's particularly noteworthy this year is the rise of key college athletic administrators, thus signifying the massive power struggles going on within collegiate athletics.
Here's the top ten and a few other notables:
1. Roger Goodell, Commissioner, NFL. One would question the validity of this list if anyone other than Goodell was in the #1 slot.
2. George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN/ABC Sports. Bodenheimer lords over the Worldwide Leader's ever-expanding sports network and assets.
3. David Stern, Commissioner, NBA. How will Stern handle the upcoming labor negotiations which could cause a lockout?
4. Bud Selig, Commissioner, Major League Baseball. This past year was another solid year for MLB.
5. DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director, NFL Players Association. Smith will be front-and-center in the labor negotiations with the NFL.
6. Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. Ebersol will move up this list once Comcast's NBC acquisition gains regulatory approval.
7. Chase Carey, Deputy Chair, President & Chief Operating Officer, News Corp. FOX continues to be aggressive in sports programming.
8. Sean McManus, President, CBS News and CBS Sports. His latest deal is partnering with Turner Sports on the NCAA Tournament.
9. Robert Kraft, Founder, Chairman and CEO, The Kraft Group. Already an influential owner, Kraft will play a big role in 2011 labor talks.
10. Jerry Jones, Owner, Dallas Cowboys. Jones will be host of the February 6 Super Bowl at "Jerry World," a k a Cowboys Stadium.
Others of interest:
12. Tim Leiweke, President and CEO, AEG. Leiweke is Phil Anschutz's key guy; eyes are on Leiweke's ability to get a new NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
19. Tim Finchem, Commissioner, PGA Tour. This is a guy who really hopes that Tiger discovers his game, given the impact that Woods has on attendance, television ratings, and licensing revenue.
21. Sepp Blatter, President, FIFA. The guy who was instrumental in awarding Qatar a World Cup.
25. Jim Delaney, Commissioner, Big Ten Conference. Delaney wasn't even on the list a year ago, signifying his role in the summer's realignment hysteria.
39. Joel Ewanick, Vice President, U.S. Marketing, General Motors. Another newcomer to the list, Ewanick is making-over G.M.'s marketing activities.
41. Bea Perez, Chief Marketing Officer, Coca-Cola North America. Yet another newcomer, Perez is a veteran of the sports marketing wars.
42. Deloss Dodds, Mens Athletics Director, University of Texas. The Longhorns just inked a deal for their own network and saved the Big 12 in 2010. Dodds oversees a huge athletic pot of dough in Austin.
49. Rick Dudley, Phil De Picciotto and Jeff Shifrin, Octagon. The only sports marketing agency representation on the list.