On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated's website published its "50 Most Powerful People in Sports" list, an article that will also appear in the March 11 print edition of the magazine. The Glazer Family, which has owned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1995, is ranked 29th on the list.
The Glazer Family is one of four NFL team owners on the list, joining the St. Louis Rams' Stan Kroenke, the New England Patriots' Robert Kraft and the Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell tops the list and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith is listed at #35.
Though such lists in sports are not uncommon – in general and in relation to specific sports or leagues – this is Sports Illustrated's inaugural crack at making a top 50. The magazine finalized its Most Powerful list through a process it describes as having the entries "ranked (then shuffled, started over and reranked)." The selection method is described in more detail here by SI journalist Steve Rushin, who refers to power in all arenas as "contextual and ever-shifting."
More than enumerating a specific set of criteria by which sports' most powerful people were identified and ranked, Rushin examines the nature of power, how it is attained, how it shifts and how it is wielded. He points out that there are no current players in any sport in the group, though such former athletes as Michael Jordan and Ed O'Bannon make the list. Others in the top 50 include league commissioners such as Goodell, the NBA's David Stern, MLB's Bud Selig and the NHL's Gary Bettman; sports entertainment leaders such as ESPN President John Skipper, NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus and CBS Sports Chairman Mark McManus; merchandise moguls such as Nike Chairman Phil Knight and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank; and even United States President Barack Obama.
Other franchise owners on Sports Illustrated's list include the Los Angeles Dodgers' Mark Walter, Manchester City's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Dallas Mavericks' Mark Cuban and the Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Jordan.