The Sports Business Journal announces this year’s class champions. A pioneer and innovator in the sports business.Winners include a wide range of sports industry veterans who have left their mark both on and off We have driven change and innovation in each field. Winner profiles will be posted in March.

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bob bowlsby

Bowlsby was an athlete and administrator in college athletics for nearly 45 years, the last decade of which he served as Commissioner of the Big 12 Conferences. A former athletic director of Northern Iowa, Iowa and Stanford, his director became one of the most influential figures in college track and field over the last 50 years, boosting the Big 12’s fame and then Oklahoma and Texas. helped the company recover from its loss to the SEC.

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Mickey Lawler

Lawler is the ultimate tennis insider having worked in the sport for almost 37 years, including his last eight years as WTA president. She was the only female agent in men’s tennis during her late 1980s working for the Octagon. She continued that her pioneering spirit in her WTA and her tour helped her win a lucrative WTA Finals contract with Shenzhen, China. She has worked more closely with the ATP Tour than ever before.

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al michaels

When you hear Michaels call to action, you know it’s a major sporting event. Michaels has been in sports broadcasting since 1968 and she is one of the most respected announcers in the industry. While Michaels is known for her long hours in the booth promoting NFL games in recent years, she has captured some of her most significant moments across the sport. This includes the thrill of miracles on ice in 1980 (“Do You Believe in Miracles? Yes!”) and the 1989 World of Hers series when an earthquake struck San Francisco, keeping the public glued to their televisions. It also includes

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Dick Pound

A former Olympian, Pound represented Canada at the 1960 Rome Games, establishing himself as one of the most influential figures in world sport over the past 50 years. He has served as president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, first president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and president of the Olympic Broadcasting Corporation. This adds to his two terms as vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, and the 80-year-old Pound retired from his IOC membership last year after serving for 44 years.

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C. Vivian Stringer

Stringer, one of the sport’s most celebrated coaches, retired last year after a 50-year career as a women’s basketball coach. She served her quarter-century as Rutgers’ coach and named the Arena Her Playing Her Court in her honor. She finished with an amazing 1,055 wins and four Final Four appearances (the first coach to do so with three different teams), and she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. She has worked in the field of sports, coaching countless athletes to achieve her goals and make a difference in society.

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jerry west

The evolution of the NBA cannot be chronicled without revealing West’s influence. His second act, following a 14-year Hall of Fame career, cemented his position at basketball executive Mount Rushmore. After becoming general manager of the Lakers in 1982, West helped build a dynasty in which he won five NBA titles in his nine years and revolutionized the sport with “Showtime” basketball. and raised the league’s prestige.


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