Formula One president/CEO Bernie Ecclestone (pictured) and NASCAR chairman Brian France have both landed on Sports Illustrated’s inaugural “Power 50” list of the 50 most powerful figures in global sports.
Ecclestone, whose veritable racing empire begins a brand new season this weekend on the NBC Sports Network, clocks in at No. 22 on the list between Barclays Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore (No. 21) and baseball super-agent Scott Boras (No. 23). In addition to being the top authority in Grand Prix racing, the 82-year-old Englishman has also guided F1 to monster profits and worldwide TV ratings; needless to say, there’s a reason why he’s gained the title of “supremo.”
As for France, he wound up at No. 40 behind John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts (the group behind the Madden NFL video game franchise) and ahead of Coca-Cola North America’s duo of Alison Lewis and Sharon Byers. France may or may not be loved by fans for creating the current Chase playoff format, but you can’t knock his drive to make NASCAR greener (ethanol-infused fuel was instituted in 2011) or his ability to bag big-time TV contracts (last fall, he struck a new multi-year deal with Fox for $2.4 billion).
Topping SI’s “Power 50” was NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who beat out NBA commissioner David Stern for the honor. Last but not least, NBC Sports president Mark Lazarus cracked the Top 10 of the list at No. 7.