The Power Players

Introducing BusinessWeek's Power 100, our ranking of the most influential people in the world of sports
HEADLINER Kobe Bryant (ranked 88) Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

It may be easier to sink a hole in one at the Masters than it is to define clearly what constitutes power in sports. Is it Alex Rodriguez swatting homer after homer? Or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell disciplining players and coaches? Maybe it's Coke's (KO) sports marketing chief, Katie Bayne, doling out hundreds of millions of dollars. Or NBA Commissioner David Stern scheming to make basketball the dominant global sport instead of soccer. It's all of these, of course, but we accept that you could spend hour after hour on one of those sports radio shows jabbering about who has real clout and who doesn't. With star quarterback and dogfighting impresario Michael Vick serving as a recent example, we also accept that power in sports is ephemeral.

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