SportsBusiness Journal Names Trump The “Most Influential Person in Sports”


SportsBusiness Journal Names Trump The “Most Influential Person in Sports”

The SportsBusiness Journal has now named President Trump the “Most Influential Person in Sports”. The declaration came as part of the magazines’s annual 50 Most Influential List, where executive editor Abe Madkour wrote:

“This isn’t the choice we wanted to make. We debated time and again about other options and directions in which to go. It was a discussion and decision that split our newsroom unlike any I can remember. There are many elements about this choice that are unfortunate; the biggest being it’s not a positive for the industry we work in and cover. But when pressed to decide who had the greatest influence — positive or negative — on the sports business this year, it came down to an individual outside of sports who had the business on its back foot since he arrived on the political scene in 2015.

For his angry, loud and visceral rhetoric that has divided the sports industry and caused massive reaction, response and reflection, President Donald Trump is [our] Most Influential Person in Sports”

While President Trump is not directly involved in professional athletics, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t made a major impact in that sector. During his first year in office, the President has attacked the NFL,  The Golden State Warriors, Lavar Ball,  and ESPN anchor Jemele Hill (just to name a few). His perceived perpetuation of a plethora of injustices, accurate or otherwise, has forced individuals from all over the country to takes a stand — and the athletic community is no different. In that respect, Abe Madkour completely correct.
However, it should be noted that the publication’s begrudging acceptance of Trump’s controversial platform is not without precent. In case you’ve never heard of the SportsBusiness Journal, they’re a trade publication founded in 1999. They’re also owned by American City Business Journals, a subsidiary of Advance Publications, the owners of Condé Nast.
During the election, Advance donated just-shy of $360,000 to Democrats, but Clinton’s loss forced some of their properties to adapt. In January, after months of harsh critiques, Condé Nast’s top editors agreed to sit down with President Trump.
While their publications continue to employ several vocal Trump critics, the company does have an ongoing relationship with the White House. Bloomberg.com described it quite well in a piece from February of 2017:

“At Condé Nast, even magazines with little expectation for politics are adopting strident anti-Trump attitudes… Taking that stand has been good for business. Despite Trump’s Twitter claims that the magazine’s numbers are “way down, big trouble, dead,” in fact—as opposed to alternative fact—Vanity Fair has clearly benefited from trolling one of the president’s namesake restaurants. The magazine has added 80,000 subscribers…  It’s not just magazines—other major media companies are benefiting from a similar “Trump Bump”… [But] for Condé Nast, just like its publishing rivals, a little revitalization to start the Trump era won’t easily overcome the long-running decline of print advertising revenue.”

So, while the President’s influence may be unavoidable, selecting the President as their most influential figure is sure to give them a “Trump Bump”. Case in point: before this, when was the last time you heard someone talking about The SportsBusiness Journal?