It wasn’t a top-10 finish for Tim Finchem among Sports Business Journal’s “50 Most Influential” industry executives, but the PGA Tour commissioner did move up three spots since last year’s ranking.
Finchem, at No. 11, received the publication’s nod for thinking outside the box when it came to growing an organization that boasts the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as members. SBJ noted specifically the tour’s new wrap-around calendar and the substantial changes Finchem made to the association’s qualifying system that included the elimination of q-school as a path to the big leagues.
“For a PGA Tour that was enjoying quite a strong run of good play from its stars and strong sponsorship sales, the status quo would have been just fine,” SBJ said. “But Finchem worked with the players to shake up the schedule and qualifying procedures, again putting his indelible stamp on the tour.”
SBJ provides an annual roster of industry bigwigs “who make the industry tick, who take it to new heights and, in some cases, can even bring it to a stop.”
The aptly named John Skipper, ESPN’s president, topped the charts, while Finchem fit in the slot between Turner Broadcasting's president of sales, distribution and sports David Levy, ranked 10th, and No. 12, NBC Sports Group chair Mark Lazarus.