TIGER WOODS, 27
Woods, a billionaire in the making, has single-handedly lifted his sport's ratings, attendance and prize money to new heights. He's a global icon who will continue to alter the landscape of sports and sports business. His foundation, which is funded in part by two big tournaments (both are Tour events), could become the richest charity run by an athlete.
SERENA WILLIAMS, 21
Credibility. Marketability. Visibility. Dominance. Serena has them all. The top female athlete in the world, she has held tennis's No. 1 ranking since July 2002 and won four straight Grand Slam events. Off the court, Nike and Puma are bidding for her services. She could soon become the first female athlete to garner a $50 million endorsement deal.
MICHAEL JORDAN, 40
Future NBA Hall of Famer
Capitalism in hightops. Jordan's global economic impact was recently estimated at $13 billion and counting, no matter that he says he'll no longer be playing. At least two NBA teams are waiting for him to decide which front office he'll run. He has the power to reshape a franchise and perhaps even the league. Dare we say Commissioner Jordan?
ARTURO MORENO, 56
Owner, Anaheim Angels
Out of nowhere, the Phoenix businessman jumped nearly to the top of our list last month by purchasing the world champion Angels for $180 million, making him the first Latino majority owner in sports. Moreno, who made billions in the outdoor-advertising business, was partially attracted by Anaheim's potentially lucrative Latino fan base.
TYRONE WILLINGHAM, 49
Football Coach, Notre Dame
Clout comes with winning, especially on the grandest stages. No one exemplifies this better than Willingham, who in just one season restored the glory to perhaps the most prestigious program in college football. His success as Notre Dame's first African-American coach could embolden other schools to hire a black football coach.
YAO MING, 22
Center, Houston Rockets
Yao, the 7'5" Chinese import, had the greatest economic impact of any NBA rookie since Michael Jordan. Houston's home attendance rose 17%, and for the first time in years the Rockets were a draw on the road. The NBA is now aired on sue Chinese TV networks. With his engaging smile, Yao already has deals with Apple and Visa.
GENE UPSHAW, 58
Executive Director, NFL Players Assn.
No union leader has a better rapport with his league's commissioner. ( Upshaw and Paul Tagliabue talk three times a week.) Though most NFL contracts are not guaranteed, Upshaw has secured other critical gains for players, including free agency and 65% of gross revenue. More important, there hasn't been a player walkout since '87.
JIMMIE LEE SOLOMON, 46
Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations, Major League Baseball
Few executives influence more facets of the game man tins Harvard Law graduate. Solomon, who's worked in baseball since 1991, oversees MLB's U.S. and international operations, the Scouting Bureau and the Arizona Fall League. He conceived the All-Star Futures Game and has been instrumental in establishing MLB's Youth Baseball Academy.
HAROLD HENDERSON, 60
Executive VP for Labor Relations and Chairman of Management Council, NFL
Sitting across the table from Gene Upshaw (No. 8) is Henderson, who is in charge of the league's labor efforts. He's the NFL's chief negotiator and the league's highest-ranking African-American. Henderson and his staff oversee matters regarding the salary cap ($71.1 million in 2002) and have final approval on all player contracts.
JONATHAN MARINER, 48
CFO, Major League Baseball
He is the game's Alan Greenspan, a trusted voice in a parlous economic environment. Among his various duties, Mariner meets regularly with team executives to monitor their finances and prevent surprise fiscal woes. When teams seek to borrow from the league's loan pool, they've got to get through Mariner first.