President and CEO Mark Parker runs the day-to-day operations, but cofounder Knight, 75, remains the face of the apparel and equipment giant with a market cap of $49 billion and $3.2 billion committed to sports endorsements. Nike bested Reebok to become the NFL's apparel maker for the next four years, and his pet project—donating hundreds of millions to Oregon athletics—has turned the Ducks into a powerhouse.
10 HEDGE-FUND DUDE
[BILLIONAIRE][TEAM/LEAGUE OWNER][TECH-CENTRIC][50 & UNDER][RISING]
A few fat years under the 2/20 structure—taking 2% of assets under management and 20% of profits—and you become dizzyingly wealthy. And is there a cooler rich-guy plaything than a pro team? (They even appreciate in value!) Among the inaugural Forbes 400 list in 1982, nine entrants owned teams. Last year: 32. Speaking of which....
11 MARK WALTER
Guggenheim Partners CEO and Dodgers owner
He's the guy behind last year's $2.1 billion deal for the Dodgers, the most for a franchise in any sport, and while he's redefining the baseball world (the Yankees are no longer the highest-spending team in the majors), he has bigger plans for the entire sports landscape: The 52-year-old private equity investor is making a play for AEG.
12 ROBERT KRAFT