When making our push to bring BwB to SxSW, we outlined our potential panel position as such:

Film geeks, political buffs and gossip lovers may argue, but nowhere has the impact of blogging and podcasting been more dramatic in the past few years than the sports world. In a space dominated exclusively by those with access to the field, the press box and the locker room, the audience has grown completely accustomed to stories being broken by a fan with little more than a phone and a Twitter account almost overnight. Fans and voices outside the velvet rope of media credentialing are not only reporting on the stories of the day, they’re making and breaking stories with increasing frequency. They’re also emerging as some of the most important influencers, connecting directly with one of the most coveted audience demographics filled with young, passionate adults. How has this democratization disrupted the existing models for big sports leagues, teams, players, coaches and media outlets? What can other industries learn from the creative and technical innovators in sports media today? What challenges and advances within are other industries and communities ignoring at their peril?

The void in recognition of sports influencers is never more evidenced than in looking at this month’s results of Fast Company’s influence project.

A good recap on the project and influencers can be found here, “If your brand wants to “own the influencers,” you need to not only identify them, but first define them.”