Show me the money! Founded by the late pioneer of sports marketing Mark McCormack, IMG Worldwide (previously International Management Group) is the world's largest sports talent and marketing agency, operating in some 30 countries. Its IMG Clients represents athletes (Venus Williams), models (Giselle Bundchen), and broadcasters (Bob Costas). IMG also represents corporate clients, and offers a variety of related services with divisions devoted to collegiate sports marketing (IMG College); sports programming production and distribution (IMG Media); consumer products licensing (IMG Licensing); and sponsorship and media consulting (IMG Consulting). IMG is owned by investment firm Forstmann Little & Co.
IMG is credited with having invented the field of sports management. While representing VIP clients may be how IMG gained its own fame, the company is involved in several other aspects of sports promotion. It gives many of its clients venues in which to compete by managing sporting events through its IMG Events and Federations. And when athletes need training, they can take advantage of IMG's various sport training and education operations, offered via IMG Academies.
The company continues to expand internationally, organizing sporting events such as basketball, baseball, golf, and rugby across Asia, Australia, and Europe. It is also looking to crack the China and India media markets. To this end, in 2010 IMG launched a joint venture in India with super conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited. The new unit, IMG Reliance, offers expertise in not only sports, but fashion and the "Bollywood" film industry. Another foreign joint venture is with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV (China Central Television). Through IMG CCTV, formed in 2008, the companies together develop and promote sporting events and programming across China.
IMG expanded its IMG College division in late 2010 when it bought ISP Sports, a college rights management company that is a rights holder for such major universities as Alabama, Duke, Notre Dame, and UCLA. ISP Sports was integrated into IMG College, which provides marketing, licensing, and media services to universities. The division operates through 75 offices and boasts annual sales of more than $400 million.
In non-sports related activities, IMG has several businesses that deal directly with the fashion world. The company produces the famed Fashion Week event in New York, and publishes The Daily, which covers Fashion Week. It also owns the modeling agency IMG Models. In addition to models, IMG represents photographers, stylists, and hair and makeup artists.
Forstmann Little & Co. acquired IMG from trusts established by the late McCormack, and from the family of Arthur J. Lafave, Jr., in 2004.
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