Television

Death deprives sports of its most prolific marketer

NEW YORK/DELHI: Mark McCormack, once dubbed the most powerful man in sport, died on Friday after failing to recover from a heart attack he suffered four months ago, officials of his International Management Group (IMG) company said.



A file picture of Mark McCormack taken from www.imgworld.com McCormack, 72, the founder, chairman and CEO of IMG, had been in a coma at a New York hospital since 16 January, according to a Reuters report. McCormack was a pioneer and founder of the sports marketing industry and his IMG company was widely known as the world's largest representative of sportsmen and sportswomen.

"It's a loss for everybody," the Reuters report quoted Tiger Woods as saying. Woods, the world's number one golfer and a client of IMG, was reacting after hearing the news at the Tour Players' Championship in Gut Kaden, Germany.

"He was a genius when it came to sports marketing and, obviously, with his association with Arnold, Jack and Gary, they basically started sports marketing. If it wasn't for him, obviously, we wouldn't be in the position we're in right now," according to Woods.

McCormack began his sports career in 1960 by signing golfer Arnold Palmer and, as his business grew, he played a key role in how much athletes were paid and how their images were portrayed.

Palmer never forgot the moment McCormack struck that first deal. "Mark has never broken the faith of that handshake. That meant a lot to me," Palmer was also quoted by Reuters as saying.

McCormack's company, based in Cleveland, grew rapidly and now has 80 offices in 32 countries.

The man who found IMG slowly realised that there is a business opportunity to be tapped in other sectors too like television. And so was born Trans-World International (TWI), the television production wing of the IMG.

Over the years, TWI has emerged as one of the leading television production houses in the world, specialising in sporting events.

As recent as the last cricket World Cup in South Africa, TWI had evinced interest in producing post and pre cricket matches programmes for India's pubcaster Doordarshan. The offer was rejected by DD and it produced similar programmes in-house, though in the past TWI has worked several times with DD.

In India, as elsewhere in the world, TWI has a strong presence and leverages the strength of the parent company, IMG, which also functions in India and is slowly spreading its wings to organise big time fashion shows and glam events.

McCormack Sr. had been to India several times and during one his earlier visits between mid and 1990s, McCormack had said if given a chance he and his company can change the face of Indian sports, specially less popular ones like volleyball and basketball and also hockey, which, he said, has unfortunately given way to cricket in India.

During those days, when Taj Sports' Peter Hutton was still with TWI, McCormack even had plans to forge a tieup amongst TWI (through IMG), various sports bodies and schools. The aim, he had said, was to popularise sports and show Indians that it can be a profitable business venture too.

Though, many of his plans for India failed to take off for various reasons, mainly because of the rampant red tape.

FIRST CLIENTS

IMG represents a host of athletes ranging from McCormack's first clients, such as golfers Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Olympic ski champion Jean-Claude Killy, to tennis players Pete Sampras and sisters Serena and Venus Williams, the Reuters report said.

The company, which has over 3,000 employees and sells more than 5,000 hours of television programming to over 200 countries around the world, has also represented tennis players Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Andre Agassi.

McCormack's reach has stretched much further than the world of sport. He has even handled special projects for global leaders, such as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev and the Pope.

But he will be remembered for revolutionising sport as he developed representing athletes into a business discipline and by demonstrating the value of sport as a marketing tool.

After Palmer, golfing enthusiast McCormack signed up South African Player and an unknown called Nicklaus before expanding into tennis with the signing of Laver in 1968.

By 1990 the Yale law school graduate was named the Most Powerful Man in Sport by Sports Illustrated magazine.

FRACTURED SKULL

Chicago-born McCormack had to overcome a fractured skull at the age of six when he was hit by a car. Unable to play contact sports, he took up golf -- the game that would change his life.

McCormack learned to play with his father and George E Q Johnson, the Chicago prosecutor who put Al Capone behind bars, as well as poet-historian Carl Sandburg, his godfather. Later, he qualified for the US Open as an 

amateur.

McCormack graduated from Yale law school and, after a spell in the Army, joined Cleveland law firm Arter & Hadden and while working for the firm shook on his first deal with Palmer.

A prolific author of business books, McCormack's works included the best-selling 'What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School' and 'Hit The Ground Running'.

McCormack's personal philosophy was: "Be the best, learn the business, and expand by applying what you already know."

He leaves a wife, former tennis professional Betsy Nagelsen, four children and seven grandchildren.

A private burial will be held in Chicago followed by a memorial in New York on 21 May 2003.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/16/tumbin.jpg?itok=BK_vfhpI
Be privy to a traditional ode to eternal love and longing with 'Tum Bin 2' on Sony MAX

Sony MAX, the leading Hindi movies channel from Sony Pictures Networks will be whipping up romance this January as it brings the sequel of the 2001 hit movie, ‘Tum Bin 2’ on 19th January at 8pm.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/16/irra.jpg?itok=HbcXocFG
IRAA Awards Now accepting nominations

In its 12th consecutive year, the Indian Recording Arts Academy Awards (IRAA) 2018 will be hosted alongside the PALM Expo 2018 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre. The awards will once again recognize exceptional skills in music, soundtrack recording and mixing in Indian music for albums and movies.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/16/network18a_2.jpg?itok=UB6MjyrR
Network 18 PAT at Rs 114 million

Network18 Media & Investments (Network18) reported a marked improvement in its numbers for the quarter ended 31 December 2017. The consolidated revenue (net of revenue from joint ventures and associates) for the company declined marginally by 1.8 per cent year-on-year (yoy) to Rs 3660 million...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/16/bbc.jpg?itok=D-KQbcCd
Get Intriguing Insights into the human mind with 'Meet the Humans' on Sony BBC Earth

If you think human behavior is predictable, think again. In ‘Meet the Humans’, a show on Sony BBC Earth, starting January 22, at 8pm, a trio of experts led by Dr. Michael Mosely take a microscopic look at the human behavior and discover how incredibly unpredictable and complex humans are.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/16/tv18.jpg?itok=9obzztU8
TV18 profits decline in third quarter

TV18 Broadcast Ltd (TV18), the subsidiary of the Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani-controlled Network18 Media and Investments Ltd (Network 18), reported consolidated total income of Rs 10 crore for the quarter ended 31 December 2017 (Q3-18) as compared with income of Rs 23.6 crore for the corresponding year...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/16/sameer.jpg?itok=FzSr16mH
Applause Entertainment to produce series on 2016 surgical strikes

MUMBAI: Applause Entertainment is making all the right moves.

Television Production House Non-Fiction
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/16/SonyLiv.jpg?itok=Jywzm6hT
Sony Six rakes in ad rev from BBL despite slow start

MUMBAI: The second most popular domestic T20 cricket tournament in the world after Indian Premier League (IPL) is Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL). The Cricket Australia rights, which were with Star India from 2011-12 to 2016-17, have now been acquired by Sony Pictures Network (SPN) India for the...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/16/gurjeev.jpg?itok=nTzETBBg
Star India gets aggressive with global programme syndication sales

MUMBAI: Leading Indian media and entertainment major Star India is quite confident that its new catalogue of historical dramas and contemporary soaps and series will gain traction as it continues with its international syndication drive.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/15/master-chef.jpg?itok=ds-D89hr
Season 8 of the drama-packed reality cooking series, MasterChef U.S. premieres on Star World

Viewers are in for a delectable treat as world renowned celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay returns to the small screen along with celebrated American chef and television personality Aaron Sanchez and chef, author and television personality Christina Tosi in the latest season of MasterChef U.S. that will...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories