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IMG, THE "BEHEMOTH" OF SPORTS MARKETING, PROFILED IN AKRON
Published October 8, 1996
IMG is profiled by David Adams in the Akron BEACON JOURNAL, who writes IMG is "considered the king of the rapidly growing and consolidating sports marketing industry." According to Senior Exec VP Robert Kain, the company had '95 billings of more than $1B, and employs 2,500 at 70 offices in 26 countries. NY-based National Media Group CEO Peter Kaplan: "They are a behemoth. They created the industry. They are so much bigger than anyone else [that] they define the industry. From a global perspective, they are the dominant player." Adams notes client representation "is only" 30% of IMG's business, as another 30% is producing sporting events that IMG sells to the networks. The remainder consists mostly of organizing events and finding corporate sponsors to support them "in exchange for the exposure the sponsors hope they will receive." BRING IT ON: Adams notes observers "quietly" say IMG has "become arrogant" as it "refuses to be flexible with its clients" and at times has a "take-it-or-leave-it attitude." IMG also "caught flak" when client Tiger Woods backed out of the Buick Open last month. The company was accused of "pushing the athlete to do too much, too fast, a complaint that has been leveled at the company before." IMG's Kain "brushes off" such criticism (Akron BEACON JOURNAL, 10/7).