SBD/Issue 163/Sports Industrialists

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  • Executive Transactions

    Prescott Joins

    Magna Entertainment former Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of NJ President JOHN PERROTTA as VP/Operations (, 5/15)....The SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's John Lombardo writes the Cavaliers named former Southwest Sports VP/Sales KERRY BUBOLZ as VP/Corporate Sales, "a job the team had left unfilled for months." The team also named General Sports VP/Sales TRACY MAREK as VP/Marketing and Cavaliers VP/Marketing TAD CARPER as VP/Communications, replacing ED MARKEY, "who left the organization" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/19 issue)....The Brewers promoted Dir of Ticket Services JOHN BARNES to Assistant VP/Ticket Services and VP/Special Projects & Government Affairs LYNN SPRANGERS to Brewers Charities President (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/17)....The Grizzlies named former Triple A PCL Memphis Redbirds President & GM ALLIE PRESCOTT as a Consultant, with a "particular focus on the sale of suites in FedExForum." Prescott is expected to start in June, when the Grizzlies begin marketing their suites (COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 5/17)....BOB GAINEY said that it is "unlikely he'll stay" with the Stars after his contract expires at the end of June. Gainey has worked the past year as a Consultant with the Stars after resigning as VP/Hockey Operations & GM last year (CP, 5/18)....The Browns promoted Pro Personnel Coordinator JEREMY GREEN to Dir of Pro Personnel. Green is the son of former Vikings coach DENNIS GREEN (, 5/16)....The T'Wolves/Lynx promoted ETHAN CASSON to Manager of Corporate Sales and Ticket Sales Assistant Manager PAUL KEMBLE to Manager of Publication Sales. Both joined the T'Wolves in '99 (T'Wolves)....Patriots Assistant Dir of Media Relations ANTHONY MORETTI, with the team since '92, will be leaving the franchise with hopes of teaching fourth and fifth graders next fall after earning his Master's degree (BOSTON HERALD, 5/18).

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    Print | Tags: Baseball, Basketball, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Stars, Detroit Lions, Football, Hockey, Horse Racing, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Lynx, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, NHL, People and Pop Culture
  • Industry Remembers IMG Founder Mark McCormack

    IMG Founder Mark McCormack

    With the passing Friday of IMG Founder MARK MCCORMACK, IMG Vice Chair Jay Lafave said that the death is unlikely to prompt major changes at the company in the foreseeable future, according to Liz Mullen of the SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The company installed executives Bob Kain and Alastair Johnston as co-CEOs shortly after McCormack suffered cardiac arrest on January 14. McCormack's wife, Betsy Nagelsen, and his three adult children, Breck, Todd and Leslie, all executives at IMG, joined the BOD shortly after McCormack fell ill. The members of McCormack's family own most of privately held IMG. Lafave said Friday, "We have met frequently in the last few weeks, and I don't detect any (plan) other than trying to have the company continue with the people in place because the guys who are running the company have been really involved in running the company for the past 10 years, if not longer." Kain and Johnston were not immediately available for comment, but in an internal e-mail sent Friday to IMG employees worldwide, they wrote: "His death is a great loss to all of us; but, in true McCormack fashion, he prepared the company well for this unthinkable eventuality. IMG will continue to succeed and set the standard for business in the future as a tribute to our founder and all the people who have helped him over the years" (, 5/16). Many industry personalities offered their respects to McCormack over the weekend:

    CLIENTS: Tiger Woods said, "He was a genius when it comes to sports marketing. If it wasn't for him obviously we wouldn't be in the position we are right now." Arnold Palmer, when McCormack was first hospitalized, said, "I think through the years, he has had probably as much influence on sports, generally, as anyone. He's done a tremendous job representing athletes and various types of businesses. He's touched on just about everything in the sporting world" (GOLF WORLD BUSINESS, 5/16). Jack Nicklaus: "He's had more impact than probably anybody in the game from a business standpoint. He made golf a business." Butch Buchholz, Founder & Chair of the NASDAQ-100 Open, a tennis tournament owned and operated by IMG, said, "Sports today is a multimillion-dollar business, and Mark McCormack had the foresight to make that happen during his life. Athletes, franchises, television executives and sports promoters all owe a debt of thanks to Mark McCormack for his contributions to the business" (AP, 5/17).

    McCormack’s First Client

    EXECS: ProServ Founder Donald Dell said, "He was a pathfinder. He was the icon. ... A giant, and a good friend of mine." Dell added, "He would sell (Palmer) on a piecemeal basis around the world. He was very good at limiting what the buyer was getting, so you go to four or five buyers. ... He was a very creative, really well-organized, good guy. He was the number one influence on the whole market" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/17). Nike Chair & CEO Phil Knight: "In business dealings we were almost always on the opposite side of the table but I can sincerely say he always operated with the utmost integrity and competence on behalf of his clients" (Nike). NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer: "He is the original article. He represented people with elegance and with intensity and with intelligence and with sensibility for the entire time since he created the genre. To have lost Roone Arledge and Mark McCormack in the same year, we've lost two of the real giants of the sports profession." CBS Sports President Sean McManus: "I don't think it's an overstatement to say that kind of like Henry Ford and Bill Gates, Mark McCormack literally created and fostered and led an entirely new worldwide industry. ... I never had a conversation with him where I didn't learn something new." ABC Sports/ESPN President George Bodenheimer: "He was a visionary who never stopped innovating. Our industry has lost a true leader and a great friend to many." Millsport CEO of Sports Marketing Bob Basche: "He meant so much to the popularity of Wimbledon. He was critical to its becoming the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Mark is Wimbledon in many respects" (, 5/16). IMG's Hughes Norton: "He realized that athletes retired and athletes go into slumps and athletes get injured, so he went beyond representing the athletes and began representing the sports entities. In other words, Bjorn Borg might retire at 26, but Wimbledon goes on. Arnold Palmer might go into a slump, but the British Open goes on forever" (L.A. TIMES, 5/17). Horrow Sports Ventures President Rick Horrow: "(McCormack) took the concept that athletes needed help, galvanized that into a principle where corporations would see the value of athletes being involved in their whole business mix and basically took (sports marketing) to an art form and a juggernaut firm that everybody, frankly, since then has emulated and copied" ("Moneyline," CNNfn, 5/16). Univ. of OR Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Dir Rick Burton: "He changed the athlete/agent landscape more dramatically than anyone." The Bonham Group Chair Dean Bonham: "He (knew) how to connect the image of an athlete with the image of a company and have them affect each other from a positive perspective" (L.A. TIMES, 5/17). Former Nets President Michael Rowe: "Mark McCormack recognized the formula for how you could package the athlete and the event and the sponsorship and the television rights before anyone else did" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/17).

    MEDIA: In DC, Eric Fisher wrote, "McCormack accurately foresaw the explosive growth of TV sports and the utility of sports for corporate America to reach male consumers. He used both as potent tools to strike ever-increasing salaries and endorsement deals and in turn helped change the economic landscape of pro sports" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/18). In Columbus, Todd Jones wrote he was the "Pied Piper who led sports into the widespread commercialization that we now sometimes loathe but also take for granted. The corporate tent, for example, was an IMG creation" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 5/17). In Cleveland, Susan Vinella: "McCormack's belief that professional athletes should be generously paid as product pitchmen revolutionized the advertising industry" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/17). In N.Y., Frank Litsky wrote, "Before Mr. McCormack, athletes who made appearances and television commercials were customarily rewarded with watches or supplies of products or small amounts of money. Starting with the golfer Arnold Palmer, McCormack changed that. ... Palmer, his first full-time client, saw his annual income of $50,000 rise to $500,000 within three years and eventually to more than $10 million" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/17). In Orlando, David Whitley wrote, "Corporations had long used athletes to endorse their products, but McCormack envisioned opportunities that had never been exploited" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/17). In Boston, Jim McCabe wrote, "McCormack opened doors, started marketing trends, and made it fashionable to turn sports into big business — and athletes have enjoyed huge financial rewards because of his foresight" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/18). In Oakland, Art Spander: "McCormack took the endorsement concept to another level" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 5/17). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Peter Chapman: "A renowned salesman and negotiator" (, 5/18). N.Y. Daily News columnist Mike Lupica: "He was as much a visionary as Pete Rozelle or the great Roone Arledge" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 5/18).

    MEMORIAL: A memorial service is planned for Wednesday in N.Y., and all members of the IMG family are welcome. Burial will be private today in Chicago. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in McCormack's name to any of the following:

    Mark H. McCormack Memorial Fund at The College of William & Mary
    c/o President Tim Sullivan
    The College of William and Mary
    P.O. Box 8795 Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795

    Mark H. McCormack Scholarship Fund at the House of Hope
    c/o Founder & Presidents Office
    2036 36th Street Orlando, FL 32839

    The McCormack Foundation
    c/o Chris Pauletta
    IMG Center Suite 100
    1360 East Ninth Street Cleveland, OH 44114

    Print | Tags: ABC, Basketball, CBS, ESPN, Golf, IMG, NBC, Brooklyn Nets, Nike, People and Pop Culture, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • Names In The News

    Singh Will Rest During Colonial

    NAMES: PGA Tour player VIJAY SINGH, who last week said he would not play with ANNIKA SORENSTAM if paired with her at the Bank of America Colonial, has withdrawn from the event. Singh: "It has nothing to do with the controversy. I've played in four straight tournaments, and I need a break." Singh yesterday won the EDS Byron Nelson (AP, 5/19).... Detroit News sportswriter JOE FALLS wrote his final column for the paper yesterday as he enters retirement (DETROIT NEWS, 5/18)....Red Sox CEO LARRY LUCCHINO received an honorary degree from SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY yesterday (BOSTON HERALD, 5/19).

    ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE: ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported 49ers WR TERRELL OWENS was "excused from the 49ers second mini-camp this weekend so he could do a bit role in a movie entitled 'The Playmaker.' No, he's not the star of the film, which is being shot in New Orleans with two other NFL stars, (Ravens LB RAY LEWIS and Dolphins DE JASON TAYLOR)" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 5/18)....ABC last week passed on "HENCH AT HOME" the MICHAEL J. FOX-produced sitcom about a retired hockey star that was to co-star former Bruins player LYNDON BYERS (BOSTON HERALD, 5/19).

    PASSINGS: Former L.A. Times sportswriter MAL FLORENCE passed away Friday after a long illness at the age of 77 (L.A. TIMES, 5/17). Former PGA President DON PADGETT also died Friday after battling cancer. Padgett, who was "instrumental in bringing championship golf back to Pinehurst's No. 2," was 78 (AP, 5/17). Former MLB Giants broadcaster BILL THOMPSON died Saturday after complications with surgery. He was 79 (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/19).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Bank of America, Baseball, Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, ESPN, Football, Golf, Hockey, NFL, PGA Tour, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, People and Pop Culture, Walt Disney
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