Published December 15, 2010
IMG today announced that NBA D-League VP & General Counsel BOBBY SHARMA
has joined the company as Senior VP/Global Business Development for Basketball. Sharma, who expects to start at IMG around mid-January, will oversee the growth of the company's basketball business around the world. He will initially relocate to Mumbai, India, likely in the first quarter of '11, where he will oversee grassroots efforts to grow the game, as well as the development of a professional basketball league. IMG Reliance, a joint venture between IMG and Reliance Industries Ltd., signed a 30-year agreement with the Basketball Federation of India in June for all commercial rights to basketball in the country. Sharma said there is not yet a timeframe for achieving IMG's goals in India. "Once I get in there, I'm going to do all the due diligence I can -- in terms of where things stand, what we know, what we don't know -- then bring to the table my perspective and experience and we'll start making decisions along those lines," he said. Sharma also will be responsible for overseeing the growth of basketball in other emerging economies, such as Brazil, though India will be his initial focus. "My purview is global, with India being the most advanced opportunity and perhaps the opportunity with the most upside," he said. "India is probably the cleanest slate in terms of a country with a tremendous sports appetite." Prior to joining the NBA in '02, Sharma practiced litigation with Cravath, Swaine & Moore in DC, S.F. and N.Y.