SBD/August 21, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

IMG Rebranding Academies To Unify Bradenton Campus, Enhance Marketing Strategy

IMG Academy this month will merge its independent athletic programs "under one new name to enhance the academy's global marketing strategy,” according to Josh Salman of the BRADENTON HERALD. The new-look IMG Academy is "focused on creating a feel at its Bradenton campus that more closely mirrors that of a university.” The change is part of a “long-range expansion plan that also includes new dormitories, a student union and bolstered sports offerings.” IMG hired N.Y.-based consulting firm Tribal DDB to “vet options for unifying the campus” and the end result “takes a page from the collegiate model, where student athletes of all sports share a common bond by representing one athletic program.” Nick Bollettieri, the "original founder of IMG Academy more than three decades ago,” and the Bollettieri name will continue to play an active role within the tennis program, and IMG's relationship with Pro Football HOFer John Madden will remain unchanged. Salman noted staff meetings were called last week “to inform the 650 full-time workers of the change” and IMG is “in the process of replacing signs at its 450-acre campus.” The academy's 10-year blueprint “shifts the focus of the campus from the front -- where the clubhouse, classrooms and most housing now stand -- closer to the secluded soccer, baseball and football fields to the rear of the property.” The front hub was developed “to accommodate the tennis and golf programs, which came first.” There are plans for a “new five-story student housing complex in the center of campus, which is slated to be completed by July 2013.” The 10-year master plan “even calls for a full-sized football stadium for IMG's new high school team” (BRADENTON HERALD, 8/19).
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