Who runs world sport? Profile: International Management Group

• The International Management Group was founded by Mark McCormack in the 1960s as a sports management agency. Its early clients included golfers Arnold Palmer and Gary Player; it now represents superstars in all sports, including Pete Sampras, Michael Johnson, Nick Faldo, Andre Agassi, and Martina Navratilova; among its corporate clients are the Football Association, Wimbledon, the Rugby World Cup, the Atlanta Olympics, the Nobel Foundation and Oxford University.

• The Cleveland-based conglomerate now boasts sales of £650 million a year and employs 2000 people in 28 countries. IMG promotes, manages and owns hundreds of sports events worldwide; it also runs music, modelling and literary agencies. It is the world’s largest independent producer of televised sports programmes

• IMG has expanded from promotions and marketing into administration; it now effectively runs professional golf and tennis, and takes a direct hand in figure skating, indoor athletics, and motor racing.

• IMG is heavily involved in opening up the vast Chinese market, and has struck deals with the Chinese government to organise and promote Chinese football, basketball, badminton, table tennis and gymnastics. It is also investing heavily in badminton in Malaysia and Indonesia.

• In 1990, Sports Illustrated, the largest selling sports magazine in the world, named McCormack ‘the most powerful man in sports.’

• As in politics, so in sport. Increasingly, those who control the interface between the game and the public are becoming its governors.

Mike Marqusee’s most recent book is War Minus the Shooting: a Journey Through South Asia During Cricket’s World Cup, (Heinemann, £12.99)

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