The move is the latest in a series of aggressive initiatives aimed at establishing IMG as a leader in corporate consulting in sports marketing.
IMG also recruited Gary Jacobus, former VP-corporate sponsorship sales at the National Football League's NFL Properties, to head an expanded corporate representation practice.
In another move, IMG last year acquired 21st Century Marketing, Greenwich, Conn., to spearhead its charge into Olympic consulting and expand its role in intellectual property management.
IMG is the progenitor of the modern day sports marketing agency.
With 78 offices in 38 countries, IMG represents scores of high-profile athletes.
The company also owns, manages and markets hundreds of sporting events around the world, and produces and distributes 4,000 hours of sports programming each year.
But when its comes to corporate consulting, sports marketers more often have turned to Advantage International, Clarion Performance Properties, Millsport, Momentum IMC or ProServ. That point was underscored during the 1996 Summer Olympics, when many of those specialized agencies could boast of something IMG couldn't: Olympic consulting businesses that generated income and prestige.
"The dilemma was that IMG was set up as a sales organization, not as a consultancy," said Robert Prazmark, IMG senior VP-new business and former president at sports marketing consultancy 21st Century Marketing.
"IMG has talented people, but it didn't have the extra resources to dedicate to something like Olympic consulting," Mr. Prazmark said.
Mr. Prazmark is highly regarded in Olympic marketing circles; he helped to create and sell the International Olympic Committee's global sponsorship program, and crafted programs for many Olympic sponsors.
Since joining IMG, Mr. Prazmark has brought aboard such clients as Texaco and U S West, both of which signed eight-year sponsorships with the U.S. Olympic Committee and will also be U.S. sponsors of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The Texaco deal has been estimated to be worth more than $100 million. U S West's deal is worth $25 million.
SALT LAKE CITY LEADER
The Salt Lake City office will be led by an executive Mr. Prazmark said is familiar with the city's Olympic operation; he declined to name the person.
As for Mr. Jacobus, he will oversee IMG's fledgling corporate representation division. IMG Senior VP Todd McCormack said Mr. Jacobus will be charged with