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International Management Group's acquisition of 21 Marketing will accelerate the sports management and marketing giant's move into intellectual-property marketing.

On tap from the combined operation: creating a sponsorship program for NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Center and adding Olympics sponsors to IMG's list of corporate clients.

21 Marketing earned its rep by selling sponsorships for World Cup soccer and the International Olympic Committee, and handling such sponsorships for Eastman Kodak Co., the U.S. Postal Service and others. More recently, 21 created the marketing strategy for the Smithsonian Institution's 150th anniversary program.


Robert Prazmark, founder of 21, becomes senior VP for new-business development at IMG. Mr. Prazmark's company will be folded into IMG and his Greenwich, Conn.-based team will relocate to IMG's New York office. IMG has an international network of 70 offices.

Mr. Prazmark wouldn't disclose the sale price.

"I asked [IMG Chairman-CEO Mark McCormack] to 'Show me the money,'" Mr. Prazmark said, borrowing Tom Cruise's line from "Jerry Maguire," a movie about the sports marketing agency world, "and he showed me the money."

The combined operation wants to sign eight to 10 companies to a program that would give the NASA center an Epcot Center-like makeover. High-tech and imaging companies including General Electric Co., Kodak and Philips Electronics are being targeted.

The program could eventually encompass various NASA initiatives, but not sponsorships of NASA itself.

Mr. Prazmark said one concept being discussed is a sponsored expedition to retrieve from the Atlantic Ocean the ill-fated Liberty Bell 7 capsule, the only spacecraft NASA has never rescued. The estimated $1 million package could include a TV special and exhibit.

In the realm of the Olympics, IMG is looking to leverage Mr. Prazmark's experience to make itself the top Olympic consultancy, a field whose leading agencies include McCann-Erickson Worldwide's Momentum Promotion Marketing Group

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