His Greatest Legacy
McCormack's greatest legacy is IMG. The company he founded continues to be the dominant sports agency and media company in the world. William Morris Endeavor (WME) acquired IMG from Forstmann Little in 2014 for a reported $2.4 billion dollars.
The combined entity WME-IMG continues to dominate both the sports and entertainment landscapes.
Birth of Modern Day Sports Industry
In 1960, Mark Hume McCormack shook hands with a young golfer named Arnold Palmer, giving birth to the modern sports marketing industry. That historic handshake established a legendary empire that would evolve into today's IMG, the world's premier sports marketing and management company— representing hundreds of athletes, models and prestigious events around the world. From representing talent, to managing events to building the largest independent sports media company in the world, IMG’s reach and dominance is still unrivaled.
McCormack's astute management and keen eye for opportunity helped Palmer become the most financially successful athlete in history. In the process, McCormack's innovative merchandising, licensing and management programs laid the groundwork for today's athlete representation industry.
As Palmer led professional golf into a new era of mass popularity, McCormack brought the sports and business communities together in creative and rewarding new relationships. McCormack recognized the enormous long-term potential of sports as a corporate communications medium. More importantly, he devised innovative ways to systematically package and market the medium. the sports marketing industry took shape, and McCormack became its chief architect, refining his programs and strategies into a distinct business discipline.
In May of 1990 Sports Illustrate wrote a feature article on McCormack's IMG, under the title, "The Most Powerful Man in Sports." Read the article from SI's vault by clicking the photo above.