World leader in sports, fashion and media, IMG, has received the PGAs of Europe’s Christer Lindberg Bowl in recognition of the company’s services to golf across the past 50 years.
The IMG business has its beginnings firmly set in golf having begun with a handshake between founder, Mark McCormack, and golfing legend, Arnold Palmer, when McCormack took on the management and marketing of Palmer in 1960, laying the groundwork for sports marketing as we know it today.
“We’re hugely appreciative – it’s very clearly for the organisation and I am deeply honoured to be the one who’s lucky enough to be here, but it is genuinely for all the people who work within golf,” said IMG’s Global Head of Golf, Guy Kinnings, who collected the award at the Association’s Annual Gala Awards Dinner supported by Rolex at Gloria Hotels & Resorts in Turkey.
“Everything we do is built around largely the professional game; we’ve managed the players and done that for many years and we’ve now moved into event staging…For us none of that would be happening if it wasn’t for PGA Professionals – the relationship between the players and the pros that teach them and bring them to the game is essential and similarly for us we’re about growing the game.”
IMG’s golfing history rapidly evolved after Mark McCormack’s realisation of the commercial potential of sport. His promotion of the ‘big three’ of Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus was the catalyst for its evolution into the world’s premier sports and lifestyle marketing and management company – with a portfolio of hundreds of sports figures, models, entertainers, celebrities, television properties, artists, musicians, writers, prestigious organisations and world-wide events.
IMG Golf has grown to become a ‘gateway into the golf lifestyle’ working with top players, securing top licensing deals and endorsements, designing courses and managing/owning over 30 of the world’s leading golf events.
The work IMG has done across those various areas of the sport has helped to develop it to a commercial level that many will have thought impossible. As an organisation, IMG has become a hugely successful global leader that now services many sports and other industries. But in its success, it has also helped golf to expand to the far corners of the world and generate interest and revenue that has helped the sport grow making the industry stronger for all.
“The company itself has completely changed and we’ve got an astonishingly dynamic management and they are taking the company into different areas that we never imagined,” added Kinnings. “We’re proud to work with the players and the tournaments that we do, but we now try and be involved in almost every aspect of the sport, whether that’s working with Federations, brands that support the game, academies, junior programmes. Hopefully the game will be in pretty good health in the years to come and that’s certainly something we want to see.”
For more information on IMG visit www.imggolf.com.
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The 2015 Annual Congress and Gala Awards Dinner are supported by Rolex and the Ryder Cup European Development Trust and hosted by Gloria Hotels & Resorts – for more information on the event partners visit http://eur.pe/2015AnnualCongress.