IMG expands with acquisition of Icon Management

AP News
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Posted: Feb 19, 2015 4:36 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — IMG and its parent company has boosted its roster of clients and strengthened its North American business by acquiring Ohio-based Icon Sports Management, which handles a stable that includes Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter.

The acquisition is the most significant for IMG since it was acquired by William Morris Endeavor a year ago.

Icon's golf business, ranging from clients to consulting to hospitality, will be merged into the IMG golf division. Icon president and chief executive, R.J. Nemer, will continue to manage Stenson and Poulter. He also will become senior vice president at IMG and oversee all the golf clients, a list that includes Ernie Els, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama and Lydia Ko on the LPGA Tour.

Nemer founded Icon Sports Management.

"We're tremendously excited to leverage the collective strengths of our combined team as we continue to grow our brand both nationally and globally," Nemer said. He referred to the late Mark McCormack, who founded IMG, as a "personal hero of mine."

The acquisition brings in line a management structure IMG has used in other parts of the world.

Guy Kinnings is the global head of golf at the Cleveland-based management firm. IMG now has vice presidents who oversee clients, its portfolio of golf tournaments and corporate consulting in North America, Europe and Asia.

Clarke Jones is responsible for consulting, along with client management, in North America, while Ken Kennerly oversees the golf tournament business. Among IMG's events are the Honda Classic next week in Florida and the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, the first LPGA major of the year.

"Over the past two decades, Icon has blossomed into a premier agency with the respect of everyone in the golf industry," Kinnings said. "Today's announcement further signals the growth that our golf division has enjoyed recently, and we are excited to carry this momentum through 2015 and beyond."