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Agent, promoter McCormack dies

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Mark McCormack, the sports marketing pioneer whose company IMG represents Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter and numerous other stars, died today at age 72.

McCormack died in New York four months after a heart attack left him in a coma, the Cleveland-based company said.

McCormack made the management of athletes' careers a big business, turning success in sports into commercial marketability. The concept began in 1960 on a handshake deal with Arnold Palmer.

At the time, McCormack was a lawyer with the Cleveland firm Arter &; Hadden. The representation deal with Palmer allowed McCormack to combine his expertise in law and business with a passion -- golf.

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McCormack, as chairman and chief executive officer, transformed International Management Group into a sports and entertainment complex of businesses simply known as IMG. It now has 80 offices in 32 countries and employs almost 3,000 people.

The company's reach extends beyond sports, with actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Liv Tyler, and musicians Itzhak Perlman and Kiri te Kanawa among its clients.

IMG's client list includes other well-known names and trademarks, including the Royal &; Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the Nobel Foundation, the Kennedy Space Center and the Smithsonian Institution.

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