McCormack, Mark H(ume) 1930-2003

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McCORMACK, Mark H(ume) 1930-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 6, 1930, in Chicago, IL; died of complications following a heart attack May 16, 2003, in New York, NY. Attorney, businessman, and author. McCormack, founder and president of the sports marketing agency IMG, is often credited with coming up with the idea of athlete product endorsements as early as the 1960s. At the age of six, he suffered a fractured skull that prevented him from participating in contact sports. Instead, his father got him involved in golf, which would later prove fortuitous. After completing his undergraduate degree at William and Mary College in 1951, McCormack earned his law degree at Yale University in 1954, and during the late 1950s and early 1960s worked at the law firm Arter & Hadden, where he became a partner in 1964. Legal work proved tedious to McCormack, however, and he much preferred his life as a part-time professional golfer and tournament organizer. This afforded him the opportunity to meet many professional golfers, and he soon learned that many of them were dissatisfied with their incomes. He began working with some of them, reviewing contracts for endorsement deals. McCormack believed he could help these golfers increase their endorsement earnings, and his first official client became Arnold Palmer. As Palmer's agent he helped the golfer multiply his income tenfold, not only through product endorsements, but also by arranging media appearances and helping Palmer create a namebrand line of golf equipment. This success led to many more. Founding International Management Group (later IMG) in 1960, McCormack first worked primarily with golf and tennis pros, but soon branched out to other types of athletes. Eventually he got the idea of helping promote sporting events such as Wimbledon and the British Open. He eventually diversified even further, working as an agent and marketer for models, opera singers, musicians, and even institutions such as the prestigious Oxford University, the Nobel Prize, the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and the Vatican. He branched out into publishing with the magazines Golf International and Tennis World. IMG has gone on to represent golfer Tiger Woods, whose $120-milliondollars worth in 2002 was the result of non-tournament earnings. McCormack himself became immensely wealthy through his marketing brilliance, and he regularly appeared on Forbes magazine's list of the wealthiest Americans. This wealth enabled him to pursue other projects, including developing golf courses, establishing a Chinese professional basketball league, and funding television productions in India. He also wrote several books about marketing and other business skills, including his bestselling What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-Smart Executive (1984), Mark. H. McCormack on Negotiating (1995), and Staying Street Smart in the Internet Age: What Hasn't Changed about the Way We Do Business (2000). About his favorite sport, golf, McCormack wrote The World of Professional Golf (1967), which was reissued under various titles for many years after, and Arnie: The Evolution of a Legend (1967), which was published in 1968 as Arnold Palmer: The Man and the Legend (1968).



Writers Directory, 18th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2003.


Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2003, pp. A1, A24.

New York Times, May 17, 2003, p. A14.

Times (London, England), May 17, 2003.

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McCormack, Mark H(ume) 1930-2003

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