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America's leading sports marketer is entrepreneurship program speaker (Released: 4/26/96)

by Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Mark H. McCormack, the man who took sports marketing from an untested concept to a multi-million-dollar business, will be the 1996 Distinguished Lecturer for the Thomas J. and Bette Wolff Family Program in Entrepreneurship.

McCormack, who has alternately been referred to as "the most powerful man in golf," "the most powerful man in tennis," and, ultimately, in a Sports Illustrated article, "The most powerful man in sports," will deliver his lecture, "Rethinking the Rules of Business," at 7:30 p.m. May 1 in Jorgensen Auditorium at the University of Connecticut. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The author of five widely read books, including What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984), and What They Still Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School (1989), started his sports marketing career with a handshake agreement with Arnold Palmer then an unknown golfer. He soon added young golfers Gary Player and Jack Nicholas and, before long, he was representing dozens of golfers, tennis players and other athletes, and marketing the sports they represented as cost-effective corporate marketing tools.

Among other national and international stars his Cleveland, Ohio- based company, International Management Group, represents are Andre Agassi, Herschel Walker, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky and Itzhak Perlman. The firm also markets numerous events, including The British Open and Wimbledon, and several classical concert series, operating from 70 offices in 27 countries.

In addition to being the world's largest athlete representation firm, the company, through its broadcast division, Trans World International, is the world's largest independent producer of televised sports programming. TWI is also the world's largest distributor of sports television rights.

McCormack's career has been guided largely by his belief that the most important quality anyone needs to succeed in business is common sense -- one of the lessons he says professors can't teach at the Harvard Business School. He also preaches the laws of delivering quality in personal services businesses, defined as "Do what you promise, when you promise it, at the price you promised."

Prior to his talk, McCormack will deliver some quality to students enrolled in UConn's School of Business Administration, where the Wolff Program is based, as well as students from several other schools and colleges, leading a discussion of how the students can plan and manage their careers. The 3-5:15 p.m. discussion and question-and-answer session also will include a short panel discussion and an open interaction session.

The Wolff Family Program in Entrepreneurship, endowed with a $285,000 gift from Thomas Wolff and his wife, Bette, sponsors the annual lecture series and a luncheon lecture series during the academic year. Previous lecturers include Remington's Victor Kiam; basketball great Julius Erving; Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's; Wally "Famous" Amos; and, last year, Fred DeLuca, the founder of Subway.

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