Nike lures IMG’s Todd

Mark McCormack’s lieutenant to join sports giant Nike as it challenges IMG’s sporting dominance

Ian Todd, joint number-two of the most powerful sports marketing agency in the world, International Management Group (IMG), is to join sports giant Nike.

Todd, director of operations Europe, Africa and the Middle East for IMG, is expected to take up a post as head of Nike’s two new sports marketing and sports entertainment divisions.

However, some sources suggest the post could be even higher within the company, and that Todd could take up a position as number two or three to Nike chairman Phil Knight.

But the focus of the role will undoubtedly be to challenge the dominance of IMG in sports event marketing and athlete representation. Both companies are committed to aggressive expansion. Yet Nike, with worldwide annual revenues of 5.6bn, overshadows IMG’s yearly revenues estimated at 1bn.

One former colleague says: “What Ian is best suited to is strategic planning of large events. Nike is becoming more committed to spending 10m on single events. Ian will be able to tell it where to spend that money, and how to get the most for it.”

Todd is one of the three top men in IMG’s structure after chairman Mark McCormack. The other two are Alastair Johnston, director of operations for Asia, Australia and the Pacific Rim; and Robert Kain, director of operations for North and South America.

Todd, who joined the company in 1971, is currently working out his contract, which is expected to take him through to spring next year.

IMG and Nike both refuse to comment.

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