November 30, 2009 09:05 ET

IMG Signs Joe Mauer, Superstar Minnesota Twins Catcher

2009 American League Most Valuable Player

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 30, 2009) - IMG, the premier global sports, media and entertainment company, today announced that it has signed the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player, Joe Mauer, for marketing, sponsorships and endorsements.

Mauer, the 26-year-old superstar catcher of the Minnesota Twins is one of the most talented and exciting players in Major League Baseball today. In addition to being named the American League Most Valuable Player today, in 2009 Mauer became the first catcher to lead the American League in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage in a single year. His .365 average, which is an all-time highest mark among catchers in Major League Baseball history, led the Majors. Mauer also won his second consecutive Gold Glove this season. With winning his third batting title this year, Mauer has now won as many batting titles in a span of four years (2006-2009) as all major league catchers in the history of baseball combined.

"We are extremely pleased to have Joe as an IMG client," said Alan Zucker, Senior Vice President of IMG, who will manage the global team at IMG that will support Mauer's off-field business. "While Joe's on the field activities will continue to be his primary focus, as one of the game's most talented and popular players we expect that Joe will be of great interest to companies and brands that want to associate with excellence and a proven winner to help grow their businesses. With his trademark sideburns, great popularity and amazing performance on the diamond we believe there is a great opportunity to create and grow a personal brand for Joe," Zucker continued. Zucker will work in a closely coordinated and cooperative effort with Ron Shapiro, Mauer's on the field agent who will continue to handle his on field contract.

"I'm very happy to have IMG representing the off-field business aspects of my career," Mauer said. "They continue to represent some of the greatest athletes in their respective sports and I'm thrilled and honored to find myself included with some of the true icons of global sports."

Mauer, a hometown hero, was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He enjoyed a highly acclaimed football, basketball and baseball career for the St. Paul Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders and in his senior year he became the only athlete ever to be selected as the 'USA Today High School Player of the Year' in two sports, football and baseball. He ultimately turned down a football scholarship to Florida State University to enter the Major League Baseball Draft. He was selected by the Twins as the first overall pick of the 2001 draft.

He made his Major League debut with the Twins in 2004 during which a knee injury forced an early end to that season. In 2005, he returned to the Twins' lineup for his first very successful major league season. In 2006, he was selected by the players to his first All-Star Game and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated that same year.

Mauer finished the 2006 regular season with a .347 batting average to win his first American League batting title and become the first ever American League catcher to win the crown. He is the youngest player to win a batting title since Alex Rodriquez in 1996. He also won his first Silver Slugger award that season.

In 2008, Mauer again won the AL batting title with a .328 batting average and he won his first Gold Glove Award that season. His .365 batting average in the 2009 season brought his third American League batting championship and cemented his place in baseball history. With an on base percentage of .444, a slugging percentage of .587 and on base plus slugging at 1.031 he also became the first catcher to lead the league in all four offensive categories in a single season.

About IMG Sports & Entertainment

Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment's diverse businesses include: product and brand licensing; consulting services; event ownership and management; collegiate marketing, media and licensing; fashion events and models representation; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world's largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year. More information is available at

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