SOURCE: IMG

IMG

April 19, 2010 09:48 ET

IMG Signs Legendary Olympic Track and Field Star Michael Johnson

Best 200m and 400m Sprinter in the History of Track and Field and Current World Record Holder in the 400m

LONDON and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 19, 2010) -  IMG Worldwide, the premier global sports, media and entertainment company announced today that it has signed four-time Olympic gold medalist and current world record holder in the 400m event Michael Johnson for exclusive worldwide representation, sponsorship, licensing and speaking opportunities.

Michael Johnson's professional career as a track and field superstar spanned more than a decade (1990-2001). Johnson is considered one of the most successful athletes in history. He is the only male to win both the 200m and 400m events at the same Olympics (1996) and the only man to successfully defend his Olympic title in the 400m event (2000). As a result, he became the first ever athlete to be ranked number one in the world for the 200m and 400m. Johnson has achieved a career total of 13 championship gold medals (nine World Championship and four Olympic medals) and has won the most gold medals by any athlete in track and field history. 

Inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004, Johnson was also named 'U.S. Male Olympian of the Decade' by ESPN (1990-99), 'Best Male Track Athlete' ESPY Award (1994, 1996-97, 2000), 'International Sportsman of the Year' in 1996 by the BBC, Associated Press and L'Equipe and 'Sportsman of the Year' by the United States Olympic Committee (1993, 1995-96). He also was the recipient of the Jesse Owens Award for three consecutive years (1994, 95, 96) and won the AAU Sullivan Award in 1996.

In making the announcement, Ian Todd, President, IMG International, said, "We are delighted to be representing Michael as an IMG client and working with such a remarkable individual. It is a credit to IMG's unrivalled reputation that a sporting legend and Olympic hero of Michael's caliber has chosen to be managed by IMG. Looking forward to the 2012 London Olympics, we envision Michael will have a very busy few years ahead as an ambassador for his sport. He is a true role model for children, aspiring athletes and professionals everywhere."

Michael Pask, Senior Vice President, IMG, will manage the team at IMG that will work with Johnson's team based in Dallas, Texas.

Michael Pask added, "IMG is thrilled to be working with a track and field icon like Michael. He is truly an inspirational, articulate and dynamic character with tremendous athletic talent and personality." We look forward to helping to continue to build and expand Michael's brand and leverage it across multiple global commercialization opportunities.

"IMG has an awesome reputation in both the worlds of business and sport and I believe their experience and contacts in building effective brands will be invaluable to me over the next few years," Johnson said. "IMG represents some of the greatest athletes in their respective fields and I'm thrilled to be working with such an experienced team."

Since Johnson's retirement from the track in 2001, he has established himself as a leading corporate motivational speaker, television commentator and personality, as well as becoming a member on the board of the Laureus World Sports Academy -- a group of 40 legends of sport seeking to bring about social change through the use of sport for children. Michael has also put a lot of emphasis on using his success to help inspire others and in 2007 founded the Michael Johnson Performance Center, an athletic performance training center to help sports men and women achieve their athletic dreams.

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 www.imgworld.com.

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