May 01, 2007 07:38 ET

IMG to Acquire Collegiate Licensing Company

Industry Leading Collegiate Licensing Agency Joins IMG's Worldwide Sports and Event Properties; Company Represents Nearly 200 Colleges, Universities, Bowl Games and Athletic Conferences, Including NCAA and the Heisman Trophy; Complements IMG's Existing Global Licensing and Marketing Services

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 1, 2007 -- IMG, the world's premier sports, entertainment and media company, today announced the acquisition of Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the largest collegiate trademark licensing agency in the United States. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Atlanta-based CLC is a full-service licensing and marketing company that assists collegiate institutions with a wide array of licensing and administration services, helping to protect, develop and manage their brands in the $3 billion collegiate merchandise marketplace.

Under the agreement, CLC will operate as a freestanding unit within IMG's Sports and Entertainment Group, overseen by IMG Sports and Entertainment Group President, George Pyne. CLC founder and Chairman, Bill Battle, will continue to lead the company he founded, alongside Pat Battle, CLC's President and CEO. CLC will remain headquartered in Atlanta.

In making the announcement, Ted Forstmann, IMG's Chairman and CEO, said, "This acquisition provides IMG and CLC's clients with a significant new opportunity for growth. The combination of IMG's expertise and resources will not only allow CLC to continue its leadership position in collegiate licensing, but more importantly, to grow into other areas of collegiate sports as well." Forstmann continued, "In its 25-year history, Bill and Pat Battle, and their talented leadership team have built CLC into collegiate sports' preeminent licensing company. I'm delighted IMG's unmatched portfolio of sports, entertainment and media assets will now include the dynamic college sports segment."

"We are excited about the potential for continued growth of the collegiate licensing market through IMG's impressive staff, extensive global network and broad resources," said Bill Battle. "Our entire staff has worked hard over the past 25 years to serve our clients and licensees, build a great reputation, and establish a successful revenue stream for collegiate institutions. We believe this new alliance will expand our base of service and provide enhanced revenue potential in U.S. and international markets to collegiate clients."

"This is an innovative opportunity for us to try to move our clients' licensing programs much further, much faster in the future," added Pat Battle. "Our great team of people in Atlanta will now have access to IMG's resources and unique way of building brands that can really help to shift the collegiate licensing paradigm in the future."

"Collegiate sports already includes some of the most iconic and recognized brands in the overall sports marketplace, appealing to the most loyal and enthusiastic consumers of sports merchandise," said George Pyne. "IMG is proud to welcome Bill and Pat Battle, the first-rate CLC organization and its talented staff, and CLC's partner institutions to IMG's very significant portfolio of global sports, entertainment and media assets."

Collegiate Sports' Largest and Most Successful Licensing Company

CLC serves as the exclusive licensing agency for nearly 200 collegiate properties located in 44 states across the U.S. Current clients include the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the Rose Bowl, the Heisman Trophy and the NCAA (including the Men's and Women's Final Four, the College World Series, and all NCAA Championships), as well as many of the most recognized colleges and universities across the U.S., including Texas, Notre Dame, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Penn State and Arizona, among many others.

CLC member institutions collectively represent more than 75 percent of all annual collegiate merchandise retail sales.

Expands IMG's Leadership Position in Licensing and Marketing

With the acquisition, IMG enters the fast-growing collegiate sports segment. Already a leader in the multibillion-dollar international licensing and marketing arena, IMG generates licensing and marketing opportunities for some of sports and entertainment's best-known brands and personalities including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, The Nobel Foundation, Major League Baseball, Wimbledon, The United States Golf Association, Cesar Millan, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Hilary Duff, Drew Barrymore and Gisele Bündchen, among many others.

Since Ted Forstmann acquired IMG in 2004, the company has made a series of strategic acquisitions, starting with Tiger Aspect Productions, the U.K. based independent producer of award-winning programs in comedy ("Mr. Bean"), drama, entertainment, factual, animation ("Charlie and Lola"), wildlife and features; Darlow Smithson Productions, a worldwide producer of docudramas, series and documentaries for theatrical release; and Tigress Production Limited, an adventure productions company specializing in wildlife, science and documentary projects. These acquisitions have made IMG one of the world's largest producers and distributors of TV programming.

Today's announcement follows a series of more recent acquisition activity by IMG, including its purchase of BSI Speedway, owner of the promoting rights of the FIM World Individual Speedway Grand Prix Series and FIM Speedway World Cup; Quintus, the U.K.-based sports marketing company with an outstanding portfolio of events including the BlackRock Masters Tennis, the Michelob ULTRA London Triathlon and the Microsoft UK Challenge; CSI Sports, with a portfolio of clients including English football's governing body, the Football Association, Football League (including the Carling Cup), the England and Wales Cricket Board, Cricket Australia; Art + Commerce, a leading management agency with an impressive client roster of photographers, stylists, creative directors, and hair and make-up artists; and Germany-based Nunet, a leading provider of mobile media solutions for network operators.

About CLC

Founded in 1981, CLC is the oldest and largest collegiate licensing agency in the U.S. and currently represents nearly 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, the Heisman Trophy and the NCAA.

The mission of CLC is to be the guiding force in collegiate trademark licensing and one of the top sports licensing firms in the country. CLC is dedicated to being a center of excellence in providing licensing services of the highest quality to its member institutions, licensees, retailers and consumers.

A full-service licensing and marketing company, CLC employs a staff of 80 licensing professionals with the capability to establish and manage every aspect of a collegiate licensing program.

For more information on CLC, visit:

About IMG

IMG is the world's premier Sports, Entertainment and Media Company. IMG is a diversified global business with two major business segments: IMG Sports & Entertainment, and IMG Media. IMG employs more than 2,600 people in 30 countries. Forstmann Little & Co. purchased IMG in 2004.

IMG Sports & Entertainment includes: consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; licensing; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic sports, and action sports. In addition, IMG Academies are the world's largest and most advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class sports training experiences to over 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year.

IMG Media, which includes our content production subsidiaries TWI, Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP), and Tiger Aspect Productions (TAP), is recognized as a global leader in the delivery of traditional and new media content and services, with Internet, broadband, and mobile expertise, transforming how audiences access and interact with content.

IMG Media produces and distributes over 11,000 hours of sports, documentary, drama, comedy, entertainment, popular factual, and children's content annually, over multiple platforms across 220 countries, including award-winning television and radio programming. It also represents the broadcast rights to many of the world's premier sporting events and has the world's biggest sports archive with more than 250,000 hours of footage.

More information about IMG is available at

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