May 06, 2013 12:04 ET

Japanese Snowboard Prodigy Ayumu Hirano Headlines Clients Moving to IMG Action Sports Division With Carl Harris

Carl Harris Former President of Ookii Co Athlete Management & Marketing Joins IMG Worldwide Action Sports Team

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - May 6, 2013) - IMG Worldwide today announced that Carl Harris, former President of Ookii Co Athlete Management & Marketing has joined the Action Sports division of the company. Harris will be based in Los Angeles and brings his current stable of clients including Japanese snowboarding phenom Ayumu Hirano and Two-time U.S. Open of Snowboarding Champion, Kazu Kokubo.

Snowboarding and skateboarding in Japan since age four, Ayumu Hirano splits his time between the U.S. and Japan. Hirano started the 2013 season winning the Burton High Five in New Zealand and has been increasingly dominating events. In March 2013, the 14-year-old earned second place at the Burton U.S. Open of Snowboarding Championships and became the youngest snowboarder ever to claim the prestigious "TTR Halfpipe World Champion" title at the event. This victory follows Hirano's silver medal win at the Aspen X Games in February, and first place finish at the 2013 Burton European Open Halfpipe Finals in Laax, Switzerland. 

A fixture at the WX Final and competitions around the world, Kazu Kokubo was the 2010 WX SuperPipe bronze medalist and competed at both the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Torino 2006 Winter Olympics. In competition he focuses on style and always incorporates the latest tricks. Kokubo also appeared in the opening sequence of the Burton movie, "Standing Sideways" in 2011. Additionally, Eiju Hirano (Ayumu's Brother), Teddy Koo, Kohei Kudo and Kotaro Kamimura join the IMG family with Harris.

Harris joins IMG from Ookii Co Athlete Management and Marketing where he served as President for the past three years. Previously, Harris spent three years as Vice President of Business Development at VAS Entertainment. Prior to that, Harris spent five years at Viacom's MTV Network. Harris has also held positions at Swatch Group, Burton Snowboards, and as Supervising Producer and Director for Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam.

"We are excited to welcome Carl to IMG, he's done an amazing job assembling a tremendously talented group of snowboarders," said Mark Ervin, Vice President, IMG Action Sports. "Kazu has driven the progression of snowboarding for over a decade, and at 14-years-old Ayumu is poised to be the future of the sport." 

"The opportunity to join IMG was an easy decision to make. IMG's vast global network and worldwide presence offers tremendous access to incredible resources to develop Ayumu's and Kazu's professional careers well into the future," said Carl Harris.

Koya Kikuchi, Managing Director, IMG Japan, said, "As we continue to solidify our position as a leader in the actions sports business landscape, the ability to work with world-class talent such as Ayumu Hirano and Kazu Kokubo provides the opportunity to truly leverage IMG's global capabilities in the marketplace."

IMG represents some of the most influential and well-known athletes and event properties within the Action Sports world. IMG represents Olympic Gold medalist, Lindsey Vonn, surfing sensation, Kolohe Andino and Motocross rider Ryan Dungey among many others. 

About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG's areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG's Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis, IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at

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