McCormack Collection Expansion Continues through Digitization Project at UMass Amherst Libraries

AMHERST, Mass. – The Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries, in conjunction with the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management in the Isenberg School of Management, announce a new milestone for the Mark H. McCormack Collection with approximately one-third of the estimated 50,000 items now available in digital form.

The collection is composed of records from the personal and professional life of International Management Group (IMG) founder Mark H. McCormack and contains more than 2,500 boxes and 5 million individual items. To date, more than 17,000 documents spanning 1957 to 1980 have been processed and are now available online via Credo, SCUA’s digital repository at credo.library.umass.edu. In the past six months the online archive has grown by more than 14,000 files.

“As we continue to make more material from the collection available online, we have begun to see how deals formed, how they managed the expansion from a single office in Cleveland to multiple international locations, and how McCormack worked with his clients,” said sport innovation archivist Kirstin Kay. “By making McCormack’s letters available online, we are providing a framework for researchers to delve into other parts of the collection, including reports, memorandums, and marketing materials.”

Recently discovered highlights from the collection include documentation of IMG’s initial expansion into Japan and the globalization of the IMG brand, correspondence with former Vice President Spiro Agnew and automobile maker John DeLorean, while he was still an executive with General Motors.

“It is exciting to see these efforts come to fruition,” said Robert Cox, head of Special Collections and University Archives. “Making such rapid progress in digitization and finding so much great material so far only makes us wonder what we will turn up next.”

“Mark McCormack’s incredible foresight and innovation revolutionized the sport industry and the family’s generous gift of his vast archives and endowment for educational initiatives has helped take our program to the next level,” said professor and chair of the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management Janet Fink. “The digitization of over 15,000 documents from his collection will allow worldwide access to his pioneering insights and further cement his legacy.”

While working as a lawyer and entrepreneur, McCormack leapt to prominence by striking a deal with a legendary handshake to represent World Golf Hall of Famer Arnold Palmer, in 1960. McCormack soon signed golfers Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus to his roster of clients, followed by a long succession of notable international sports figures including Formula One driver Jackie Stewart, Olympic skier Jean-Claude Killy, tennis stars Billie Jean King and Pete Sampras, as well as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II and models Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen.

McCormack quickly added corporations and sporting events such as Wimbledon, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and Rolex as clients in sponsorship, licensing, event management, and media deals. These clients became the basis of IMG Worldwide, Inc., forming one of the largest management, media, and marketing companies in the world.

The author of a dozen books on management and sport, including his seminal work, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, McCormack became a famous figure in his own right as a businessman, negotiator, and dealmaker before his death in 2003.

Working in collaboration with the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management, the UMass Amherst Libraries were chosen by the McCormack family to house the collection in 2010. SCUA oversees the intake, processing and digitization of this incredible collection, which contains correspondence, memos, drafts, reports, research files, marketing materials, photos, along with memorabilia from McCormack’s personal and professional dealings.

Faculty have used the collection as a basis for case studies and to create other instructional material for students and for executive education. Professors and journalists from around the country have accessed the collection as well. In addition, the McCormack collection operates the @McCormackAdvice Twitter account, drawing on items within the collection, allowing McCormack’s business insights to inspire future generations of leaders.

For more information, contact Kirstin Kay, Sport Innovation Archivist, at (413) 545-6843, kay@library.umass.edu. To access the online Collection, visit http://scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/mccormack-mark/.