WME-IMG expands golf portfolio with Icon acquisition

The WME-IMG agency has further bolstered its presence in the golf market by acquiring talent agency Icon Sports Management.

Icon, led by its president and chief executive R.J. Nemer and based in Ohio, will be absorbed into the golf division at WME-IMG.

World No.2 golfer Henrik Stenson (centre of picture) and European Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter (left of picture) are among the players on Icon’s roster. It also serves US financial services group Mutual of Omaha and other major corporate clients.

Nemer will continue to represent Stenson and Poulter, among others, on a global basis and becomes IMG’s senior vice-president and head of golf clients for the Americas. In this new role, he will be responsible for expanding and managing IMG’s golf client base in North America, and he and key members of the Icon staff will work from the IMG office in Cleveland.

“We’re tremendously excited to leverage the collective strengths of our combined team as we continue to grow our brand both nationally and globally,” Nemer said. “I am particularly pleased that we will be based in Northeast Ohio, where the innovative and inspirational Mark McCormack – a personal hero of mine – planted the seed for what has become a global industry.”

In the last 14 months, IMG has added four-time PGA Tour winner Patrick Reed, 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and LPGA Rookie of the Year Lydia Ko to its portfolio of golf clients.

Guy Kinnings, global head of golf at IMG, said: “Together with our partners at WME, we are delighted to welcome R.J. Nemer and key members of his team to our group. Over the past two decades, Icon has blossomed into a premier agency with the respect of everyone in the golf industry. Today’s announcement further signals the growth that our golf division has enjoyed recently, and we are excited to carry this momentum through 2015 and beyond.”