The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst today announced that the vast archival collection of Mark H. McCormack, creator of the sport management and marketing industry, will be housed at the university, providing an unprecedented opportunity for research and education in the field.
The extraordinary McCormack Collection gift comprises McCormack's writings, photographs and client-related memorabilia, dating to 1960 when a handshake with legendary golfer Arnold Palmer launched what would become IMG International, the world's largest sport management firm. The collection spans McCormack's lifetime (1930-2003) and totals approximately 10,000 boxes, or 16,000 linear feet of material. In conjunction with Isenberg's Department of Sport Management, the university's W.E.B. Du Bois Library has embarked on a comprehensive assessment of the collection and will digitize much of it, making it available to researchers and students worldwide through a special website.
In their search for a partner to steward the archive, the McCormack family selected UMass Amherst because it offers unique advantages as one of the nation's best public research universities. "Isenberg's Sport Management Department boasts an unsurpassed faculty with industry experience and wide-ranging research interests," said Todd McCormack, one of Mark McCormack's sons and senior corporate vice president at IMG. "It is viewed by peer institutions as a model since it is housed in a business school and places a heavy emphasis on experiential learning. For its part, the University Libraries' Department of Special Collections has earned a wide reputation for high standards, creativity and innovative use of technology. This is a rare combination of academic commitment, engagement with industry and archival acumen."
UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert C. Holub said, "I want to thank the McCormack family for selecting UMass Amherst as the steward of this unparalleled gift, which constitutes the single most significant collection documenting the growth and development of the sport management and marketing industry. We will honor Mark McCormack's legacy with unceasing dedication to share his pioneering insights."
Mark Fuller, dean of the Isenberg School, announced that the new academic home of the McCormack Collection will be renamed the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at Isenberg in honor of the family's support. Associate Professor Lisa Masteralexis, who played a lead role in securing the collection, will continue to provide vital leadership as department head. "We will make this a living collection through a variety of sport business initiatives," Fuller said. "This priceless collection will serve as a platform for launching new educational programs, facilitating business-to-student interactions, creating research opportunities, and establishing awards, scholarships and fellowships."
In addition to the exceptional value of the McCormack Collection itself, the family has made a $1.5 million gift to endow related educational programs.
The Mark H. McCormack Executive-in-Residence Program will bring sport industry executives to campus to mentor and share their knowledge and experience with students. While on campus, the executives will be interviewed by the library and department for an oral history project on the concept of innovation in the sport industry.
The Mark H. McCormack International Partnership Program will support collaboration in sport management education across the globe. It will support faculty and student travel and will also support new research by the department's Center for Spectator Sport Research.
Masteralexis noted, "Mark McCormack mastered the art of building strategic alliances, coveted partnerships and creating seamless relationships. His example will inspire faculty to explore a full range of synergies, collaborations and innovations. The McCormack Collection is very much about the present and the future. We will ensure that the full magnitude of Mark McCormack's legacy is understood, and we are thrilled by the responsibility of building a special legacy ourselves."