IMG, the international sports marketing agency, has given new roles to two senior executives, Gavin Forbes and Grant Slack, who head up the tennis and golf sections, respectively, in its media and events division.

Forbes, previously a senior vice-president and managing director, who has been with the agency for over 30 years, has been appointed executive vice-president and managing director, tennis events. He took the helm of the tennis events business in 2018, and is based in Ohio, USA. 

He also serves as the representative for America’s Tournament Board on men’s tennis’ top-tier ATP Tour, and has been involved in selling and distributing broadcast rights for that tour’s Masters Series. 

Slack, who was also formerly a senior vice-president and managing director, has been promoted to executive vice-president and managing director, golf events. 

He joined IMG in 2005, as vice-president of golf for Asia, and was put in charge of the company’s overall approach to the sport in 2016, based out of Singapore. 

He is presently in charge of 20 annual tournaments, and is also the chairman of Asian Tour Media, the joint venture IMG has set up with the Asian Tour. 

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Both executives will continue to be responsible for the “strategic direction, financial results, staging and implementation… including professional tournaments, special events, junior development initiatives and hospitality programs.” of their respective sports, the agency has said.

Sam Zussman, co-president of media and events at IMG (along with Adam Kelly), said: “Gavin and Grant are both respected leaders with strong track records who serve as trusted resources across our company… Despite the past year’s challenges, they’ve stayed the course, and will play a key role in the continued growth and success of our events business moving forward.”

In October last year, IMG appointed Luiz Procopio Carvalho as its vice-president of tennis events, to help oversee the agency’s widespread event portfolio, based out of IMG’s London office. 

Elsewhere, IMG has struck a short-term partnership with Epic Games, the video game developer, to bring the world of soccer into Fortnite, for which IMG is the licensing representative. 

IMG has brokered partnerships between Epic Games and 23 participating soccer clubs, including AC Milan, Celtic, Inter Milan, Juventus, Manchester City, Rangers, Sevilla, Sporting Lisbon, and West Ham, through which Fortnite players will be able to purchase in-game outfits to represent one of these clubs. 

The partnership starts on 23 January, and lasts for a week. 

Players will be able to “visit the Creative Hub for an immersive football experience throughout the week, and can join select clubs around the world in hosted Fortnite tournaments”, IMG said.

Matthew Primack, IMG’s senior vice-president of licensing, explained: “This is a truly international collaboration, tapping into clubs from almost every continent and offering fans the opportunity to express their passion for the beautiful game and their favourite team through Fortnite.”

IMG’s deal with Epic Games for Fortnite came into effect in May 2018, and the agency acts as Fortnite’s exclusive worldwide agency for consumer products licensing and promotions.