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IMG adds another famous name to motorsport stable
IMG has added another illustrious name to its stable after signing an agreement with NASCAR’s Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). IMG president George Pyne confirmed that, contrary to rumors, IMG has no interest in pursuing an ownership stake in the team, with the deal focused simply on maximizing the team's sponsorship income, and allowing JGR to 'tap into' IMG's expertise and return-on-investment analysis facilities.

The arrangement, which will work on a retainer - thought to be around US$500,000 - as well as a percentage of sales basis, is likely to run for an initial year, though both parties expect it to be continued long-term, with Pyne saying he could see the partnership lasting a decade or more. JGR chief J.D. Gibbs cited a long-running working relationship with Pyne, formerly the chief operating officer of Nascar, as providing the basis for the deal.

"You reach a point over the years that you either need to increase what you have in-house and make yourself a lot larger or you need to tap into someone else," said Gibbs, whose father founded the race team in 1992. "This adds a lot of value to JGR. We haven't detailed everything we're going to do together, but we'll brainstorm it and I'm looking forward to seeing where this will go. IMG has done a lot of neat things with return on investment for their clients and we're looking to do more for our partners."

Pyne himself added: "If you look at the brands we're associated with in motorsports — the Forces, Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon, the NHRA — they're premium brands. Joe Gibbs Racing has won championships and they are an iconic team in NASCAR. We think this puts us in as good a position as you can be in for 2009, but also 2010, 2015, 2020."

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