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NFF Launches New Leadership Hall of Fame
George Pyne, President of Sports & Entertainment at IMG Worldwide, will be honored September 10 as the first inductee.
May 06, 2013

IRVING, Texas (May 6, 2013) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today the creation of the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame, which will recognize an elite group of individuals who have led their organizations to the highest levels of success and share a passion for the NFF’s mission of building leaders through football. George Pyne, IMG Worldwide’s President of Sports and Entertainment, has been named the first inductee into the newly formed NFF Leadership Hall of Fame.

“Since 1947, the NFF has stood in the forefront of using football to promote leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence in America’s young people,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “The NFF Leadership Hall of Fame will provide us a powerful new vehicle for simultaneously highlighting the stories of some our nation’s greatest leaders while also raising funds for our scholarship programs that support the next generation. We are thrilled to have George Pyne as the first inductee.” 

The NFF has launched its Leadership Hall of Fame as a new platform for recognizing the country’s most influential individuals who have ascended to the highest levels of success and exhibited the critical leadership qualities that transcend ordinary enterprises. Serving as role models for future generations to emulate, the members of the Leadership Hall of Fame will embody the same qualities in amateur football that define excellence in American life: hard work, discipline, determination, teamwork, integrity, and the relentless pursuit to improve.

“I am humbly honored that the NFF has chosen to shine a light on our accomplishments at IMG,” said Pyne. “The NFF represents a tremendous set of values, and they have done a marvelous job of promoting athletic and academic achievement for more than 60 years. This event provides IMG an opportunity to align with an organization that cares deeply about the future of college athletics.”

Pyne will officially be inducted into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame at an event at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Sept. 10. At the event, Pyne’s outstanding record of leadership and many contributions to the sports business world and the community will be highlighted along with the role football played in his life.

“George Pyne and IMG have been great friends of the National Football Foundation for many years,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “George has a true passion for everything that our organization represents, and as a former Ivy League star, he is a great example of our efforts to promote the scholar-athlete ideal. He is a truly gifted individual and the perfect inaugural inductee for the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame.”

Proceeds from the event will go to support the NFF national scholar-athlete programs, including the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, the Hampshire Honor Society, and the NFF High School Scholar-Athlete Awards. The NFF Leadership Hall of Fame will play a critical role in connecting today’s great leaders with the top current scholar-athletes who are annually recognized by the NFF as the leaders of tomorrow.

George Pyne Biography

George Pyne is the President of IMG Worldwide's global sports and entertainment business, which includes client management, college sports, consulting, IMG Performance (IMG Academy), licensing and U.S. business development.

Under Mr. Pyne's leadership, IMG entered the collegiate business in May of 2007 with the acquisition of the Collegiate Licensing Company and subsequent purchases of Host Communication (fall of 2007) and ISP (fall of 2010). He and his team have successfully integrated and continue to organically grow these businesses. IMG College is now the nation’s leading collegiate marketing firm, representing the NCAA and more than 200 American universities.

Mr. Pyne is also a member of IMG's Board of Directors, where he helps to shape the company's strategic initiatives. Additionally, he is on the Boards of 24 Hour Fitness and the National Football Foundation.

Prior to IMG, Mr. Pyne was Chief Operating Officer of NASCAR and the second non-family member in 50 years to join its Board of Directors.

During his 11-year tenure, NASCAR emerged as a dominant force in North American Sports. At the forefront of their explosive growth, Mr. Pyne's accomplishments included a 4.5 billion television rights deal in 2005, the 750 million sponsorship of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2004, investments by 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, the creation of a 2 billion licensing business and the recognition of the NASCAR brand as one of the most admired brands in North America.

Before NASCAR, Mr. Pyne worked at the Portman Companies where he helped develop a strategic plan for the company's 2 billion debt restructuring. He was later appointed Executive Director of AMC Events, a division of the Portman Companies that creates and manages marketing events for major sports properties.

Mr. Pyne has been named to the Sports Business Journal's "Forty Under Forty" list three times as well as to the Sports Business Journal's "Hall of Fame."  He has also has been named one of Advertising Age's 'Top -100 Marketers' and has been regularly listed as one of the most influential people in professional sports by Business Week, the The Sporting News and Sports Business Journal.

Mr. Pyne attended Brown University where he served as captain of the football team and earned All-Ivy League and All-New England honors.

Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Award presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the BCS, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Liberty Mutual Insurance, NCAA Football, and Under Armour. For more information, please visit