Barry Frank, sports TV, marketing pioneer, dies at 87

Barry Frank, the pioneer sports programmer who negotiated Olympic TV deals and represented broadcasting stars John Madden, Bob Costas and Jim Nantz, has died. He was 87.

Endeavor, the parent company of the International Management Group, confirmed Wednesday that Frank died Tuesday.

“Barry was a visionary with guts and incredible instincts, seeing what no one else saw and bringing new deals and formats to life with drama, excitement and style. His extraordinary talents made IMG what it is today, and his fighting spirit was with him until the end. We will all miss him dearly,” Endeavor President Mark Shapiro said in a statement.

Frank created many made-for-television shows, including “The Superstars,” ”The Skins Game,” ”The Battle of the Network Stars,” ”World’s Strongest Man,” ”Survival of the Fittest” and “American Gladiator.” His list of clients included Mike Tirico, Deion Sanders, Kirk Herbstreit, Todd Blackledge, Lesley Visser, Chris Evert, Robin Roberts, Peggy Fleming, Cris Collinsworth, Bill Walton and Greg Gumbel.

From Dayton, Ohio, Frank graduated from Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Business School. He spent time at CBS, the J. Walter Thompson marketing company and ABC Sports, then joined International Management Group in 1970, He became president of CBS Sports in 1976 and returned to IMG in 1978. At IMG, he represented the International Olympic Committee in rights deals for seven Olympics.

Frank was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports last year at the Sports Emmy Awards.

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