The 1980’s experienced a significant boom in both running and triathlon. The Ironman exploded after the February 1982 event where Julie Moss & Kathleen McCartney had their famous finish that was on Wide World of Sports several times. It changed triathlon forever. I also competed in that one—but way behind both ladies. The biggest challenge for most of us (and we are talking small numbers in 1982, a few hundred) was trying to train in the winter months for a February race.
Pacific Sports Blog
The real opportunity (the proverbial fork in the road) came when I was hired by IMG (International Management Group) in Cleveland in the early 80’s. IMG was at that point a privately held firm led by Mark McCormack and Jay LaFave. Mark was essentially the founder of the sports marketing and agency business. His first client was Arnold Palmer and together they changed sports forever. Mark would travel the world, physically and literally, and Jay ran the place from Cleveland.
Thirty-five years is a long time to do anything, but in the industry of “lifestyle sports” it pretty much spans the entire history. I get asked often how Pacific Sports became a business. To quote Hemingway, “Gradually, then suddenly.” Few of us who were participating in the sports of running, swimming, cycling, and eventually triathlons early thought of it as anything but fun and something we liked to do together.