MARC PLAYER, CEO
Marc was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He received his education at King Edward VII School and Weston Agricultural College in Natal. He read for a B.Proc degree at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg before taking up an appointment with IMG (Mark McCormack’s sports marketing organization), spending time in their New York, Cleveland and London offices. He subsequently completed executive education programs at Wits Graduate School of Business in Johannesburg and Harvard University in Boston.
In 1980, Marc underwent his two year military service and attended an officer’s course at Oudtshoorn in the Cape Province of South Africa, where he graduated with the rank of lieutenant. Shortly after his discharge, Marc undertook the task of the complete refurbishment of his family’s estate, Blair Atholl Farm, being responsible for both the design and construction in addition to the day-to-day running of the property.
During this time he became actively involved in the management of his father, Gary Player’s affairs in South Africa through a new company he founded, namely Sports International. Sports International was an independent, results-focused company involved in sports marketing. As Chief Executive of Sports International, Marc spent much of his time traveling, engaged both in developing his many business interests as well as keeping Southern Africa on the sporting map during the politically difficult times of the apartheid era.
In 1986 he approached Mark McCormack, Chairman and founder IMG, to take over and manage their South African office. Sports International became the exclusive Southern Africa representative of IMG. With a reputation for being the foremost firm in the business of sport, IMG activities include the representation of sport celebrities, television production and distribution, event management, modeling and a licensing agency. Today IMG operates from 60 offices in 36 different countries and is owned by William Morris Endeavor. In 1991 the company was subsequently sold to IMG when the political climate changed and South Africa was invited back into the world sports arena and IMG wished to operate individually once again. Marc then founded and acted as Chief Executive Officer of Black Knight International exclusively representing Gary Player worldwide including Gary Player Design.
The Player Group is a multinational force in the leisure industry with an emphasis on golf. In pursuit of its mission, the company strives to achieve long-term mutually rewarding relationships with its clients through the provision of services and products of superior quality, while upholding the integrity of the individual and the environment. Black Knight International, the holding company for The Player Group has offices on five continents in Palm Beach, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Johannesburg and Buenos Aires.