IMG Backs Ari Fleischer Sports Communications

Former White House Press Secretary to Provide Crisis Management, Media Training for Athletes, Coaches, Sports Executives
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Perhaps if President George W. Bush wants to return to baseball-team ownership after his term of office, he can team up again with his former White House press secretary.

Sports producer and athlete rep IMG is backing the creation of Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, led by the former White House spokesman.

Fleischer, who left that position in 2003, will provide, among other things, crisis management for athletes, coaches and executives. He will also provide media training, interview preparation and other services.

Sandy Montag, senior corporate vice president of IMG Sports & Entertainment, will be chief operating officer of the company, with Fleischer serving as president.

"Except for presidents and top government officials, no one faces tougher scrutiny today than sports figures," Fleischer said in announcing the new company. "Athletes now face a public -- and a media -- that demand more. Players and executives who understand the media and know how to work with them find that their careers are launched to higher, more successful and lucrative levels because of the good publicity they receive."

Since leaving the White House, Fleischer has been advising various sports on communications, including Major League Baseball, the Women's Tennis Association and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.