How Jos Hermens created the world’s leading sports management company
April 5, 2016
In September 1975 Jos Hermens, a Dutch long-distance runner with drooping moustache and John Lennon spectacles, ran further in one hour than anybody in history. He improved his world record to 20,942m a year later, and took a lead role in the Montreal Olympics 10k, in a fantastic race against the double double gold medallist, Lasse Viren.
He joined Nike when his legs would run no more, and was instrumental in setting up their European HQ in Hilversum, near to Amsterdam. Having established his relationships with athletes and meeting organisers, and acquired Nike’s commercial nouse, he set up Global Sports Communication in 1985. Over the last 30 years Global Sports Communication has become one of the leading sports management agencies in the world.
What made Jos Hermens a winner in the field of sports management?
- Taking the talent management model of the entertainment and music industries and applying it in a professional and relevant way to the world of sport, especially the fast-changing world of athletics.
- Searching for new markets – most notably in the high altitude mountains of Ethiopia and Kenya – establishing training camps, and giving young athletes a dream.
- Managing the whole athlete – developing the best talent from a young age, guiding them to become world record breakers and Olympic champions, from sponsorships to PR, domestic and personal life.
- Combining athlete management with event management – from global track meetings to big city marathons across the world – a home stage for his athletes to perform, and leverage over others.
- Building his business around big stars, like Haile Gebrselassie, the world’s greatest ever distance runner, who became a magnet for clients, and youngsters who wanted to be like him.
Managing world class athletes
Today, Jos Hermens’ company Global Sports Communication serves as an athlete’s manager for some 150 athletes from 20 different countries. The largest group of athletes is based in East Africa, the Netherlands and China. The athletes are active in track and field and road races.
As the representative of world class athletes such as Haile Gebrselassie, Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Florence Kiplagat and Caterine Ibarguen they assist them in the best possible way. Their ambition is to help each athlete have a long and successful career for them and make the most out of their career.
Organising athletic events
Global Sports Communication is organisationally involved in some of the biggest and fastest marathons and road races in the world like Amsterdam, Hamburg and Mumbai marathon, New Delhi half marathon, Dam tot Dam 10 miles and Seven Hills race. They act as a liaison for the international elite athletes and as an advisor and consultant. They also organise the IAAF Shanghai Diamond League, and are involved in the IAAF World Challenge meeting the FBK Games in Hengelo.
Partnering with the best brands
Building on their extensive experience in sport and working with the best athletes in the world, Hermens and his team created their own sports marketing vision: integrating individual athletes, teams and high profile events. As the mother of all sports, athletics (or track and field, as it is sometimes known) combines speed, endurance, power and flexibility. This makes it possible for every company or brand to find an affiliated element to link to. And of course, running events like no other sport, allows everybody to participate in an event at the same time as a world class star.