George Pyne spoke recently at Harvard Business School. File photo: Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe.
George Pyne spoke recently at Harvard Business School. File photo: Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe.

The National Football Foundation said Monday that it is establishing a “Leadership Hall of Fame” and added that George Pyne, a sports marketing guru with local roots, will be the hall’s first inductee.

The Leadership Hall of Fame is designed to “recognize an elite group of individuals who have led their organizations to the highest levels of success and share a passion for the NFF’s mission of building leaders through football,” said the National Football Foundation, which is also known as NFF.

The foundation describes itself as a nonprofit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship, and athletic achievement in young people.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Pyne is president of sports and entertainment at IMG Worldwide, a New York-based company that represents athletes and specializes in sports marketing. He grew up in Milford and he served as captain of the football team while attending Brown University.

Under Pyne, IMG branched out from its traditional role of representing professional athletes to have a major presence in college sports.

“Since 1947, the NFF has stood in the forefront of using football to promote leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, and the drive for academic excellence in America’s young people,” NFF chairman Archie Manning said in a statement. “The NFF Leadership Hall of Fame will provide us a powerful new vehicle for simultaneously highlighting the stories of some our nation’s greatest leaders while also raising funds for our scholarship programs that support the next generation. We are thrilled to have George Pyne as the first inductee.”

Before joining IMG, Pyne was chief operating officer of Nascar, which grew greatly in popularity during his 11-year tenure, an NFF press release noted.

Pyne will officially be inducted into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame at an event in New York City scheduled for Sept. 10.