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18 March 2022

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History of IMG Academy

The history of IMG Academy dates back to 1978 when Nick Bollettieri started a tennis academy in Bradenton, Florida. As his academy's success grew, he attracted more athletes, including Andre Agassi and Monica Seles. The academy expanded its offerings to include other sports, such as golf and soccer, and moved to its current location in 1987.

In 2009, the sports training center was purchased by Forstmann Little & Co., whose chairman Ted Forstmann was a tennis fan and felt that the academy had enormous potential. Following the purchase by Forstmann Little & Co., IMG Academy began expanding its campus, creating new facilities and adding extra sport offerings.

In 2012, IMG acquired the Academy from Forstmann Little & Co. The following year, IMG Academy launched its boarding school program which enrolls students from all over the world who are looking to pursue college-prep academics and athletics at an elite level.

It has since grown into a full-time preparatory school for junior boarding (grades 7-12) and postgraduates with a focus on college preparation through academics and athletics. IMG Academy has also become a leader in sports camps for players of all ages and abilities as well as corporate events.

IMG Academy is the world's largest and most advanced multi-sport training and educational institution. Established in 1978, IMG Academy has evolved into the world leader for athletic and performance development.

IMG Academy's mission is to provide all individuals with world class facilities, coaching and education to develop their academic, athletic and personal skills to reach their fullest potential.

IMG Academy currently serves more than 1,000 students from 75 countries annually.

Landmarks near IMG Academy

In Bradenton, a city on Florida's Gulf Coast located about 50 miles south of Tampa, IMG Academy makes its home. The North American Institute for Sport and Performance is one of the most renowned sports training facilities in the country, training athletes at all levels.

IMG Academy is located right off State Road 70 and close to I-75. It's just a few minutes from Anna Maria Island, a popular vacation spot with gorgeous beaches, as well as downtown Bradenton. Nearby attractions include:

Robinson Preserve: This 600-acre preserve features mangrove forests, tidal flats and estuaries that are home to various wildlife including fish, birds and dolphins native to Florida's Gulf Coast. Visitors can walk along boardwalks or paddle along the waterfront on kayaks and canoes.

DeSoto National Memorial: Hernando de Soto led the first European expedition into North America in 1539; this memorial celebrates DeSoto's arrival in the area around Bradenton. The park also preserves the Timucuan Indian village of Ucita, which was used by Spanish explorers as a base camp during their travels through Florida. The memorial has a visitor center, public exhibits and an amphitheater.

How to get to IMG Academy

From I-75

Take Exit 220 (University Parkway) and head east. Turn right at the 1st traffic light onto N Tuttle Avenue, then left onto IMG Academy Drive at the next traffic light. Continue on IMG Academy Drive until you see the IMG Academy campus on your left.

Note: If you are planning on visiting our campus from University Parkway, we recommend entering IMG Academy from the north via Lakewood Ranch Blvd. This will avoid potential delays in traffic on University Parkway.

From State Road 64 (Manatee Ave.)

Head west on SR 64 approximately 5 miles and turn left onto Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Continue through one traffic light and take a left into the entrance of IMG Academy. Follow the road around until you reach the main entrance to the campus.

By Plane

The Bradenton-Sarasota International Airport (SRQ) is only 15 minutes from campus. It offers direct flights to/from Atlanta (Delta), Cincinnati (Delta), Cleveland (United), Detroit (Northwest), Hartford (Northwest), Newark (Continental), Philadelphia (US Airways), Toronto (Air Canada) and Washington D.C. (Northwest).

IMG Academy is also within 30 minutes of Tampa International Airport (TPA) and one hour of St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE).