Tuesday evening the news broke on Twitter of Mark Steinberg’s departure from IMG. Steinberg, who represents Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, headed the management agency’s golf division. According to the AP, Steinberg’s contract was scheduled to expire in June and he was negotiating a new deal when talks broke down on Tuesday.
IMG Senior VP/Corporate Communications Jim Gallagher told the AP and Sports Business Journal, ““Mark Steinberg is no longer employed by IMG.” Gallagher declined further comment.
Several outlets are reporting that Tiger and Annika are expected to follow Steinberg. Here now, from Liz Mullen of SBJ’s report:
One source said, “They have mutually decided to part ways.” Another source, however, disputed that, saying, “There was nothing mutual about it.”
It is not clear if Steinberg will join another agency or start his own firm. Because he was not free to talk to other agencies and sources said he abided by his contract, he may not know what interest there is from other agencies to hire him. Woods, as well as fellow longtime client Annika Sorenstam, are expected to go wherever Steinberg decides to go.
IMG issued a press release stating that its global golf business would now be run by Senior VP/European Golf Operations Guy Kinnings and Senior VP/Asia Pacific Golf Operations Robbie Henchman. IMG Vice Chair Alastair Johnston will oversee the business of the division.
Meanwhile, Annika’s husband Mike McGee told Golfweek late Tuesday, “We just heard about this tonight and don’t know what we will do.”
So there you have it. But from the sounds of it, Tiger will stay with Steiney, which makes sense given that Steiney’s handled Tiger’s career for the last 12 years and knows where all the bodies are buried. If that pans out, then here’s your cliche lesson of the day: Confidence buys inspires loyalty. And good relationships are built on trust. Go figure!
Seriously speaking, it’d make sense for Tiger to go with Steiney. His trust lies with an individual who is also his friend over a faceless corporation.