More headaches as Tiger’s agent quits

European Tour

Mark Steinberg is leaving IMG, the agency that has guided Tiger Woods since he turned professional in 1996.

Mark Steinberg is leaving IMG, the Cleveland-based agency that has guided Tiger Woods since he turned professional in 1996.

In the 15 years since then, Woods has become the World’s most wealthy sportsman of all time and Steinberg, as Woods’ agent, has been at the forefront of IMG’s working relationship with Woods.

And as if Woods hasn’t had enough worries with media scandals, injuries and swing-coach changes of late, he may now face the difficult task of having to choose between signing for Steinberg, who has been involved in procuring some of sports biggest sponsorships ever, or sticking with respected IMG, who since its inception with Arnold Palmer as its first client, has handled the business affairs of many of the world’s greatest sportsmen.

Shortly before Steinberg made it known that he was leaving IMG, Woods was quoted a saying, “I am committed to both.” But that may no longer be possible.

If Steinberg goes out and sets up his own company as is widely expected, Woods will have to make a tough choice and it is the general feeling of those who know him best that he will go with Steinberg, who has taken care of his affairs for 12 years and has good relationships with many of corporate America’s leading business leaders, including those at Nike whose current deal is believed to be in the vicinity of $20m a year.

Golf.com also reported that Steinberg was largely responsible for negotiating a $55m fee for his No 1 client’s first-ever golf course design project.

This was for the Tiger Woods Dubai course for which he was reported to have been paid in full, but which has subsequently been abandoned for the time being because of the global recession.

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