May 25, 2011

Over the last 18 months, it seems like all of the interesting news surrounding Tiger Woods has taken place off the course. The bizarre incident that led to his car crash, his divorce, his apology, his sponsorship losses, dropping out of the top 10 rankings, his injuries…and now? His long time agent, Mark Steinberg, has decided to not renew his agreement with IMG.

“He is no longer with IMG,” company spokesman Jim Gallagher said.

Steinberg, who has been Tiger’s agent since 1999 –Woods has been with IMG since he turned pro in 1996– chose not to stay with the sports agency after contract renegotiation talks broke down.

Steinberg’s contract was set to expire in June of this year.

At the moment, there has been no comment from the Tiger Woods camp, although he was questioned about the expiration of Steinberg’s contract at yesterday’s press event for the AT&T National event, which is scheduled to take place June 30th,

Q: There is a story in the New York Times today. Ted Forstmann who as you know has been sick, talking about IMG and its future. He talked about how the growth is not really in golf but in other things. I believe Mark’s contract is up for renewal with IMG, but I’m not sure about that. I’m wondering what is your feeling about your long term commit many to IMG and your commitment to Mark? You’ve been with both for a long time, and where do you see your business life going?

TIGER WOODS: I’m committed to both, with IMG, and Mark’s my agent. It’s been a great relationship. I’ve been with him ever since I turned pro. I had a chance to go through a lot of basically my entire professional career and learn a lot about the business.

Tiger obviously has a good relationship with both Steinberg and IMG, but with Steinberg now departing, his future with IMG is uncertain, but also in his own hands. Reports late Tuesday said that Woods’ would have the final decision regarding his departing IMG to stay with Steinberg or staying with the agency.

Woods current sponsors (via Steinberg) include EA Sports, Nike, and Upper Deck.

IMG, who is reorganizing their golf division after the departure of Steinberg, announced via press release that Guy Kinnings and Robbie Henchman would be the new co-heads of IMG’s Golf division.

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