The decline in Tiger Woods' endorsement income and a "general decline in golf profits" at IMG made Mark Steinberg "too expensive to keep," according to sources cited by Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The sources said that in '07, well before reports of Woods' extramarital affairs surfaced, IMG's golf division "was clearing $28 million and Woods was bringing in $7.8 million of that." After the scandal, profits from the golf division "dropped to $15 million in 2010, a year in which Woods brought in $1.1 million." Industry sources said that Steinberg, Woods' agent for the past 12 years, "would have made about $3 million this year in salary and bonuses, significantly more than the fees Woods would have generated." Smith notes during the "decline in profits from the golf division, IMG’s overall profits have been growing." IMG made $85M in '09, $110M in '10 and the company projects $140M this year, and "with each passing year, golf’s contribution to the bottom line has decreased." Golf accounted for "nearly a quarter of the company’s profits in 2009, but that figure has slipped to about 10 percent this year" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/30 issue). In N.Y., Mark DeCambre reported Woods' contract with IMG expires at the end of June, as Steinberg's did, and IMG is "said to be pressing to keep Woods." But sources said that "it's likely he will follow Steinberg" (N.Y. POST, 5/31).
TIME TO BE CREATIVE: GOLF WORLD's Ron Sirak notes Steinberg "could land" at CAA Sports, which reportedly "wants to expand its effort in golf." Sources said that Steinberg "does not have a non-compete clause in his IMG contract that expires in June, which means he is free to go anywhere." Steinberg also represents Annika Sorenstam, and given his "experience and contacts, he would be an attractive acquisition for CAA, especially if he brings Woods (and Sorenstam) with him." CAA also "has the money to pay Steinberg what he feels he is worth, which he would not be guaranteed if he went off on his own and formed a company based around Woods." It is not clear if CAA "would hire Steinberg to run its golf division -- or if Steinberg would join CAA if not given overall authority" (GOLF WORLD, 6/6 issue).