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Volume 24 No. 117

Labor and Agents

U.S. Open winner Justin Rose will be "making the switch to Tiger Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg" and Excel Sports Management, according to sources cited by Tim Rosaforte of GOLF DIGEST. Sources said that Rose was "talking to Steinberg three weeks ago" at the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament. They also had a "private discussion" prior to the opening round. Rose had "been represented by Marcus Day of 4Sports & Entertainment." Since winning the Open last week, Rose's marketability has "skyrocketed." Rose recently has been "in a secondary commercial role to Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia" for TaylorMade, but that "should change, along with his entire profile." Other sponsors of Rose include Zurich, Ashworth, British Airways, adidas, Jumeriah Golf Estates and U.K. estate Goodwood. Since leaving IMG in July '11, Steinberg has "assembled an impressive client list" in Matt Kuchar and now Rose. That gives him the "current Nos. 1, 3 and 5" golfers in the world. (, 6/20). Rose said Thursday following his opening round at the PGA Tour Travelers Championship, “The timing is kind of ironic, I suppose, with everything that’s happened. But it’s a decision I made quite some time ago and things take some time to figure themselves out.” GOLF WEEK's Jim McCabe noted although Switzerland-based 4Sports' "stable of athletes includes other golfers ... mostly the agency is known for its representation of professional hockey players, many of them European." Rose reportedly was "looking to enhance marketing opportunities and thinks he will get that opportunity with Excel. Rose: "With me playing so much here in the States and where I felt my game was going, I just felt it was a decision I wanted to make to move on" (, 6/20).

IN GOOD HANDS: Golfer Rich Beem said Rose joining Steinberg is "actually probably a very smart decision." Beem: "Steinberg knows what to do. He knows how to handle it, he knows what's going to come. He knows how to prepare Justin for what's going to come down the pipeline." Beem continued, "As a first-time major champion, if you don’t have somebody in your corner to kind of tell you what's going to happen ... then you're doing yourself a disservice." Golfweek's Jeff Rude said it is not a risky move because Steinberg "knows how to do his job." Rude: "He's made Tiger Woods a gazillion dollars over the years" ("19th Hole," Golf Channel, 6/20).

Kevin Harvick Inc. will “reach outside of the auto racing industry for the first time to manage athletes,” annoucing Thursday it has “signed UFC lightweight Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone as its first client,” according to Jeff Cain of MMA WEEKLY. The signing of Cerrone “isn’t Harvick’s first experience with the mixed martial arts industry.” MMA apparel company Tapout “sponsored Harvick’s Nationwide Series car driven by Elliot Sadler in last year’s March race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.” It was Tapout’s “first sponsorship outside of fighting.” KHI’s entrance into athlete management “could change the landscape of sponsorship deals” (, 6/20). The AP noted KHI since merging with Richard Childress Racing in '12 “has transferred its primary concentration to athletes and sponsors in and out of the auto racing industry," including Harvick, Cerrone, NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and golfer Jason Gore (AP, 6/20).