Woods has a close relationship with Steinberg, a reserve on the Illinois basketball team that went to the Final Four in 1989. If he were to leave IMG and stay with Steinberg, it likely would not make much of a difference in his golf schedule or even his endorsements, as Steinberg did most of that work.
Steinberg has been actively seeking an endorsement for Woods' bag since late last fall.
What is not mentioned here is IMG's role in operating worldwide professional tournaments, many of which pay lucrative appearance fees. No longer having the relationship with IMG has to impact Steinberg's ability to land such fees for his players, no?
Ron Sirak breaks down the news with some surprising details that suggest this happened very abruptly.
The sources say Steinberg entered contract talks with IMG on Tuesday fully expecting to negotiate a new deal for his pact that expires in June. However, those talks quickly reached an impasse and Steinberg left, perhaps after being offered a contract the company knew he would turn down, sources say.
They made him an offer he could very easily refuse.
Sirak also says the decision to drop Steinberg and likely shedding Woods with the move may be tied to a bigger picture deal for IMG.
When Fortsmann Little Inc., purchased IMG for $750 million after the death of McCormack in 2003, it was assumed they there doing so in order to turn the company over at a profit. Fortsmann streamlined the company, laying off people and jettisoning unprofitable divisions, but had yet to sell it before his illness forced him to step aside as head of IMG. Sources also say that Fortsmann and Woods were not close.
The departure of Steinberg -- and the assumed departure of Woods -- clears up that matter from hanging over any impending sale. If Fostmann Little wants to sell IMG, it now can do so with the knowledge that Woods will not be part of the deal.
Here is the official release on the reorganization at IMG. And no, Dan Jenkins did not write this and name one of the two new leaders of the division.
IMG REORGANIZES GLOBAL GOLF BUSINESS
NEW YORK, May 24, 2011—IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, announced today the reorganization of its global golf business.
The company has named Guy Kinnings, Senior Vice President of European Golf operations and Robbie Henchman, Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific Golf operations as the new co-heads of IMG Golf. Alastair Johnston, vice chairman of IMG, will oversee the business of the Division.