The deals could not have been dismantled had Woods and Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG, not agreed to release the two sponsors. But in an e-mailed response to questions, Steinberg said he would not discuss Woods’s deals. And IMG declined to make available any of its executives, including Theodore J. Forstmann, the chairman.
“This was very clearly a decision by IMG to allow these sponsors to leave the fold,” said a person familiar with IMG’s decision making who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. “IMG is very sponsor friendly so it’s mutually beneficial when something like this happens for a sponsor to opt out. They had the right to say: ‘This is an extraordinary event. We don’t want this relationship.’ ”
This is fascinating since the few times (here and here) Steinberg has refuted media reports (not including his "give the kid a break" boondoggle), he's implied the media has been off-base and "abandoned principle" by reporting elements of the story. But if a majority of the media reports were as incorrect as Steinberg's testy replies implied, why cave so quickly on such lucrative deals?