Agent Spotlight: Mark Steinberg

Mark Steinberg is a partner at Excel Sports Management where he heads the professional golf division and prior to that led the global golf division of the corporate sports agency IMG.

He has been representing some of the games top golfers since 1992.

Steinberg attended the University of Illinois as an undergraduate and then attended law school at the schools College of Law.

Steinberg is best known as Tiger Woods’ agent and he has negotiated the golfers’ endorsement deals with American Express, Buick, EA Sports, Nike and Tag Heuer watches worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

He also represents Annika Sörenstam, the former No. 1 woman golfer in the world and negotiated big endorsement deals for her with Callaway, Cutter & Buck, Mercedes, Kraft and Cutter & Buck and Kraft.

He is known as one of the three or four most powerful people in professional golf.

IMG

While attending law school at the University Of Illinois College Of Law, Steinberg interned at IMG and in 1992 he joined IMG as a full time employee where he started out working in both team sports and golf.

In 1993 Steinberg signed golfers Michelle McGann and Karrie Webb and in 1994 he recruited Annika Sörenstam to IMG.

After Sörenstam won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1995 it catapulted both Sörenstam and Steinberg into a new level of prominence.

In 1998 at the ripe young age of 30, Tiger Woods retained Steinberg as his agent.

Steinberg is involved in many duties as Woods agent including advising him on:

  • Managing His Public Image
  • Managing His Schedule
  • Managing His Finances

During Woods sex scandal in 2009, Steinberg was involved in managing the media access to his client during the media frenzy that followed the early morning car accident at his home in Florida.

EXCEL SPORTS MANAGEMENT

In July of 2011, Steinberg parted ways with IMG and after meeting with a number of agencies and businesses including Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and Lagardère Unlimited but he decided that Excel was the perfect fit and joined the firm as a partner.

Not surprisingly, he took Tiger Woods with him.

Until April of 2011, Excel was a strictly basketball agency representing such NBA stars as:

  • Paul Pierce
  • Kevin Love
  • Kemba Walker
  • Deron Williams
  • Blake Griffin

While at IMG, he became close with Jeff Schwartz and Casey Close, who now lead the basketball and baseball divisions at Excel.

CLIENTS

Since Steinberg joined Excel he has continued to build the golf division of the company.

In addition to Tiger Woods Steinberg represents:

  • Three-Time PGA Tour Winner Matt Kuchar
  • Danielle Kang
  • Gary Woodland
  • Cheyenne Woods, Tigers Niece
  • Top-Ranked Amateur Golfer In The World Patrick Cantlay

MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF BEING A SPORTS AGENT

Steinberg was once asked “What is the most important aspect of being a sports agent?”

The first words out of his mouth were “HonestyandIntegrity.”

In addition he said that Athletes in general sometimes feel that people take advantage of them since they make a lot of money and that he has learned to be:

  • Honest
  • Tell The Truth.
  • Speak Your Opinion
  • Be A Straight Shooter
  • Be Fair
  • Don’t Take Advantage Of Your Clients

In addition to being an agent, Steinberg sits or has sat on the following boards:

  • Tiger Woods Foundation Board of Governors
  • Annika Sörenstam Foundation Board
  • Cleveland Sports Commission

Steinberg once said: “Sports seems like a very sexy profession to get involved in and everybody seems to want to be a sports agent. Getting involved in sports or being a sports agent is very rare. More often then not, the first job that you get is not going to be the job for the rest of your career. I think that people need to be flexible and open minded about getting involved in a specific career in sports. You always hear people saying, “I want to get involved in sports” and there is so much that you can do within the sports industry. What you should do is go work for a league, team, or a union because there is a tremendous amount of opportunity in sport and entertainment. You need to really widen your scope and expand your horizon and see what you can come up with.”

He also said that if you work hard, you will have a very successful career.

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