Posted on: August 9, 2011 4:52 pm
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Under a tree today at Atlanta Athletic Club, Mark Steinberg and Steve Williams had a lengthy discussion about, gee, we can't possibly imagine.
Here's a photo from Atlanta television station WSB-TV.
Steinberg, the agent for Tiger Woods, is the one on the left with his hands on his hips. Williams, Woods' longtime and embittered former caddie, has his arms crossed on the right.
Write your own photo caption. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall for this meeting, which a WSB reporter said lasted between 15-20 minutes.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 4:14 pm
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- This is why Paul Azinger has become such a popular TV broadcaster.
The former Ryder Cup captain and major-championship winner, appearing on a Tampa sports radio outlet, summarized the Steve Williams and Tiger Woods feud better than anybody when he cut to the heart about what seemed so distasteful about the caddie's inflammatory, post-round comments Sunday night.
Williams had just finished caddying for Bridgestone Invitational winner Adam Scott, who had won in dominant fashion against one of the deepest fields of the year, but he turned it into a platform to vent his feelings about Woods.
"The old joke is when the player plays good the caddie says, 'we,'" Azinger told Tampa's WDAE radio. "But when the player plays bad, the caddie says 'he.' In this case the player played great and the caddie said 'I.'"
Azinger said the brushfire that broke out after Williams aired his laundry affirms and underscores where Woods is held in the public pantheon. To him, interviewing Williams was absolutely the proper thing to do.
"What it shows you is that Tiger Woods is a real lightning rod," Azinger said. "There’s a lot of emotion still wrapped up in whether you really like Tiger or can’t stand him. A lot of people have not liked Steve Williams through the years. He has not been a popular person amongst the players and the caddies, necessarily, and that’s OK -- he’s got a work ethic and people don’t like winners a lot of times.
"This situation was unique. I believe Stevie should’ve been interviewed. I wanted Adam Scott to win so I could hear what Stevie said in regard. It was as much what he said that did the damage. It became a 'me, me, me' or 'I, I, I' fest and he didn’t say how great Adam Scott played.
"When he said it was the greatest week of my life, I don’t know how anybody could believe that, and it just shows you there is a lot of bitterness and animosity towards Tiger still and the way he was let go [fired]. Probably some of it is justified, but he should’ve given Adam Scott his props and then lit Tiger up and I think everybody would’ve thought differently."
Azinger was asked whether Woods has many friends or allies left.
“I know that he has to be angry at the media that tore him down," Azinger said. "He’s got to be angry at himself first. He’s dealing with the worst of all possible emotions and that is shame, and he’s not healthy.
"Who are his friends? I mean [his agent], Mark Steinberg? Come on."
The show host, Steve Dueming, interjected, "He doesn’t have anybody."
"Well, he brought it on himself,” Azinger said.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 6:29 pm
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a scenario that some had posed last week, potentially casting aside Tiger Woods as a client won't exactly take a heavy toll at IMG, the sports-management giant that has represented the fading former No. 1 since he turned pro in 1996.
Woods and his agent apparently were too expensive to keep.
According to a report in Sports Business Journal, the income generated by Woods for IMG had fallen to $1.1 million in 2010, after the sex scandal had hit, and that wasn't nearly enough to offset the contract and annnual bonuses of his longtime agent, Mark Steinberg.
Steinberg's contract was up for renewal and last week, but IMG severed ties rather than renew.
IMG agreed to a reduced percentage with Woods on his endorsement earnings, and as his deals disappeared in the wake of his scandal and lackluster play, the income dollars dwindled. The source cited in the SBJ report stated that IMG cleared $7.8 million on Woods' endorsement earnings in 2007 but that the number cratered after the scandals hit and he lost rich deals with Gatorade, AT&T, Accenture and others.
The source told SBJ that Steinberg "would have made about $3 million this year in salary and bonuses, significantly more than the fees Woods would have generated."
Management agencies negotiate the percentage of athletes' endorsement deals that are withheld. The reduced percentage Woods paid to IMG was less than the standard figure, but the management firm made up for it in sheer volume.
Woods hasn't stated whether he will remain with IMG or retain Steinberg as his agent, and Steinberg hasn't announced his future intentions, either, although he was free to do so starting Wednesday, when a stipulation in his IMG contract expired.
An IMG spokesman confirmed Wednesday that Sherry Whay, another longtime IMG agent who represented players such as Chris DiMarco and Retief Goosen in the past, also left the firm.