The Loop

Steinberg, Tiger join Excel Sports

July 11, 2011

An overheated rumor mill regarding a Tiger Woods announcement failed to deliver anything remotely approaching the hype it generated. Woods and his agent Mark Steinberg have joined a new agency. Yawn.

For the record, they are joining Excel Sports Management, which also represents baseball's Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard and basketball's Paul Pierce and Blake Griffin. Steinberg left IMG in May, after which Woods had announced he was staying with Steinberg and thus leaving IMG as well.

The hype began on Twitter on Sunday, when the Golf Channel posted that "a special announcement involving Tiger Woods" was forthcoming on Monday morning. NBC Sports then indicated that Woods would make the announcement in an interview with the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman.

Speculation ran rampant on the Internet. The most popular theory was that Woods would announce that he was ending his season to allow his injuries to heal in full.

On Monday morning, Golf Channel removed the Twitter post, then posted on its website that Tilghman would be interviewing Steinberg "about his business endeavors," AFP reported.

At the prescribed hour, 11 a.m. (EDT), Golf Channel's Rich Lerner read this statement from Steinberg:

"After meeting with a number of agencies and businesses, I decided Excel was the perfect fit. I'm excited to serve as a partner in an agency positioned for growth and look forward to working with Jeff (Schwartz) and Casey (Close) to build this business. It's clear Excel is truly setting the bar for focused sports management while maintaining the access and service of bigger agencies. It is a tremendous opportunity to be a part of this team as it continues to set itself apart from the competition."

OK, back to ESPN2 and the U.S. Women's Open.

-- *John Strege *