Golf Sports Agents

Doing It The Forstmann Way

In all walks of business, one creed remains constant. If you want to know where a company may be headed, if you want to know the underlying philosophy behind its otherwise sleekly polished mission statement, and most importantly, if you want to know where a company may or may not be vulnerable, look upwards. Way up. At IMG, the sports, entertainment, media superpower, look up and you’ll meet the steely glance of financier Ted Forstmann, a founding partner of Forstmann Little & Company, a private equity firm that acquired IMG for $750 million in late 2004. Forstmann’s vision for the mega-firm can be gleaned while reading New York Times writer Richard Sandomir’s January 12, 2007 in-depth (registration required) look at the 66 year old, lifelong bachelor, whose heart belongs simultaneously to both leveraged buyouts (RJR Nabisco) and Hollywood glamour (Elizabeth Hurley). Say and feel what you want about IMG, but there is no doubting the practical financial turnaround orchestrated by “Teddy.” Forstmann’s bottom-line mantra took the firm from over $200 million in debt to over $100 million in the black. And it will be interesting to see how Forstmann’s relatively impersonal reorganization of the company (he lost some key employees from the Mark McCormack era–including Tom Condon (football) and Casey Close (baseball)–while hiring new ones, and shifted the firm’s overall emphasis towards new media mediums, effectively creating the arguably awkward situation where IMG-managed outlets were covering the very athletes the firm was representing) both affects and influences the long-term landscape of the company, as well as the entire sports and event management industry per se.

In the spirit of IMG (the overall leading talent management agency for both golf and tennis), and also the final leg of the PGA Tour’s first-ever “playoffs,” which culminates this weekend with The Tour Championship and the (for the time being) unusually choppy greens of the famed East Lake Country Club outside of Atlanta, the following is a list of the primary agents (and their respective companies), representing the 30-man field competing for the $35 million pot of deferred FedEx Cup money. It is interesting to note that while IMG (and specifically agent Clarke Jones) dominates the list, there are plenty of other management and marketing entities representing the world’s elite golfers. (Note: While I am fairly certain of the names that follow, there may be some errors, reflected by inter-agency changes and other factors. So if any of our readers know of any omissions or corrections that should be made, please do not hesitate to email me so that the list can be corrected. Big thanks to Peter Webb of Gaylord Sports Management for helping me here!)

Robert Allenby – Clarke Jones or John Wagner – IMG
Woody Austin – Kevin Canning – Goal Marketing
Aaron Baddeley – Paul Galli and Jens Beck – Pro-Sports Management
Jonathan Byrd – Mac Barnhardt – Crown Sports Management
Mark Calcavecchia – David Yates – Gaylord Sports Management
K.J. Choi – Michael Yim – IMG
Stewart Cink – Lynn Roach – Players Group
Tim Clark – Thomas Parker – Professional Advisory Group
Ernie Els – Andrew “Chubby” Chandler – ISM
Jim Furyk – Andrew Witlieb – Goal Marketing
Sergio Garcia – Clarke Jones – IMG
Padraig Harrington – Clarke Jones – IMG
Charles Howell III – Thomas Parker – Professional Advisory Group
Zach Johnson – Brad Buffoni – SFX
Hunter Mahan – Peter Malik – IMG
Phil Mickelson – Steve Loy – Gaylord Sports Management
Geoff Ogilvy – Paul Galli – Pro-Sports Management
John Rollins – David Maraghy – Sports Management International
Justin Rose – Marcus Day – 4 Sports & Entertainment
Rory Sabbatini – Bud Martin – SFX
Adam Scott – TASC Australia PTY, Ltd.
Vijay Singh – Clarke Jones – IMG
Heath Slocum – Robert Kreusler – Blue Giraffe Sports
Brandt Snedeker – Mac Barnhardt – Crown Sports Management
Steve Stricker – Mark Steinberg – IMG
Scott Verplank – Bud Martin – SFX
Camilo Villegas – Clarke Jones – IMG
Boo Weekley – Mac Barnhardt/Jimmy Johnston – Crown Sports Management
Brett Wetterich – John Mascatello – SFX
Tiger Woods – Mark Steinberg – IMG

– Jason G. Wulterkens

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