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Mark Steinberg Joins Jeff Schwartz, Casey Close At Excel Sports Management

Just yesterday, Mark Steinberg officially decided his new agency destination after leaving IMG roughly a month-and-a-half ago. Steinberg had been the Director of IMG’s Global Golf Business and was responsible for the representation of Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, and other golfers. I had speculated for quite some time that Steinberg would seriously consider joining up with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), especially after the company recently hired Peter Bevacqua, former Chief Business Officer at the United States Golf Association, to develop new business for CAA’s Golf Division. Steinberg would have been a good fit at CAA, but oftentimes individuals do not choose an agency merely based on its size or benefits package.

Steinberg instead chose to become a member of Excel Sports Management, the ever growing basketball, baseball (with the additions of Casey Close and Victor Menocal), and now golf divisions. Tiger Woods will join Steinberg and become a new client of Excel Sports. Just prior to Steinberg making his announcement of joining up with Excel Sports, I had heard that he was also considering a move to another powerhouse РLagard̬re Unlimited. Perhaps Lagard̬re will continue to look for someone to grow its golf division.

Steinberg’s transition to Excel Sports makes perfect sense. He became acquainted with the people at IMG when he performed in a summer internship while in law school at the University of Illinois College of Law. He started working for IMG before he even graduated law school and did not stop until May of this year. While at IMG, he became close with guys like Jeff Schwartz and the aforementioned Casey Close, who respectively lead the basketball and baseball divisions at Excel Sports. As Steinberg stated to Darren Rovell of, he has known Schwartz and Close for roughly 20 years. He further stated,

“We grew up in the business together and I truly felt Excel was a perfect fit. We intend to be a multi-sport agency that is an ideal destination for top clients and corporations.”

While the additions of Casey Close and Victor Menocal earlier this year already made Excel Sports a company to keep a close eye on, its expansion into golf with the addition of Mark Steinberg makes an already intriguing company even more exciting to follow. I have a feeling that Excel Sports will be receiving a lot of internship applications for quite some time.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.