2004: New golf leadership for IMG
By Dave Seanor
In a continuing restructuring of sports management giant IMG in the post-Mark McCormack era, Mark Steinberg and Guy Kinnings have been promoted to senior vice presidents in charge of the company’s golf division.
Steinberg and Kinnings will share most of the responsibilities previously held by Alastair Johnston, who ran IMG’s golf division before being promoted to co-CEO with Robert Kain after the May 16, 2003, death of IMG founder McCormack.
Steinberg, 36, will continue to manage the business affairs of Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam. The London-based Kinnings, 40, has been handling IMG’s top European clients.
“I’ll be relieved of a lot of day-to-day responsibilities,” said Johnston, 55. “I’ve been a very hands-on manager in the golf division, but now I have more CEO-type of things to do.”
Those tasks are ever-increasing. IMG bills itself as “the world’s largest sports and lifestyle marketing and management company.” Headquartered in Cleveland, IMG has 70 offices in 30 countries. The company represents athletes, television personalities, fashion models, musicians and authors. Its television division, TWI, is the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports programming.
“We’re in a very dominating position in the field, and we want to stay ahead of the field,” said Johnston. “The time to make changes is when you’re doing well, not when you’re dealing with a distressed situation.”
Steinberg will focus his activities on operations in North America, South America, Japan and parts of Asia. Kinnings will be responsible for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. They jointly will oversee roughly 200 employees in IMG’s golf division.
“It’s a good combination of experience, ambition and creativity,” Johnston said of the Steinberg-Kinnings combo. “That’s what we look for.”
Steinberg, who prefers to keep a low profile as the go-to guy for Woods and Sorenstam, has been with IMG for 12 years. He earned his law degree from the University of Illinois, where he played basketball as an undergrad.
Kinnings joined the firm 15 years ago, beginning in its London legal division. He’s a graduate of Keble College in Oxford and Guildford University law school. His clients include Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn and Retief Goosen.