Nov 3, 2022 - Sports

Woods and McIlroy get high-profile investors to join TMRW Sports

TMRW rendering

A rendering of the proposed TGL venue. Graphic: Courtesy of TMRW Sports

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's TMRW Sports, a tech-focused company set to launch a virtual golf league in 2024, announced its first round of investors on Wednesday.

Driving the news: Among the 50+ high-profile investors were 26 active or retired athletes, along with a handful of team owners.

  • Athletes include Steph Curry, Alex Morgan, Josh Allen, Lewis Hamilton, Serena Williams, Shohei Ohtani and Sidney Crosby.
  • Owners include Arthur Blank (Falcons), John Henry (Red Sox) and David Blitzer (76ers, Devils, et al).

What they're saying: "There was ... a clear vision [among investors] for how technology can really help make sports more accessible and culturally relevant to new groups of fans," said Mike McCarley, TMRW's co-founder and CEO, who is also president of the Golf Channel.

Between the lines: TMRW's only tangible plan at the moment is TGL, a virtual golf league set to launch in partnership with the PGA Tour in January 2024.

  • Format: 15 regular-season matches and playoffs, with each match lasting just two hours and airing on Monday nights in primetime.
  • Venue: The planned facility (see rendering above) will combine virtual (longer shots) and real golf (an actual green for chipping and putting).
  • Teams: Six teams of three PGA Tour golfers are expected to compete, but Woods and McIlroy are the only two confirmed so far.

State of play: TGL was one of many announcements made on the eve of this summer's Tour Championship, all part of the PGA Tour's ongoing battle with LIV Golf.

The backdrop: The intersection of golf and technology has been fertile ground for investors recently.

  • McIlroy himself invested $10 million last year in Drive Shack, a Topgolf competitor, as the latter has continued growing rapidly.
  • Puttshack, a tech-infused mini golf experience from Topgolf's founders, received $150 million in growth capital from BlackRock last month.
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