Co-founders Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Founder, CEO Mike McCarley
Tiger Woods’ and Rory McIlroy’s new sports startup — which is already planning a new golf league — is drawing some big-name investors.
TMRW (pronounced “tomorrow”) Sports announced on Wednesday a new investment group that includes basketball great Stephen Curry, race car driver Lewis Hamilton, women’s soccer player Alex Morgan, pro football’s Tony Romo and Josh Allen, Justin Timberlake and Serena Williams, in addition to several professional team sports owners.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We wanted a group of people who have a vision for how technology can help make sports more accessible and culturally relevant and attract new and different groups of fans — and that’s ultimately younger fans, and families,” Mike McCarley, CEO and co-founder of TMRW Sports, told CNBC.
Read more sports coverage
Pro sports owners who have taken a stake include Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner David Blitzer, Minnesota Vikings owner Mark Wilf and Boston Red Sox co-owners John Henry and Tom Warner.
TMRW Sports’ first project is its TGL golf league, which was launched in partnership with the PGA Tour this summer and comes as professional golf is being disrupted by the arrival of upstart league LIV Golf. TMRW Sports is looking to draw in younger sports fans with a format that makes the golf league more compatible with prime-time television.
McCarley said the company sought investors who were passionate about golf and would represent a diversity of expertise and backgrounds in media and entertainment.
TMRW Sports said members of the new investment group accumulatively have received 40 Emmy awards, 10 Grammy awards, and 21 Olympic gold medals, and have played in 32 NBA All-Star Games, eight NBA championship series, 16 NFL Pro Bowls and 26 Grand Slam singles.
“So many athletes, entertainers, and people I meet from all walks of life share our passion for sports, but they also share our desire to build a better future for the next generation of sports fans,” Woods said in August, when TMRW Sports was launched.
The announcement came after the Saudi-funded LIV Golf had drawn many PGA Tour golfers with bigger prize money and a less rigorous schedule. In response, the tour has increased its own prize money and sought new ways to win over fans.
McCarley said TGL has not signed a media deal, but is currently in talks about broadcasting rights.
Rendering of the custom built arena where the TGL golf league will play.
He said he’s collaborating with Woods and McIlroy on everything from the format of the events to the scoring. They are also looking at ways technology could enhance the game, such as a virtual course that will bring the game indoors, eliminate worries about weather conditions and provide real-time stats.
Woods and McIlroy are the first two golfers committed to compete in the league’s inaugural season, set to kick off in January 2024. McCarley said they are recruiting others and will be making additional player announcements soon.
Competition will only be open to PGA Tour golfers.