TMRW Sports, a venture founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, has aggregated investors from all over the sports world, and it's hard to imagine a more impressive list. Serena Williams, Lewis Hamilton, Steph Curry, Gareth Bale, Jayson Tatum, Chris Paul, Shohei Ohtani, Tony Romo, Justin Timberlake and Sidney Crosby are all among the lengthy list of folks who are backing TMRW Sports, a company that is "harnessing technology to build progressive approaches in sports, media and entertainment."
TMRW is the organization behind the upcoming TGL, a screen golf league that will launch in 2024 and feature PGA Tour players. If this initial group of backers -- which represents eight NBA titles, seven F1 world championships, 42 grand slams (tennis) and 21 Olympic medals -- is any indication, then TGL is going to have a long runway and a lot of high-powered support to find its footing.
"Over the past year we've assembled a team of investors who will help deliver on the TMRW Sports' mission to positively impact how sports are experienced in the future," said CEO (and co-founder) Mike McCarley in a statement.
"From the very beginning our plan has been to partner with the best-in-class in every way imaginable and Tiger, Rory, and I value the support of this unrivaled team of investors, advisors, and ambassadors who believe in our vision to harness technology to create progressive approaches to sports. Their combined broad reach and cultural relevance will expand potential opportunities and fanbases for TMRW projects. Plus, many share a passion for golf that only adds more fuel to TGL, our first project in partnership with the PGA Tour."
It is indeed a monumental list of investors Woods, McIlroy and McCarley have put together. What will be interesting is where the company goes from here. Do they expand beyond the TGL (which has yet to launch), or do they focus on that for several years and pour all of their resources into that league and push it as much as possible starting in January 2024?
The creation of the TGL, which was built in conjunction with the PGA Tour, was a direct response to the threat of LIV Golf. It's a shift from traditional PGA Tour protocol in which players were rarely able to engage in televised events in the U.S. without the Tour's blessing or some sort of monetary compensation (which was one of Phil Mickelson's grievances earlier this year and part of the reason he left for LIV). Instead, this will be a partnership with the PGA Tour and an opportunity for star golfers to earn money outside of the league's meritocratic structure.
Even more intriguing to me is how Woods transitions from his role as the greatest golfer of all time into business mogul. If we've learned anything about him from Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, it's that he loves to be involved and engaged on a micro level. He loves to be in the weeds more than most athletes of his stature. Will that remain true here, or will he be more hands off with this venture?
Regardless of the answer, it's clear that TMRW has the firepower to do pretty much whatever it wants in the near future. Though its mission is broad, it seems like much of that will be focused in the golf world, which is a great thing given who all is now involved with the company and what they could accomplish together.