Billionaire Marc Lasry’s investment fund and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry are buying a team in the new golf league founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
(Bloomberg) — Billionaire Marc Lasry’s investment fund and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry are buying a team in the new golf league founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Lasry, a former co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Curry lead a group of investors buying the fifth team in TGL, a six-team league that is set to begin play in January. Curry’s teammate Klay Thompson and former teammate Andre Iguodala are also investing in the yet-to-be-named franchise, which will represent San Francisco.
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“It’s really the future of golf,” said Lasry, co-founder and chairman of the investment firm Avenue Capital Group, in an interview Thursday. He expects the new league “will be one of the most popular things on TV” in five years.
Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed. This is the first investment for Avenue’s new dedicated sports fund, which will make investments in leagues and teams across the globe. Lasry sold his 25% stake in the Bucks in April.
TGL plans to play weeknights at a venue being built on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Florida. Twenty-four players, including Woods, McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas have committed to play in the league. Players will take tee shots and fairway swings using a golf simulator and then move to indoor greens with adaptable bunkers and topographies.
TGL is a partnership between TMRW Sports — a startup launched last year by Woods, McIlroy and former NBC Sports executive Mike McCarley — and the PGA Tour.
Each franchise will hold a 3% share in the venture, with players collectively holding a 10% stake, according to a person familiar with the league who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. The PGA Tour initially backed TGL while it was still trying to beat back competition for top talent from the upstart LIV Tour before the two agreed to join forces. McCarley said the proposed merger hasn’t affected TGL’s plans.
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TGL has announced four other franchises and ownership groups: Atlanta, led by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank; Boston led by John Henry, Tom Werner, Mike Gordon of Fenway Sports Group; Los Angeles led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian with Serena and Venus Williams; and New York led by Mets owner Steve Cohen.
TGL has yet to parcel out players between teams. The first match is set for Jan. 9.
Earlier this month, TGL announced a naming rights deal for its venue with online lender SoFi Technologies Inc. and a media rights deal with ESPN, which will broadcast matches on its cable channels and ESPN+ streaming service.
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