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Report: TGL to sell six franchises with league equity

More than 30 groups have shown interest in investing in the Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy-backed competition.

11 April 2023 Josh Sim

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  • Each team owner would acquire 3% of league equity, as well as a seat on the TGL’s board of governors
  • Tech-focused indoor golf league expected to debut next year

The TGL golf league backed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy is in discussions to sell six franchises, each of which include a three per cent equity stake in the competition, according to Sportico.

The league is being backed by TMRW Sports, the golf venture founded by Woods and McIlroy, whose other investors include Formula One icon Lewis Hamilton, National Basketball Association (NBA) star Steph Curry, and tennis legend Venus Williams.

TGL represents the first project launched by the group, which aims to use technological innovation and a shorter format to appeal to a wider audience.

Sportico reports that more than 30 groups have shown preliminary interest to TGL and Evolution Media Capital, the firm handling the sale process, in buying a team. Each of the six franchise owners would control a combined 18 per cent of the league’s equity, with TMRW retaining 54 per cent and the PGA Tour to own 18 per cent. The remaining ten per cent would then be held in a ‘Player Pool’.

According to the report, prospective ownership groups are required to have one control individual who would own a third of the team and 51 per cent of voting shares. The equity stake in TGL includes a pro rate share of any cash distributions and is accompanied by a seat on the board of governors. No target valuation or timeline has been provided for the bidding process as of yet.

Each team is expected to be designated a geographical affiliation, despite the competition being staged at a singular indoor facility at Palm Beach State College in South Florida. Sportico states that the chosen bidders will determine which city or regional zone will be represented.

TGL’s league-wide earnings sharing model is said to resemble the National Football League’s (NFL) structure, and is projected to allocate US$2.4 million per team in its inaugural year, with the amount predicted to reach US$7.6 million in ten years’ time.

The organisation is apparently reliant on the sale of its data and media rights, corporate partnerships, sports betting deals and match-day ticket sales to make up league-wide revenue, while it will also be responsible for the majority of player compensation, allowing each team to pay its three players a smaller base salary during the season.

Franchises will also be able to generate revenue through traditional methods such as sponsorship, ticket sales and merchandise, with team-specific revenue expected to grow from US$4.4 million in 2024 to US$13.3 million in 2033. Sportico adds that current talks are focused on ensuring each team breaking even during the TGL’s debut season.

The TGL is expected to begin on Monday nights from January to April next year. A typical game will last two hours and see teams of three golfers participate in singles and an alternative shot format. Fans will be able to affect course conditions throughout the match, with a key feature of the event being a large simulator screen.

As well as Woods and McIlroy, other golfing stars signed up for the league include Masters winner Jon Rahm and major winners Justin Rose and Collin Morikawa.

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