Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s TGL golf league partners with Fanatics on team merchandise
Fanatics founder and CEO Michael Rubin at his office in New York.
The Washington Post | Getty Images
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s indoor golf league, TGL, has signed a multiyear partnership with e-commerce giant Fanatics.
The deal will give Fanatics the rights to design and manufacture league-wide and team-specific merchandise for TGL as the official licensee. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Fanatics founder and CEO Michael Rubin made a separate, personal investment in TMRW Sports in April.
“Fanatics is uniquely positioned to help bring to life TGL’s vision of connecting golf through technology and culture, and will provide fans access with a rapid online and mobile commerce platform that helps them connect with their favorite new teams and golfers,” Brian Swallow, Fanatics senior vice president of strategy and business development, said in a statement.
Fanatics said it will provide a new online store that will allow fans to showcase their passion for the new league and teams.
Team names and brands will be unveiled later this fall, the league said.
Fanatics will serve as TGL’s official operator for e-commerce platforms.
The league has attracted other big investors and team owners, including Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Boston Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner, entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, tennis phenoms Serena and Venus Williams and New York Mets owner and hedge fund manager Steve Cohen.
On Thursday, it announced a new ownership team led by Marc Lasry and Steph Curry.
TGL and parent company TMRW Sports, co-founded by Woods, McIlroy and former NBC Sports executive Mike McCarley, is looking to take team golf primetime at a time when the sport is undergoing big changes following a proposed deal between Saudi-backed LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Mike McCarley, left to right.
The burgeoning league signed a multiyear media rights deal with ESPN earlier this month and will air a preview match on ABC on Dec. 30, followed by its inaugural match Jan. 9.
“I would equate the Fanatics relationship in a similar way to the way ESPN is helping us reach sports fans,” said McCarley. “Fanatics is where sports fans live when they are going to make their purchase decisions about their fandom — just like ESPN is the place that sports fans think up first when they want to tune in to sports and sports content.”
TGL events, in partnership with the PGA Tour, will take place at a custom-built course in Palm Beach County, Florida, and will pit some of the best golfers in the world against one another in a team format.
The inaugural match in January will be broadcast live and will have a live audience at the venue.
Already, 24 PGA Tour stars, accounting for 223 PGA Tour wins between them, have committed to TGL’s debut season in January.
McCarley said Woods is expecting to play when the league kicks off. The 47-year-old golf great has been hampered by various injuries since a 2021 car accident.
“All indications are that he’s on the mend and able to bounce back to the form that we all know and love and appreciate,” McCarley told CNBC.
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