Arthur Blank’s AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE) has secured the rights to the third franchise in TGL, the new Monday night golf league developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s TMRW Sports in association with the PGA Tour.
It will be the third Atlanta sports franchise in AMBSE’s portfolio after the NFL’s Falcons and MLS’ Atlanta United. TGL previously announced that Alexis Ohanian and Serena and Venus Williams bought that Los Angeles franchise, while Fenway Sports Group secured a franchise for Boston.
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“We run the biggest one [specialty] golf retail in the world today,” Blank said in a conference call with several reporters. “[TGL] really fit into our bandwidth.”
Blank already has a close connection to the PGA — he owns the PGA Tour Superstore, which will have 66 locations by the end of the year and reach more than seven million customers annually. “Their brand is on the outside of our stores and on the inside of our stores and culturally woven throughout our businesses,” Blank said, referring to the PGA Tour. The company’s revenue has increased more than 50% since 2019, and it handled 205,000 club fixtures in 2022.
Blank also serves on the board of First Tee, the youth golf development organization. He sees TGL as another opportunity to “evolve the game.”
Blank said the colors of the new TGL team will “unsurprisingly” be red and black, like his MLS and NFL teams. A team name is coming soon; Blank joked that he didn’t have a name for Home Depot, which he co-founded, until two months before the first store opened.
The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. Blank said the investment was “significant” and that he expects the company to be profitable. Each founding club will hold a 3% stake in the single-entity league and will participate in TGL-wide revenue sharing, according to a investor deck seen earlier this year by Sportico.
Dick Sullivan, CEO of PGA Tour Superstore, will oversee AMBSE’s TGL entry.
TGL is the first venture from TMRW Sports, launched last year by Woods, McIlroy and former NBC Sports executive Mike McCarley, who serves as CEO of TMRW and TGL. TMRW has one deep list of investors from the sports and entertainment world. Blank, like the investors in the first two TGL franchises, was an early supporter of TMRW. These investments are separate from their TGL agreements.
The TGL kicks off in January with six teams of three golfers each competing on a purpose-built course in Palm Beach, Florida. The matches will feature simulator technology for drives and approach shots, while any shot within 50 yards of the green will play out. live in front of fans during a two-hour primetime event. There will be 15 games in the regular season plus playoffs. “It’s fast, fast-paced, really designed for today’s fans,” McCarley said.
Twelve golfers have already committed to TGL, including Woods, McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Rickie Fowler. The golfers will share in a player equity pool that holds 10% of the league.
—Additional reporting of Eben Novy-Williams
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