The PGA Tour has a new financial partner, Strategic Sports Group, as it launches PGA Tour Enterprises, a for-profit organization that will allow professional tour players to receive income. A total of $3 billion comes from an organization you associate with. ‘You are more famous than you think. Regardless, here’s more information on who is sponsoring the trip.
If ever there was a deal to rival the dollar and the Saudi Public Investment Fund, it’s this one. Comprising active and former owners of other sports, Strategic Sports Group (SSG) has executives worth more than $60 billion combined, including titan Steve Cohen ($20 billion) and Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank ($8 billion). If you’ve watched a single minute of American football in the past decade, you’ve likely seen one of SSG’s team members.
Along with Cohen and Blank, who also own the New York Mets and Atlanta Falcons, respectively, the other members of the union are members of the sports teams. John Henry and Tom Werner of Fenway Sports Group own the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins and Liverpool Premier League teams. Mark Attanasio is the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Thomas Ricketts is the owner of the Chicago Cubs. Wyc Grousbeck is the owner of the Boston Celtics. Gerry Cardinale is the main Italian owner of AC Milan through RedBird Capital Partners and was one of the founders of the New York Yankees’ YES Network. Marc Lasry is the former owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
You may have seen some of these names attached to golf in the past few months in discussions about TGL, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s indoor golf league partnership with the PGA Tour. Blank (Atlanta), Cohen (New York), Fenway Sports Group (Boston) and Lasry (San Francisco) own four of the six franchises that will start the tournament next year. There is undoubtedly a lot of familiarity between the PGA Tour, its players and their teams in the discussion.
Yes and no. The major American sports leagues – NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL – are all non-profit organizations made up of independent franchises. The PGA Tour is a non-profit organization, which limits its ability to take outside funding. Those organizations make money by making broadcasting and licensing agreements directly. A close analog would be Formula One or Major League Soccer. These leagues are owned by for-profit organizations. They can make money like before – television, licensing, tickets – and take in foreign money to help pay for everything from expansion to player payments. Liberty Media, a publicly traded company, bought the Formula One team from a group of investment companies in 2017. The MLS giant sells licenses to franchisees to run their teams, and the league has all player contracts. Franchise “owners” like David Beckham have the most money in the league.
But even those examples are not in the same container as the PGA Tour’s partnership with SSG in which a non-profit organization turns its commercial business into a for-profit partnership with an outside organization. In this case, the PGA Tour as it is currently structured will be the governing body for organizing and managing events and establishing rules for players to participate, and the for-profit side will be tasked with making money for the game-through sponsorships, publications. -freedom, licensing and many other ways that players around the world thrive. This funding structure gives the PGA Tour the ability to use outside money to give players a handle on the profitable industry and more skin in the game, so to speak, while enhancing the business acumen of the leaders of other professional sports. league. It also leaves the door open for additional funding from other outside groups, most notably the PIF, with which the PGA Tour continues to negotiate a deal.
The commercial value of this partnership is similar to what other golf professionals have already realized. The LPGA Tour partnered with Fenway Sports Group last summer to use the FSG network to carry out its promotions. Entering the FSG tournament — and spreading the word about the LPGA through FSG-driven champions like LeBron James — expands the size of the sport’s fish bowl. The PGA Tour is making a similar (but larger) bet.