Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy Launch New Tech Venture ‘TMRW Sports’

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy announced Tuesday that they have formed TMRW Sports in an effort to capitalize on the future of sports entertainment.

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In fact, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have been “business partners” since the beginning. Now they are finally putting a label on it.

On Tuesday, Woods and McIlroy announced the creation of the “TMRW Sports,” company concentrating on “technology-driven ventures that incorporate progressive approaches to sports, media and entertainment.” The two men founded the company alongside legendary NBC Sports producer Dick Ebersole and CEO Mike McCarley, who will oversee the execution of the firm’s vision.

It’s not yet known which areas of sports, media and entertainment it will focus on, although it makes sense that golf would be at the center. The announcement comes just days after Golf week reported that Woods and McIlroy were considering starting an arena-oriented golf skills competition to run alongside the PGA Tour.

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TMRW Sports marks the first official business agreement between the two players, but both have been involved in similar endeavors for some time. In the time since McIlroy’s rise to the golf consciousness in the late 2000s, Tiger and Rory have shared an equipment manufacturer (Nike, then TaylorMade) and an apparel sponsor (Nike again), in addition to their roles as two of the PGA Tour’s the most influential figures. All of this is to say nothing of the couple’s off-the-course business ventures, which include investments in golf entertainment companies. McIlroy’s Symphony Ventures investment portfolio includes a stake in Drive Shack’s Puttery, while Woods’ TGR Investments owns a stake in Popstroke.

“I am excited to work with TMRW Sports to give people more access to sports,” Woods said in a release announcing the creation of TMRW. “So many athletes, artists and people I meet from all walks of life share our passion for sports, but also share our desire to build a better future for the next generation of sports fans. Together, we can use technology to bring fresh approaches to the sports we love.”

In Ebersol and McCarley, the two golfers joined two of the biggest names in sports media, a pair of NBCUniversal darlings who have risen to high-level executive positions at the company. Ebersol, the former chairman of NBC Sports, is perhaps best known for his role in founding NBC Sunday night football and Saturday Night Live; two franchises that have served as pillars of the network’s brand over the past several decades. As the show’s executive producer, Ebersol oversaw OJAGrose to become the longest-running No. 1 show in American television history. Meanwhile, McCarley rose through the NBC marketing ranks to become president of the Golf Channel and later of NBC’s entire golf portfolio.

The growth of non-traditional sports broadcasts has exploded in recent years as content creators delve into “shoulder programming,” or programming that runs in addition to traditional network broadcasts. Some independent creators and larger sports media companies like Barstool Sports have found success introducing new voices to live content on Twitch, while networks have created larger amounts of real estate for non-traditional formats. The ESPN “Manningcast” report on Monday Night Football in the 2021 season, it won them an Emmy and has since been replayed on other network properties, while CBS’ Nickelodeon simulcasts over the past two NFL Wild Card weekends have drawn huge new audiences to the sport.

TMRW could try to replicate the success seen by the “Slimecasts” – or it could try to develop a new sports property all its own, a la Big3 basketball. This league, which was founded under similar circumstances (by Ice Cube along with legendary producer Jeff Kwatinetz), has seen rapid success as an offseason alternative to the NBA and is currently in the midst of its fifth season.

Whatever the case, in TMRW the two golfers now find themselves attached at the hip. Not that they never were.

“For the past few years off the course, I’ve been focused on helping lead golf into its digital future,” said McIlroy. “Now, by joining forces with Tiger, Mike and other TMRW Sports partners, we can shape the way media and technology enhance the sports experience.” In a world where technology gives us so many ways to use our time, we want to make sport more accessible to as many people as possible.”

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories to the website and magazine. He writes Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and leverages his broadcasting expertise on the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and obviously his golf game — is still thawing after four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a scholarship caddy (and keen looper) in Long Island, where he is from. You can reach him at [email protected]

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