The PGA Tour, one of the world’s most prestigious golf organizations, is attracting interest from potential outside investors. According to sources familiar with the matter, Endeavor Group Holdings and Fenway Sports Group are considering investing in the PGA Tour. These potential investors may make a rival pitch to the proposed deal by the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The discussions are in the preliminary stages and are a result of the PGA Tour’s investment vehicle created as part of the framework agreement for its proposed deal with the PIF. The PIF, controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, finances LIV Golf, a rival organization that the PGA Tour plans to merge with.
However, both Endeavor and Fenway are reportedly exploring the possibility of a rival offer. Bloomberg has reported on their interest in investing in the PGA Tour. Details of their potential investment and how it would rival or coincide with the PIF’s proposal are yet to be disclosed.
A PGA Tour spokesperson commented on the matter, saying, “Throughout 2023, the PGA Tour has demonstrated its strength, reach, and value as an enterprise. Our focus continues to be on finalizing an agreement with the Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour, however, our negotiations have resulted in unsolicited interest from other investors.”
Representatives for Endeavor and Fenway declined to comment on the matter.
The proposed deal between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf has faced criticism and controversy. It is currently under investigation by a Senate subcommittee due to concerns about Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations and the accusations of “sportswashing” – using sports to divert attention from controversial issues.
Endeavor, a major global entertainment, sports, and content company, recently completed the combination of its UFC and World Wrestling Entertainment brands, forming a newly merged company called TKO. Fenway Sports Group, on the other hand, is an investment firm that supports prominent sports franchises such as the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As the discussions between the PGA Tour and potential investors are still in the early stages, it remains to be seen how this development will shape the future of the organization. The PGA Tour and its members will ultimately make the decision on the final investment structure, regardless of whether it includes the PIF or alternative investors.