LeBron James, Drake, Chris Pratt personally investing in PGA Tour’s new enterprise, per report

The PGA Tour recently received a massive investment from the Strategic Sports Group — a collection of billionaire team owners — for up to $3 billion as it moves forward with its new for-profit entity, PGA Enterprises, in a battle for men’s professional golf supremacy against LIV Golf. 

At first, it seemed as if this investment came only from this group of billionaire owners; however, big-name celebrities like Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, rapper Drake and Hollywood actor Chris Pratt are among the personal investors for this new enterprise, according to the New York Times.

This is fascinating, and again, though some of the folks involved are also invested in Fenway Sports Group (which is part of the SSG), it is clear that these investments are completely separate from Fenway’s bigger one. 

Though PGA Tour players have retained a majority of board seats at the new PGA Tour Enterprises, they said they will lean on their investor as they try to grow their business. Originally, it was presumed that meant simply wealthy team owners who had success in business, but LeBron and Drake could feasibly weigh in on both the business and entertainment side now, too.

From the Times: 

James and Drake are committing additional capital as “strategic investors,” and are expected to use their marketing power to help the tour broaden its audience. James and the PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, were at the home of Tom Werner, F.S.G.’s chairman, recently discussing just that, DealBook hears.

“And partnering with SSG — a group with extensive experience and investment across sports, media and entertainment — will enhance our organization’s ability to make the sport more rewarding for players, tournaments, fans and partners,” said Monahan at the time the deal closed in early February.

In addition to the investment from the SSG, the Tour continues to negotiate with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which funds LIV and with whom the Tour has a framework agreement in place for the PIF to invest in the Tour. PIF would be an additional investor alongside SSG, as well as individuals like Drake, James and Pratt, who were part of the SSG deal.

“I’d love to work out a deal with the PIF and let them come in as an investor and I don’t know what that looks like, maybe it’s FedEx Cup from January through August and then we have some fun in the fall, whether that’s what we currently have plus a few team events,” PGA Tour player director Webb Simpson recently told Golfweek

“I have no idea. That’s something that we talked about, we’ve got to get going on, really diving in and seeing what could work.”


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