Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman have invested in TMRW Sports, the latest prominent celebrities to back the platform launched last year by golfers Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Durant and Kleiman are participating through their fund, Thirty Five Ventures, while Wade and O’Neal are investing on their own. They’ve joined backers from a recent TMRW funding round, the company’s first for outside capital, which was comprised of more than 65 athletes, team owners, entrepreneurs and VC firms.
From basketball alone, TMRW investors include Steph Curry, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Andre Iguodala, Jayson Tatum, and Diana Taurasi.
“The broadening appeal of what we are building with TMRW Sports continues to gain momentum,” co-founder and CEO Mike McCarley said in a statement. “As champions, they understand what it takes to build a great team. And I welcome their leadership, insight, and enthusiasm for what we’re developing as we reimagine sports through the lens of a new generation of connected fans. Plus, I can’t wait for the company pickup games.”
It’s unclear how much money the trio invested or how TMRW Sports was valued in the deal.
TMRW Sports, pronounced “tomorrow sports,” was founded in 2022 by Woods, McIlroy and McCarley, a former Golf Channel executive, with the aim of using technology and new media to push sports into the future. Its first project, a golf league called TGL, is expected to debut in 2024. TGL will feature teams of golfers competing in a custom-built Florida venue every Monday night, which is a significant departure from the multi-day, 18-hole tournaments that are typical for the sport.
O’Neal, Wade and Durant/Kleiman are all already prominent investors in sports and tech. O’Neal, who once owned a small piece of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, was an early Google investor. His portfolio includes dozens of restaurants and gym franchises, various start-ups, and his own fast food chain, Big Chicken. Wade is a trustee at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and an LP in the NBA’s Utah Jazz and MLS’s Real Salt Lake.
Durant and Kleiman have built perhaps the most prolific investment profile for an active NBA player. Launched in 2016, 35V’s portfolio includes the Boardroom media network, plus investments in companies such as Goldin Auctions, Overtime, SeatGeek, and Whoop. The group also has stakes in the Premier Lacrosse League, Major League Pickleball, and the NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham FC.
TGL is the latest format innovation to hit pro golf. As the PGA Tour battles with Saudi-backed upstart LIV Golf on paychecks and in courtrooms, PGA loyalists Woods and McIlroy are looking to further improve the economics for the sport’s biggest stars. TGL will operate in partnership with the PGA Tour and has already announced a dozen of the 18 golfers that will participate. They include Woods and McIlory, plus Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele. In addition to these investments, TMRW is also is planning to sell franchises in the coming months.
Other TMRW investors include F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, NFL owners Mark Wilf and Arthur Blank, tennis champion Serena Williams, and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry. Here’s is a more complete list: