Personal finance company SoFi has added to its venue naming rights portfolio by agreeing a deal to back the start-of-the-art facility that is being developed to host new tech-focused golf league TGL.
The multi-year deal announced today (Tuesday) covers venue naming rights for the purpose-built TGL venue on the campus of Palm Beach State College, which will be known as SoFi Center, along with presenting sponsorship of the league itself.
TMRW Sports, the company founded by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and sports executive Mike McCarley which is launching TGL, broke ground on its first facility in the US town of Palm Beach back in February.
The arena being developed on land at the Palm Beach State College campus is designed to bring the game of golf closer to fans. The TGL plans to combine some simulator golf with live action in front of arena crowds, with short game and putting taking place in the venue. The CAA Icon agency was appointed to oversee the development, design and construction of the venue in January.
SoFi Center is a nearly 250,000-square-foot venue that will fit close to 2,000 fans on match nights during TGL’s season, which is due to launch in January 2024. Inside the venue will be a giant simulator screen powered by Full Swing technology measuring 64 feet high by 46 feet across, roughly 20 times the size of a standard simulator screen.
Alongside the simulator inside the venue will be a short-game complex that includes three sand bunkers and three individual 15 feet x 27 feet Virtual Greens within a 3,800 square-foot putting surface.
The short-game complex will be approximately the size of a basketball court, while the entire playing surface inside the venue, including simulator area and short game complex, will be 97 yards by 50 yards, roughly the size of an American football field.
The venue will be covered by an air-supported dome that reaches a height of 75 feet and outside will be two plazas to host pre-match festivities for fans. The entire facility will be ADA accessible.
SoFi is also the naming rights partner of SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL, following a 20-year deal that was struck back in September 2019. SoFi CEO, Anthony Noto, said: “To achieve our goal of becoming a top 10 financial institution, it’s critical that we build brand awareness and trust with consumers to become a household name.
“Investing in sports has proven unequivocally valuable time and time again in helping us unlock this goal. From our very first conversation, there’s been a natural alignment between TGL’s tech-forward approach with SoFi’s approach as an unconventional financial services solution.”
All six TGL teams will play their matches at SoFi Center in South Florida. In total, there will be 15 regular season matches, plus semi-finals and finals matches. Team names, brands, front office staff, and assigned players will be unveiled later this year, as will the inaugural schedule and other operational and fan-centric elements of TGL. Currently, four of the six team ownership groups have been announced:
TGL Atlanta: led by Arthur M. Blank, AMB Sports and Entertainment (Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, PGA Tour Superstores)
TGL Boston: led by John Henry, Tom Werner, and Fenway Sports Group (Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, Pittsburgh Penguins)
Los Angeles Golf Club: led by Alexis Ohanian (Angel City FC), Serena Williams, and Venus Williams; as well as limited partners the Antetokounmpo brothers, Alex Morgan, Servando Carrasco and Michelle Wie West
TGL New York: led by Steven A. Cohen (New York Mets), Cohen Private Ventures
McCarley, TMRW Sports and TGL CEO, said today: “As our first and largest commercial partner, we’re honoured to welcome SoFi as TGL’s presenting sponsor and our naming rights partner on SoFi Center.
“The team at SoFi is driving tremendous innovation in uniquely building lifetime relationships in financial services by leveraging technology to make a complete suite of products accessible to their members.
“In the same way, our vision for TGL is to create a new way for sports fans to experience golf by harnessing the power of technology to make sports more immersive, culturally relevant, and accessible for all.”