Endeavor has been turned down in its interest in investing in or forming a strategic partnership with the PGA Tour, the company’s president and COO told Sportico in a story published Friday.
“They’ve officially turned it down,” Mark Shapiro told Sportico. “We’re big fans of golf, and we’ll continue to champion the PGA Tour, but we’re not going to be an investor at any level.”
Endeavor, the parent company of WWE, the UFC and powerful sports agencies like IMG, had publicly expressed interest in investing in the PGA Tour as it begins working with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) on a framework agreement. It is unknown whether the offer was rejected due to PIF intervention.
Shapiro said Endeavor offered to expand its body of work with the PGA Tour, which already includes selling commercial rights and managing tournaments.
The PGA Tour’s framework agreement with the DP World Tour and the Saudis is set to expire Dec. 31 as the sides work to strike a more concrete deal. That initial agreement gave the PIF right of first refusal on any new investment in the tour’s new for-profit body called PGA Tour Enterprises.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said earlier this year that the company nearly invested $1 billion into LIV Golf — funded and controlled by the Saudis and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan — before pulling out at the request of PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who Emanuel said is a friend, according to Golfweek.
The PGA Tour declined comment to Sportico.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.