Tiger Woods First SPAC Swings for $150 Million Sports Tech Deal

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  • Tiger Woods
    Tiger Woods
    American golfer
  • Caroline Wozniacki
    Caroline Wozniacki
    Danish tennis player
  • David Lee
    David Lee
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

Tiger Woods is making a play for a sports technology business, filing to raise $150 million through a special purpose acquisition company, a blank check venture that seeks to bring another company public. Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, retired NBA player David Lee and the executives of sports technology investment fund Lead are among those joining Woods in the venture.

The SPAC, Sports & Health Tech Acquisition, is Woods’ first SPAC endeavor, and the 15-time major winner is the lead investor in the business. The blank check will seek to merge with a company in fan engagement, consumer-facing health and fitness technologies, and health and well-being, according to the prospectus.

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The company has a large slate of athletes and executives participating. Among them are Andrew White, the executive chairman of Lead Sports (usually stylized leAD), a sports investment fund backed by the Adidas-founding Dassler family. Lead CEO Christoph Sonnen is an executive in Woods’ SPAC, as well. Lead is a sponsor of the SPAC, which provides funding to bring the business to its IPO.

The preliminary prospectus, filed last night with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifies the participation of the Lead executives, Woods and Wozniacki, as particularly valuable to the SPAC. “Their relationships and experience produce proprietary deal flow that, when paired with leAD’s rich industry experience and subject-matter expertise as well as its own corporate network, will allow the company to be competitively positioned to source and select a value-generating target opportunity, and generate value post combination,” the document states.

The SPAC is basing itself in Lake Nona, a sports technology hub in Orlando, Fla. The prospectus notes the presence of the Lake Nona Fund, a recent venture capital fund focused on sport technology, will benefit the search for a target business, too. The Lake Nona Fund is backed by Lead and Tavistock, the investment business of billionaire and Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis, which is focusing on early-stage sports ventures.

Other executives in Sports & Health Tech Acquisition include Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, and the chief financial officer of Tiger Woods Ventures, Christopher Hubman. Chairman of the SPAC is Jon Voigtman, long an executive at investment bank RBC. David Rey, recently a managing director at European broadcaster Sky; Alan Hodson, formerly an executive at investment bank UBS; David Maura, CEO of home and hardware products firm Spectrum Brands; and Stephen Gartner, a retired mergers and acquisitions attorney, round out participants in the venture.

Woods joins other high-profile sports figures in the SPAC world, including Michael and Mario Andretti, whose SPAC had its IPO yesterday; Alex Rodriguez; and Patrick Mahomes. They are among more than 100 athlete- and sports executive-backed SPACs preparing to have an IPO or already seeking a business.

The Sports & Health Tech SPAC seeks to sell 15 million units in its IPO, consisting of one share and one half a warrant, the right to buy another share, and provide 18 months for the SPAC to close an acquisition. Woods’ celebrity doesn’t yet appear to be demanding a premium from the market, given the unit structure and time frame are the most commonly proposed SPAC terms of late. Those terms can change as the IPO gets priced by RBC Capital Market, the lead bookrunner.

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