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World Long Drive Announces Rights Agreement with ESPN

Updated: Apr 29




This article was updated on April 29th, 2024. Click here to read a memo regarding updates.


Three Events to Air on ESPN2 with Nearly 50 Hours to be Streamed on ESPN+


Click here for digital press kit


NEW YORK (April 16, 2024) – World Long Drive (WLD) today announced a new agreement with ESPN to air four events on ESPN2, plus an additional 47 hours of coverage streamed on ESPN+ during the 2024 WLD season.


ESPN2 will air two WLD majors this season plus a celebrity event: WLD MB Celebrity Shootout presented by Hyundai in Huntington Beach, California (July 11), WLD Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina (July  25), and the WLD Championship in Atlanta (August 11).


“World Long Drive is an exciting addition to ESPN’s industry-leading golf portfolio, showing that our commitment to golf has never been stronger,” said Tim Bunnell, senior vice president, ESPN Programming and International. “ESPN is bringing more golf to more fans than ever with the Masters, PGA Championship, PGA TOUR LIVE on ESPN+, LPGA on ESPN+, TGL, and now World Long Drive.”


In addition to ESPN, World Long Drive will once again be featured on GOLF Channel this year as the network will broadcast the Women’s Division finals and the Military Division finals in Fort Jackson on July 24 and the Women’s Division World Championship on August 12. 


"We’re thrilled to add ESPN to the lineup in showcasing these incredible athletes of our growing sport,” GF Sports & Entertainment President Shawn Tilger said. “Working with our incredible broadcast partners at GOLF Channel again, plus adding ESPN, will help World Long Drive reach an even larger audience as the sport continues to grow and develop.” - David Livingston, Chief Commercial Officer


The summer will feature WLD’s second majors of the year. All divisions will test the grid in Columbia, South Carolina, for WLD Fort Jackson, held July 19-22 at Fort Jackson Golf Club. The Women’s and Military Division semifinals and final will air on July 24 from 6-7 p.m. EST on GOLF Channel. The final twelve Open Division competitors will be shown on July 25 from 7-9pm EST on ESPN2. All preliminary qualifying rounds will air live on ESPN+. 


Leading up to the WLD Fort Jackson event, the Army’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program will organize and operate 12 military long drive qualifiers at military golf courses across the country. WLD will provide golf balls, and more, as active and retired military personnel from all branches compete for a coveted spot in the ESPN2-broadcasted Military Long Drive Championship within the Fort Jackson event.


The 2024 season will again conclude at Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta with the WLD Championship August 8-11. The culminating matches between the final 12 Open Division competitors will air on ESPN 2 on August 11 from 9-11pm EST. The final 12 Women’s Division competitors will air on The GOLF Channel on August 12 from 8-10 p.m. EST. All preliminary qualifying rounds will be streamed exclusively on ESPN+.


“World Long Drive 2024 will be another unforgettable season full of power, precision, and passion by the world’s most extraordinary long drivers,” said World Long Drive Vice President of Business Operations Zane Smith. “This partnership with ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, will introduce our sport to even more sports fans and remain committed to further enhancing the accessibility of World Long Drive’s streaming coverage.”


World Long Drive’s 2023 schedule concluded with the crowning of Kyle Berkshire, Monica Lieving, Ryan Reisbeck, and Andrew Eigner as world champions in their respective divisions. Bryce Verplank had the longest drive of the season among all divisions at 489 yards.


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About World Long Drive: 

The World Long Drive Championship is the largest annual domestic professional golf event not associated with the PGA of America, the PGA Tour, or the LPGA. It was first held in 1974, and since 2000 consisted of Open, Women’s, Seniors (over-45s), and Amateur events. The World 


Long Drive tour is comprised of nine events domestically and over 30 events internationally all culminating for the season finale World Long Drive Championship. World Long Drive tour and championship is owned and operated by GF Sports and Entertainment based out of New York, NY. 

World Long Drive has partnered with PIVOT Agency out of the San Francisco Bay area to reintroduce the brand and sport into the corporate market leveraging partner relationships.


PIVOT Agency is a full-service sports marketing agency, built at the nexus of brands and culture, and forming alliances between consumer brands, athletes, sports, the arts, causes, business and media. Today it has grown into four (4) unique and successful divisions, encompassing Property Representation, Brand Consulting, Travel and Hospitality. PIVOT's property division consults with top organizations in the sports and entertainment world including GF Sports & Entertainment, Pro Pickleball Association, Athletes Unlimited, Cedar Fair, OpTic Gaming, NRG, Spacestation Gaming, Illinois State University and a growing portfolio of professional and collegiate properties.


About ESPN+ 

ESPN+ is the No. 1 sports streaming platform, serving fans in the U.S. with exclusive access to more than 32,000 live sports events each year, an unmatched library of on-demand replays and acclaimed original content, and premium written articles by the top reporters and analysts from ESPN.com. Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $10.99 a month (or $109.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or in the ESPN App on mobile and connected devices. For more visit the ESPN+ Press Kit.


About GF Sports and Entertainment:

GF Sports & Entertainment is a global events and operations company that elevates the experience of live sports, entertainment and interactive events. The company owns two of the ATP Tour’s longest running American tennis tournaments, the Dallas Open and the Atlanta Open, as well as the National Lacrosse League New York Riptide. GF Sports & Entertainment also incubates new and emerging sport concepts, this includes Wolf Pack Ninjas, which operates ninja-focused events globally and just completed the purchase of World Long Drive, an international long drive tour.


GF Sports & Entertainment was founded in July 2015 by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital. For additional information, please visit 


Contact:

Jonathan Deutsch Tony Fay PR | jonathan@tonyfaypr.com | 469.534.8525 

Reeves Eddins | Tony Fay PR | reeves@tonyfaypr.com | 901.647.9697

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