New Pro Track League Aimed at Disrupting World Athletics and Olympics Raises $30 Million in Funding

Former Olympic champ Michael Johnson is leading the organization, which aims to lure the top talent in athletics


A few weeks ago, Michael Johnson, former Olympic champion in the 200m and 400m, unveiled plans for a new “fan-centered” professional track and field league akin to the NBA or NFL.

Despite its rich history, track and field has faced challenges in sustaining fan interest and commercial viability outside of these quadrennial events.

New Pro Track League Aimed at Disrupting World Athletics and Olympics Raises $30 Million in Funding 1

Johnson, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder, has said repeatedly in interviews and on social media the sport has untapped potential, and he and a group of investors now seek to unlock it through this ambitious endeavour.

Johnson announced this week that the league has secured a total of $30 million in funding, primarily from Winners Alliance, a for-profit organization established in 2022 by a group including veterans of the NFL. Winners Alliance appears to be backstopped by activist investor and hedge fund manager Bill Ackerman, who is the chairman of the company’s board of directors. The company led the initial investment and will play a significant role in the development of the league.

Scheduled to debut in 2025, the league says it aims to reinvent the sport by providing a “fan-centric experience” and increasing visibility for athletes. It will run from April to September, coinciding with the traditional track and field season, and according to Johnson will feature a select number of events designed to showcase on-track rivalries, which like pro team sports have done for years.

Johnson, who has been an outspoken critic of the status quo in track and field and World Athletics, recently shared the news on social media.

In addition to securing funding, the league has enlisted the expertise of three agencies to support its objectives. Doubleday & Cartwright, known for their work with major sports leagues such as the NBA and MLB, will handle graphical design, creating a visual identity for the series and its individual athletes.

Marketing agency Two Circles, recognized for its data-driven approach and partnerships with organizations like Formula 1 and the NFL, will focus on expanding the fan base and engaging existing track and field enthusiasts. 

SRK Strategies will oversee the league’s public relations.

Johnson believes that the collaboration with these agencies will enhance the league’s media outreach and contribute to its ongoing growth.

“The addition of Doubleday & Cartwright, Two Circles, and SRK Strategies will allow our league to expand its media and creative outreach,” he said to Forbes.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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