Cognizant’s head-turning debut in golf sponsorship includes partnerships with both the PGA Tour and LPGA. The Fortune 500 professional services company has signed on as a Global Partner for the Presidents Cup through 2026 and as the new title sponsor of the LPGA Founders Cup.
The Founders Cup, an event that started out with a mock purse in which all money earned went to charity, will now have a $3 million purse, which doubles the previous amount. The Cognizant Founders Cup will have the largest purse on the LPGA outside of the majors and CME Group Tour Championship.
Cognizant joins Rolex and Citi as Global Partners for the Presidents Cup, which will be held at Quail Hollow Club Sept. 19-25, 2022, in Charlotte, North Carolina. More than $54.4 million has been raised for charity since the event’s inception in 1994.
There was much talk about splitting up the announcement into two releases, said Gaurav Chand, Cognizant’s Chief Marketing Officer, but that would’ve taken away from the core message around the company’s shared values.
“I think companies that can make a difference in golf period and show a huge commitment to men and women are leading the way,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan told Golfweek. “It’s becoming more and more normal. I don’t know in three years if you’ll find that to be the interesting part of the story. In time, it will almost be a given.”
Cognizant has signed a multi-year agreement with the LPGA. The 2021 edition will be played Oct. 7-10, away from its traditional spring date, and will move east from Phoenix to Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, New Jersey, a Donald Ross-designed course that credits one-third of its rounds to female golfers.
The Founders Cup began in 2011, the result of a dream Whan scribbled down on a hotel bar napkin to celebrate the tour’s 13 founders. It has been critical to the growth of LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and a bridge between the current generation and those who, 70 years ago, laid the foundation.
Chand said getting the Founders Cup on network TV is “absolutely critical” to the event’s growth and success. Doubling the purse was an easy decision.
“Just purely statistically, looking at the numbers, $1.5 million, are you kidding me?” said Chand. “In celebration of something that was so incredible, so compelling, so groundbreaking? That just does not seem fair. So when we started talking to Mike Whan and the LPGA, that’s where I honed in on in a big way, which is what can we do to make the Founders Cup have a larger platform than it’s ever had in the past?”
It’s a stirring start.
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/02/09/lpga-partnership-cognizant-founders-cup-presidents-cup/