The LPGA’s Founders Cup, which has been held in Phoenix for 10 years, is beginning a new chapter at Mountain Ridge Country Club outside of New York City. This is thanks to the support from a title sponsor who’s jumped headfirst into supporting both men’s as well as women’s golf.
Cognizant Technology Solutions is one of the most respected professional services firms in the world. It was named the title partner for the Founders Cup, which honors the 13 founding partners of golf’s premier women’s professional tour.
Cognizant is headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey. They quickly proved their commitment to the game by increasing the Founders Cup prize pot to $3 million. This makes it the largest LPGA Tour prize money outside of the Tour Championship.
They are very engaged. They are doing it for the right reasons. They want to make a change,” Scott Wood, Founders Cup Tournament director, said about Cognizant on a recent tour of Mountain Ridge’s Donald Ross-designed layout. They want to play their part in leveling the playing fields as much as possible. They said that they were not going to change anything in their first phone call last year. We want you to run your tournament. We want to have a positive financial impact on your players.
Wood said, “The good news is that it’s going push others.” “It puts more stress on CEOs and CMOs in marketplace that I have to (raise tournament prize money if I’m serious).
Cognizant’s Chief Market Officer Gaurav Chand said that golf’s global brand awareness and high percentage of its clients who love the game made it easy to pursue high-level sponsorships. Chand was familiar with the golf industry due to his previous role as a senior executive market manager at Dell. He sponsored a World Golf Championships event.
“They were very strategic. Wood stated that they have elevated themselves sufficiently to the point where people will notice Cognizant.
Mountain Ridge’s tournament experience will be a huge help, Wood pointing out that the Founders Cup has grown to outgrow its Arizona property. Wood and his team were able to work more efficiently despite a smaller club in North Jersey. The largest hospitality area on the LPGA Tour is the Drive On pavilion, located behind the 9th hole and near the course entrance. The 18th green has a similar setup with merchandise, hospitality and food. A lower tier of driving range will have a lesson zone, where fans can receive free 10-minute lessons by LPGA professionals, from Thursday to Sunday.
“18 and 9 will be very impressive, but we’ll let golf course shine. Wood said Mountain Ridge was already stunning. “Having been to Gleneagles (in Scotland), for the Solheim Cup there were very few buildings and everyone loved it.
The partnership between Cognizant & the LPGA is a win-win situation. Cognizant, which employs 105,000 women around the world, has sponsored a significant event at their global headquarters. They also found an organization that shares similar values and supports equality and diversity.
Mike Whan, former LPGA Commissioner, set out in 2010 to create the Founders Cup. His goal was to celebrate the past and honor the present while also promoting the future of women’s tennis. The event’s new partner, Cognizant, will honor the past and celebrate the present. The future looks bright.