Industry News

Intersport releases 2023 schedule for The John Shippen National Invitational, continues with three standalone events for elevated Black representation in golf

The John Shippen National Invitational hosts the nation’s top Black women and men golfers to compete for five exemptions into LPGA and PGA Tour events; the John Shippen Cognizant Cup will be played May 8 at Upper Montclair Country Club in New Jersey to provide an exemption into LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup; women’s field plays June 6-7 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids for exemptions into the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational; men’s field plays June 24-25 at Detroit Golf Club for an exemption into the Rocket Mortgage Classic

DETROIT (March 16, 2023) – Intersport has announced the 2023 schedule for

THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational– a series of competitions created to provide playing opportunities on the PGA TOUR and LPGA for the nation’s top Black men and women golfers. THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit will also be held for the third time to address the lack of representation in business and leadership roles within the business of sports for people of color. 

Now in its third year, THE JOHN SHIPPEN has hosted 76 Black golfers, awarded nine playing opportunities on the PGA TOUR and LPGA and donated $320,000 to local charities, scholarships and fellowships. In 2022, SHIPPEN alumni achieved

success beyond the National Invitational. Sadena Parks and Anita Uwadia made the cut and finished T-36 at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, and Willie Mack III and Tim O’Neal earned respective memberships on the Korn Ferry TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions via the fall qualifying school (Q-School). 

The events are named after John Shippen, Jr., who was both the first American-born golf professional and the country’s first Black golf professional. 

“We are excited to continue to host the nation’s top Black golfers and further the momentum generated in the first two years of THE JOHN SHIPPEN, which saw two players make the cut and two more earn membership on the Korn Ferry TOUR

and PGA TOUR Champions. We want to build on the impact of the events as we look to create more year-round exposure and Black representation in golf,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Vice President of Intersport and the Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “The Intersport and Rocket Mortgage teams are passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion, and we partner with organizations committed to making a difference with their mission. We’re thrilled to be able to provide these talented athletes and individuals with the standalone platforms they deserve -- which aims to break barriers for talented Black golfers and aspiring business professionals.” 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup has a new name and location, taking place May 8 at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey. The women’s contest of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational will be held June 6–7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the men’s competition of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational will take place June 24-25 at Detroit Golf Club. 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup is an 18-hole stroke play competition taking place May 8 at Upper Montclair Country Club, the host venue for the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup. The winner of the event will be awarded an exemption into the LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup

(May 11-May 14), marking a continuation of Cognizant’s commitment to supporting equal opportunity and diversity in the game of golf and beyond. 

“This is Cognizant’s third year as a part of the THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup,” said Shameka Young, Global Head, Diversity and Inclusion at Cognizant. “We’re passionate about supporting this influential event and the role it plays in broadening representation in golf. We are pleased to provide an additional on-ramp to more Black female golfers qualifying for LPGA tournament play. Cognizant is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion both in technology and sports.” 

The Women’s Invitational will return to its 2022 location. The 36-hole stroke play competition will be held June 6-7 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of the Meijer LPGA Classic. The winner of the event will earn an exemption into the MeijerLPGA Classic for Simply Give (June 15–18), as well as an exemption into the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, the LPGA tournament scheduled for July 19– 22 in Midland, Michigan. The SHIPPEN winner will choose a partner to compete alongside them in the Dow GLBI, which is a two-player team event. The 2022 Women’s Invitational Champion, Sadena Parks, chose 2021 winner Anita Uwadia to play alongside her in the team competition, and the pair went on to make the cut and finish T-36 - making them the first SHIPPEN champions to make a cut resulting from THE JOHN SHIPPEN. 

“We’re excited to see our partner Blythefield Country Club host the women’s division of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational in Grand Rapids again this year,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give. “The Meijer LPGA Classic shares this event’s commitment to diversity and inclusion aimed at empowering underrepresented groups on the golf course and in our communities across the Midwest. We’re pleased to extend the winner an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic and see her back on the course this June.” 

The men’s portion of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage will take place at Detroit Golf Club June 24–25. Participants will compete in a 36-hole stroke play competition, and the winner will once again be awarded an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic (June 29 – July 2). 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN was also created to address the lack of representation in business and leadership roles in golf and across professional sports for people of color. In 2022, THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit paired 350 high school and college students of color with sports industry leaders including representatives from CDW, the Detroit Pistons, the Detroit Lions, Trap Golf and Pensole Lewis College for a day of educational programming centered around the business of sports. Dates and details surrounding THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit in Detroit will be announced in the near future. 

For updated information on THE JOHN SHIPPEN, please visit and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@TheJohnShippen) and on Twitter (@TheJShippen). For information about sponsorship opportunities or how to get involved, email us at 


About Intersport 
Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in the creation of sports, lifestyle, culinary and entertainment-based marketing platforms. With expertise in Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential Marketing, Hospitality,

Customer Engagement, Content Marketing, Productions and Sports Properties, this Chicago-based Marketing & Media Solutions Company helps their clients to create ideas, content and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. To learn more about

Intersport, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. 

About Woods & Watts Effect  
Woods & Watts Effect is an equity and inclusion consulting firm of transformation engineers, co- founded by Sommer Woods and Michele Lewis Watts, Ph.D. They are a solutions-driven team that adeptly designs programs that assess a company’s strengths and areas for improvement relative to inclusion and social equity. Woods & Watts Effect is innovative in their thinking, their engagement and their execution. Through a bold, non-traditional and engaging approach, they produce viable and actionable solutions for sustainable change. More information is available at 

About Rocket Mortgage  
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender and part of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through its obsession with an industry-leading, digital-driven client experience. In late 2015, it introduced the first fully digital, completely online mortgage experience. Since its founding in 1985, Rocket Mortgage has closed $1.5 trillion of mortgage volume across all 50 states. In late 2015, it introduced the first fully digital, completely online mortgage experience. 

Rocket Mortgage moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix. 

Rocket Companies, Rocket Mortgage’s parent company, ranked #7 on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2022 and has placed in the top third of the list for 19 consecutive years. 

For more information and company news

About Meijer  
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 258 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family- operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the "one-stop shopping" concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit

Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at 

About Dow 
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership to achieve profitable growth and deliver a sustainable future. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates 104 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $55 billion in 2021. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit
or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter. 

About Cognizant 
Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) engineers modern businesses. We help our clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing
world. Together, we're improving everyday life. See how at or @cognizant. 

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