WJR Business Beat

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Rocket Mortgage Classic Helps Bridge the Digital Divide (Episode 251)

On today’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses the Rocket Mortgage Classic, an annual stop on the PGA Tour held in Detroit. All net proceeds from the tournament go toward an initiative called Changing the Course, which seeks to help those with a lack of internet access. Jeff chats with Laura Grannemann, vice president of strategic investments from the Rocket Community Fund, to learn more.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to learn more about Rocket Mortgage Classic and its Changing the Course campaign:

“We built the Rocket Mortgage Classic here in the city of Detroit to create a vibrant event that has lots of great economic development impacts across the city of Detroit… to really highlight the city of Detroit and to have ripple effects across our community.”

– Laura Grannemann, vice president of strategic investments from the Rocket Community Fund

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Good morning, Paul!

On the face of it, it’s a golf tournament — albeit, in golf circles, a pretty darn special golf tournament, with some of golf’s finest players competing for the coveted championship title. But the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which takes place this weekend from July 1 through 4 at the Detroit Golf Club, means so much more to our region than simply delivering entertainment in the form of a great sport.

As is most often the case, Rocket Mortgage puts emphasis on improving the broader community at the heart of all that they do, and this weekend’s PGA tournament is no exception. How does a golf event end up helping the broader community? Well, you achieve that by having all net proceeds realized by this year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic support their Changing the Course initiative.

The vision of this multi-year campaign is to ensure that every Detroit resident has access to the internet, technology and digital literacy training they deserve. Is it impactful? You bet it is. In 2020, the Rocket Mortgage Classic raised $2.4 million that went directly toward the Changing the Course initiative.

You see, the problem of lack of internet access is known as the digital divide, and it’s a significant issue for our citizens as well as for our local businesses. When you don’t have access, you are excluded from opportunities: opportunities for education, employment and belonging. 30% of Detroit families do not have access to the internet in their homes, and Rocket Mortgage is stepping up to do its part.

Let’s hear from Laura Grannemann, vice president of strategic investments from the Rocket Community Fund. Laura?

Hi, Jeff! The Rocket Mortgage Classic has been about more than just golf. We built the Rocket Mortgage Classic here in the city of Detroit to create a vibrant event that has lots of great economic development impacts across the city of Detroit and does feature golf but also to really highlight the city of Detroit and to have ripple effects across our community.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic has an initiative called Changing the Course, and through that initiative, we have launched Connect 313, an organization to bring together major stakeholders, residents, voices across the city of Detroit around bridging the digital divide. Funds come from sponsors, partners, anyone who invests in the Rocket Mortgage Classic ultimately is investing in our vision of a city that is digitally included.

Thank you, Laura, and thank you, Rocket Mortgage.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat and the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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