Members of BlackRock gather for a group photos at the 2009 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in San Francisco. This year's race is scheduled for August 4 with a new location at Piers 30 and 32 on the Embarcadero. Registration is open.
Lucasfilm, BlackRock build teams
by keeping recruitment fun
Members of Lucasfilm have some fun before the start of the 2009 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO, May 25, 2010 — With a new, earlier date for this year's JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® in San Francisco, company captains could use some timely advice on how to recruit participation from their colleagues.
Kevin Uriu of Lucasfilm and Bob Gain of BlackRock are a good place to start.
Of the 5,377 participants at the 2009 Corporate Challenge, 309 were from BlackRock (then doing business as Barclays Global Investors) and 127 from Lucasfilm. The respective company captains deserve credit for their doggedness in attracting tremendous participation, and their efforts were heavily tinted with fun.
“This is the key,” Uriu said. “You have to promote the race as a fun, social event that is open to everybody. It's not something that is just for avid runners, but joggers and walkers as well.”
“Once registration opens,” Gain noted, “I start sending out humorous emails that get people interested and engaged. Once people have experienced the race, it begins to sell itself and that's when recruiting becomes really fun.”
Gain has likely already sent out of his signature emails as registration for the 26th running of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge has opened. Please note the new race date (August 4) and location (Piers 30 & 32 on the San Francisco Embarcadero) and that registration closes on Friday, July 23. The target for entrants this year is 7,000, and companies will find the new site extremely accessible via BART, Muni, CalTrain and downtown.
For companies like Lucasfilm, the Corporate Challenge serves as the ideal company outing. Under Uriu's supervision, Lucasfilm schedules a post-race after party which includes goofy prizes, food and drink.
Lucasfilm at the 2009 Corporate Challenge in San Francisco.
“This allows people from different departments to socialize and connect in an environment they normally wouldn't have,” Uriu said.
“The opportunity to build friendships with people from within your company, as well as those outside your company, brings the real social aspect to the event,” BlackRock's Gain said. “Emphasizing camaraderie is a key part of team building.”
The JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge draws teams of various sizes. In 2009 companies participation ranged from the minimum of four to a massive 557 from Genentech (there is no limit to participation). All the companies, regardless of size, find that the Corporate Challenge is a great way to instill and promote a healthy work environment.
And, for the fittest of the fit, there is also some keen competition. The first-place men's, women's and mixed teams at the August 4 San Francisco race will qualify for the next JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Championship, to be held in beautiful Singapore. Date of the event is TBD in the spring of 2011.