The thousands of runners who will take part in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Sydney on 11 November will include participants like
Troy Terzian and Jenny Kuo (inset photo) from Maple-Brown Abbott. Runners from more than 400 companies are expected to be in the field, with registration open now.
J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge
fits Sydney companies to a 'T'
SYDNEY, September 10, 2009 — It is still two months before the annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Centennial Park, but company captain Mick Bratkovic of Maple-Brown Abbott is already busy preparing his team.
Having begun the registration process and recruitment of his colleagues, Bratkovic's focus on an early September morning was on t-shirt design.
“I have a few concepts in mind,” Bratkovic, an IT Solutions Architect, noted. “We want to represent the company in a consistent way to the large number of participants who will be out there. Our COO, Richard Grundy, gets very involved in the process. All of our participating employees on race night will take a lot of pride wearing our company shirt.”
With a crowd of more than 8,000 entrants from over 400 companies expected at the November 11 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, many businesses like Maple-Brown Abbott will pay extra attention to their brand identity.
“The T-shirt gives us the opportunity to proudly display the company's significance as a leading wholesale investment manager in Australia,” Bratkovic said.
The Corporate Challenge has been held at Centennial Park each November since 2000 and attracts participants from all industry groups and companies large and small. It is a team event, with a minimum of four participants needed to enter, and no maximum.
The 5.6-kilometer road race is the central focus of the night but, as Bratkovic noted, company branding and team camaraderie are also key elements.
“The culture of Maple-Brown Abbott is very fit,” Bratkovic said. “Getting out to participate in the Corporate Challenge allows us to illustrate how we value a balanced, healthy lifestyle.”
That is a message that has been embraced by a burgeoning audience. The first Corporate Challenge in 2000 drew a modest gathering of 2,180 participants. The 8,000-plus expected this year will include dozens and dozens of first-time companies.
“I believe that is a significant draw for the race,” said Chris Stevens, CFO for REST Superannuation, a retail employee trust with over 1.7 million members and more than $14 billion in funds under management. “You see some of the largest companies in the Central Business District out there, but also plenty of groups with just four people. A runner gets his or her company interested, and then it just grows from there.”
Stevens is one such runner. He has run in the Sydney City to Surf, the Sydney Half Marathon and has also completed a full marathon. Running is a lifestyle choice for him and he has passed along the passion to several of his colleagues.
“When I arrived at REST (18 months ago), they did not have a Corporate Challenge team,” Stevens said. “I put one together for last year's race, and we'll have a bigger one this year. It is a great setting to catch up with colleagues.”
Stevens can see how participants can catch the running bug after taking part in the Corporate Challenge.
“Running is one of the best forms of exercise because all you need is a pair of shoes, shorts, and off you go,” he said. “There's always an excuse as to why you can't make it to the gym or other forms of exercise, but there's little preparation needed in just going out for a healthy jog.”
And, like Bratkovic at Maple-Brown Abbott, Stevens enjoys the opportunity to represent his company on the starting line. REST Superannuation was named “2009 Industry Fund of the Year” by a major publication.
“It's wonderful to be able to blend the passion you have for working at a successful company with a healthy activity,” Stevens said.
Registration for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Sydney remains open until November 4.