ExxonMobil team members spill out on the sides of a group photo at the 2011 London J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. ExxonMobil's team this year is even larger, continuing a growing trend for the company at the event.
ExxonMobil a growing presence
at London's Corporate Challenge
ExxonMobil participants enjoy some post-race camaraderie at the 2011 Corporate Challenge.
LONDON, June 28, 2012 — When Mark Scarlett began organising the ExxonMobil team for London's J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in 2008, the company had a squad of 40 participating in the annual sold-out event in Battersea Park.
Fast forward to 2012 and ExxonMobil's entries have grown by a whopping 400 percent. Approximately 160 employees of ExxonMobil will be on the starting line Thursday, July 12, when the 26th running of the Corporate Challenge in London concludes two nights of team road racing by attracting its second consecutive capacity crowd of more than 13,000 to the 5.6-kilometer Battersea Park course.
For ExxonMobil and Scarlett, the Health & Wellbeing Manager at ExxonMobil's UK headquarters in Surrey, it's natural to not only participate, but also to promote the Corporate Challenge within the company to spur the growth that has taken place with the team.
"The Corporate Challenge appeals to us in two main ways," said Scarlett. "It raises money for good causes, which fits with our commitment to support the community, and it is a great way for ExxonMobil to support and promote employee health and wellbeing. We try to encourage as many of our staff as possible to participate and increase their activity levels in preparation for the event."
And, in a company such as ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas firm, with operations in most of the world's countries and explorations for oil and natural in six continents, the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge also offers another important incentive.
"The evening provides a terrific opportunity for different business lines across the organization and from different parts of the country to get together outside the working environment," Scarlett said.
"As you would expect, any event drawing 160 participants from three different sites requires careful organisation, but the challenges are well worth it — that's why we have been participating for five years now," he added.
Scarlett says his role as organiser is made significantly easier by the support senior management gives to the Corporate Challenge specifically, and health and well-being overall.
ExxonMobil gathers for a team photo at a past London Corporate Challenge.
"Our Lead Country Manager Brad Corson is a strong supporter of the event, backing our participation and ensuring funds are available to cover transport and hospitality, etc.," said Scarlett. "Our senior management team as a whole is very supportive of the event and likes to promote employee participation, as they feel the Corporate Challenge provides an important opportunity to improve staff health and well-being."
That support is invaluable and clearly one reason ExxonMobil has been able to increase its participation significantly in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge over the past five years. Scarlett points to another example of senior management support.
"Our international facilities manager is a strong supporter of the event and will be running," Scarlett said. "He certainly promotes participation by members of his department!"
On race night, ExxonMobil's growing team will be sporting T-shirts provided by the company for the participants.
"ExxonMobil is also providing hospitality, including a barbecue and refreshments," said Scarlett.
It's a great way to get together out of the office and bring employees from different sites together, promote fitness and wellbeing, and give back to the community by supporting race beneficiary Barnardo's, which works with some of the most disadvantaged children and young people across the United Kingdom.
ExxonMobil, and Scarlett, have come to appreciate the opportunity — even as their team has grown in recent years.
"We are grateful to J.P. Morgan for arranging such an enjoyable and worthwhile event each year," said Scarlett. "We really appreciate all the hard work involved."