New York City
Two nights of capacity crowds signal healthy future for New York City
NEW YORK, June 1, 2023 –Luxury goods manufacturer LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is no stranger to the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® New York City. It’s been a regular participant for more than 20 years.
But the firm’s participation has never been more important to the company than right now, according to team captain Dhara Patel.
“In-person events that get your organization involved and are founded on the idea of inclusion and wellbeing are critical,” Patel said. “More and more, we’re seeing how employees want to be part of something greater than just a 9-to-5 job. They want to be part of an organization with a purpose and one that helps them prioritize their overall health. Events like the Corporate Challenge really drive home how important inclusion, wellbeing and interpersonal development have become in the workforce.”
Thinking like that apparently is prevalent throughout the five boroughs of New York City as the 44th edition of the 3.5-mile (5.6km) Corporate Challenge at Central Park attracted a crowd of 30,000 from 730 companies for its two nights of competition and camaraderie on Wednesday, May 31 and Thursday, June 1. This represents a 52% increase in the total number of entries and a 45% increase in the number of participating companies from 2022.
The pandemic limited the Corporate Challenge to a virtual format in 2020 and 2021, and 2022 was a re-entry year with limited capacity. Now the event is quite literally signaling a return to normalcy. The Central Park crowds on two idyllic spring nights was full capacity.
And it’s not just the Big Apple where the Corporate Challenge’s popularity is surging. Through five 2023 events in the 2023 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series (Johannesburg, Singapore, Chicago, Rochester, New York City) entries total 73,354 (14,671 average attendance) compared to 44,522 (8,904) from the same five events in 2022. That’s a 65% rise.
LVMH didn’t hesitate to register for this year’s Corporate Challenge when registration opened in the winter.
“In leaning into these moments where we can authentically connect with each other in person, we’re making sure our values and beliefs are more than just words on paper, but rather the standard we work and live by,” LVMH’s Patel said.
The largest companies by entries in Central Park were event owner and operator JPMorgan Chase (2,000 entrants), Morgan Stanley (925), American Express (894), Goldman Sachs (409), Bloomberg (366), Mizuho Americas (353), Citadel & Citadel Securities (317), The Estee Lauder Companies (287), UBS (251), Blackstone (250), and Deloitte (250).
For some, the Corporate Challenge party began before they even left the office.
“We were fortunate to continue this annual tradition on a beautiful evening,” said Deloitte team captain Mark Hammerschmidt. “We had an amazing response from employees who were excited to register and get involved again this year. We enjoyed a pre-race office party for all 250 colleagues of all levels to connect before the run in the park. The response was amazing! Heads turned as our entire team of 250 people walked from 30 Rock to Central Park on the streets of New York City.”
Luis Flores-Hernández, Team Captain for business consultancy firm FTI Consulting, brought colleagues to the Central Park starting line from offices throughout metro New York.
“Events like this are so important to our team,” Flores-Hernández said. “In this new, post-pandemic hybrid work environment, we cherish any opportunity to bring our people together for a healthy and fun face-to-face event.”
And a little competition too.
“Everybody loves a healthy competition,” Flores-Hernández smiled. “This year, we’re pushing each other across FTI Consulting’s different Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to find out who has the fastest runners. For the first time we are including the ERG logos in our runner’s t-shirts.”
The competition at the front of the pack each night was unmistakable and produced two of the fastest times in the 2023 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series.
On Wednesday night, JPMorgan Chase’s Matt Young won the men’s division in 17:12 over the 3.5-mile Central Park course. Major League Baseball’s Alex Cadicamo earned the women’s crown – her fourth Corporate Challenge title – with a blistering time of 19:56, the second fastest in the 2023 Series through five events.
Thursday, Colin Daly from Blackstone earned the men’s crown with the fastest time over the two nights, 16:58. That is the fourth best men’s title overall in the 2023 Series. Lucy Brash was the second JPMorgan Chase champ in two nights, earning the official women’s title in 21:38.
As has been the case at every Corporate Challenge for more than 40 years, the beneficiary was
the Central Park Conservancy, the manager of Central Park. JPMorgan Chase celebrated the Corporate Challenge through a donation that supports the Conservancy’s mission to restore, manage and enhance Central Park. The Corporate Challenge’s partnership with the Conservancy dates to the not-for-profit’s founding in 1980.
Mitchell Feinberg, a J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge participant for decades, was proud to once again pin on a runner’s bib number and represent his employer Tapestry, the parent company for Coach New York, Kate Spade New York, and Stuart Weitzman.
“We’ve been doing this for 25 years. What started out as a team of ten is 10 a team of hundreds,” Feinberg said. “As our company has grown, adding brands and team members, the Corporate Challenge continues to be a cornerstone cultural tradition for us. It’s something we look forward to, it gives us a sense of camaraderie and well-being, and a chance to mingle with those we might not work with on a daily basis, with Central Park as a backdrop.”
There is 3.5-mile action on back-to-back nights next for the 47th year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. The event crosses the Atlantic for its annual visit to Frankfurt, Germany on June 14, followed the next night by a stop in Buffalo, New York.