It takes teamwork to accomplish most business goals, and an event entering its second year at Southpointe – the Corporate Cup – requires a team effort to rise to the challenge of helping to conquer a life-threatening disease.
It’s also a time for friendly competition among some companies that are otherwise formidable competitors on a daily basis.
The Corporate Cup, presented by the Southpointe office of Bowles Rice, is jointly sponsored by Southpointe corporate residents Rice Energy and Range Resources, whose employees will be major competitors for this year’s cup.
The challenge for the cup, which is also supported by BLVD Pub & Kitchen and the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, will commence on the evening of April 27 and all day April 28 at the Iceoplex.
Rice bested eight other teams to take the inaugural cup competition in 2016. This year’s field of competitors has drawn more teams, each of which can include up to 30 participants. It promises to be another tug-of-war among corporate contenders, all of whom will join a collective fight for a cure.
Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. An estimated 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. have CF.
Nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation support. The foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for CF. Through its efforts, the life expectancy of a child with CF has doubled in the last 30 years.
Pat Joseph, executive director for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Western Pennsylvania chapter, which covers 13 counties that stretch from the New York border south to include Morgantown and Wheeling, W.Va., said there are about 600 people with CF in the region.
Rice Energy hopes to take the cup again, which stays with the winning company until the following year’s competition.
“We were there competing with people we know and interact with every day,” said Kim Price, communications manager at Rice Energy, in recalling last year’s competition. “We’re a very competitive company.”
She said Rice’s strategy is to fill the 30-person roster limit to handle all aspects of the competition. “We had a good time trying to figure out who would be on which teams.”
Christina Colalillo, corporate communications coordinator for Range Resources and a member of the 2017 Corporate Cup planning committee, said that her company has also filled its 30-member roster, and has beefed up its strategy for the fundraising segment of the event, which she declined to disclose.
While one of the Range contestants ruptured an Achilles tendon during last year’s dodgeball competition, Range said he’ll be back for this year’s event.
“We’re conditioned better this year,” Colalillo said.
Despite the obvious drive to win this year’s event, “We try to make it a fun event,” she said.
The race for the cup isn’t limited to the two major sponsors.
In addition to Rice and Range, this year’s Corporate Cup field is heavily weighted with other energy and non-energy company registrants who could give the two sponsors a serious run for the trophy. They include Mustang Oilfield Services, MarkWest Energy, CONSOL Energy Inc., EdgeMarc Energy, Earth Pipeline Services and Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania. In addition to Bowles Rice, non-energy industry competitors include WesBanco, Steptoe & Johnson, Mascaro Corp. and MedExpress.
One of the features that sets the cup competition apart is that it isn’t based on sheer physical strength. It features nontraditional sports — sand volleyball, broomball, dodgeball, bubble ball, trivia, tug of war and fundraising – challenges that could produce some outstanding performances by team members whose skills in nonathletic areas could may help to move their group to the forefront.
“A spectacular athlete may not come in first place,” Price said.
In addition to competing for a good cause, Price said the cup event is a great exercise in teamwork.
“We are always looking for new team-building activities, so that’s part of the reason Rice was attracted to the event,” she said.
Joseph said her organization was contacted in 2016 by Britt Freund, an attorney with the Bowles Rice Southpointe office. When Freund — whose 9-year-old son Brayden was diagnosed with CF as an infant and will be this year’s Corporate Cup Ambassador — was working at a Bowles Rice office in West Virginia, he participated in a similar cup event and suggested to Joseph that it would be a good fit for Southpointe, a corporate community with a huge roster of companies that collectively employ about 14,000 people.
“He shared the concept with me, and it was a great way to introduce the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to the Southpointe community,” Joseph said.
The two-day Corporate Cup challenge at the Iceoplex encourages friendly competition while building employee morale, not to mention raising some money.
Last year, the Corporate Cup competition raised $30,000 for the foundation. This year, Joseph said the goal is set at $50,000. While each team’s application fees go to the foundation, Joseph noted that the fundraising component of the competition makes it possible for team members to collect additional money from other employees in their organizations.
The 2017 Corporate Cup at Southpointe will be held April 27-28 at the Iceoplex. Those who are interested in volunteering, participating with a team or sponsoring the event can contact the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at 412-321-4422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.