The United States Corporate Athletics Association is a nationwide non-profit organization that promotes health and fitness among corporate employees by sponsoring corporate athletic events.
The USCAA’s Mission is to:
Sponsor Corporate Athletics which promote health, fitness and wellness among corporate employees.
Support athletic competition that:
- encourages corporate spirit, teamwork, camaraderie;
- provides for charity/community giving; and
- heightens corporate image among participating companies, customers and the public.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Building on the running boom of the 1970s, the editor and owner of Runner’s World magazine, Bob Anderson, established a corporate running championship, the Corporate Cup, in 1978 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The first races were held at bay area locations (initially Foothill College, UC Berkeley, and then a more permanent home at Stanford University) near the Runner’s World headquarters in Mountain View California.
The Corporate Cup Championship was a two-day weekend event featuring primarily relay track races to both maximize the opportunities for the number of competitors per team as well as provide for spirited team competition. Bob also included a road race to start off each day of the competition.
In the early 1980s the Championships drew as many as 70 teams to the summertime competition. The relay structure also involved age-group and both male and female categories geared to make the races as evenly competitive as possible. Some of the races were also uniquely “corporate specific” – for example with the “presidents relay” and the “executive relay” – requiring athletes of specific corporate levels. See the complete list of companies that has participated since the beginning.
Runner’s World sponsored the Corporate Cup from 1978 through 1984. In 1985 Anderson sold the magazine to Rodale Press in Pennsylvania. Rodale elected not to continue the magazine involvement with the Corporate Cup. Consequently, representatives from a number of competing teams (notably, Robert Radnotti (ExxonMobil), Jim Kanegy (Bristol Myers Squib), Lou Putnam and Dan Peters (AT&T), Kevin Holtzclaw and Chet Bieganski (GE), and Hank Lawson (Hewlett Packard) and a few others) formed the United States Corporate Athletics Association (USCAA).
Since its inception in 1985, the USCAA has modified some of the track championship format originally established by Bob Anderson by adding some field events and additional relays. See complete list of Corporate Relays locations and results.
The USCAA Board also added a Corporate Marathon Championship in 1986 in conjunction with the inaugural Los Angeles Marathon. The marathon championship has been held every year since 1986 in conjunction with a major US Marathon. See complete list of locations and results.
The USCAA is a nonprofit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors that continues to oversee the track championships, the marathons as well as other corporate related running activities. Also an affiliate organization with USATF, the overarching governing body of Track and Field in the United States.
The USCAA has a Hall of Fame which has recognized outstanding corporate athletes over the years. The USCAA has been actively involved in charity programs as an important part of its annual track championships (most notably, the Special Olympics and the American Cancer Society).
BENEFITS TO ORGANIZATIONS
When Bob Anderson established the original Corporate Cup a strong emphasis was on the health benefits associated with exercise. There was a realization that “a healthy employee is a better employee,” and workplace fitness centers and exercise programs became popular.
The corporate track and marathon competitions provide a unique opportunity for former high school and college athletes to continue competing after they have left their athletic pursuits and entered the workplace. It also is a vehicle for employees who may never have run or competed in the past to try something new that is both fun and healthy.
One of the biggest benefits that we have seen over the years is the incredible team-building that occurs when a corporate team gets together for the weekend competition. The bonding that is natural when a group is together and focus on a goal is both real and substantial. The team-building that occurs is unique, but the same lessons can easily carry over to the workplace.
USCAA events help build a strong corporate team image, not only for the employees who participate, but also among other participating companies, customers, and the public.
“There are a lot of positive spin-offs. In our factory, participants had a significant total weight loss, many cases of lowered blood pressure and other behavioral modifications dealing with diet and exercise. The good feelings also carry over into the workplace. Many of the ingredients that went into making the Corporate Relays a success for our team help make a successful corporation.”
Jim Streeby, John Deere Co
Personal health and fitness strengthen any business and ultimately benefits our entire system of free enterprise.
Join us in strengthening America by promoting and encouraging corporate fitness and wellness events.