Leapin' lizards Batman, it's a new world record!

Gotham, er, Calgary earned the record it both needed and deserved last week, as the largest gathering of people dressed as Batman took over the Canadian downtown.

At a record attempt organized by oil and gas company Nexen Energy employees, 542 Caped Crusaders donned their best cowls and capes to establish the first-ever mark in the category and far surpass the required 250 participants needed for a first-time record.

Nexen, headquarterd in Calgary, made the attempt for a reason altruistic enough to put a smile on even Bruce Wayne's face: it helped kick off their 2014 United Way campaign, "From Suits to Superheroes," helping raise funds and awareness.

"Our employees are true super heroes and we're very proud of the teamwork and community spirit they've demonstrated in supporting this initiative," says Fang Zhi, CEO, Nexen Energy ULC. "Our goal was to show a unified spirit in kicking off Nexen's annual United Way campaign."

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Nexen contributions to the United Way are made up of employee donations, which are matched dollar-for-dollar by Nexen. For 2014, Nexen hoped that Batman gathering would would increase employee participation while inspiring other companies and organizations in Calgary to support the United Way for the year to come.

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In its various charitable campaigns since 1996, Nexen has raised more than $15.4 million ($17 million Canadian) for the United Way, but never has the start of a campaign garnered attention quite like this.

Showing a more light-hearted side to Batman, the Nexen employees who dressed up for the attempt resorted to plenty of music and dancing to pass the time, including a rousing YMCA.

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It isn't the first time Nexen considered its employees as super heroes. Literally. While the number has since been broken, the company had its members break the record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Superman in 2011 with 437 participants, to kick off that year's "Be a Hero" United Way campaign.

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"Nexen's Calgary United Way campaign theme ties into our values of supporting the communities where we live and work," said Brian Humphreys, Vice President, Corporate and Government Relations. "By working together, Nexen and our employees are helping United Way address its goals of fighting poverty, helping kids thrive and building strong communities."

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