Note from your Community Managers: For all inquires and requests regarding Status Challenges, please refer to the following thread:
Just signed up for Platinum Challenge. If I sign up for Marriott Premier Visa Card, does the 15 night credit apply against the 18 challenge nights needed to keep status?
is it really only about "matching status"?
I think it is just a great marketing tool without much extra/real costs for Marriott, since you only get this challenge when you statistically will reach the status anyway
in my case I did the gold challenge 2 months ago, and hit 54 (real) nights (no Marriott CC) right now anyway;
I have seen a lot of different new hotels due to the challenge (switching hotel to comply; 1 day stay = 1 stay...) and I have even booked Marriott-hotels in cities where I would have normally booked "just another hotel".