It may be the World Cup, but when it comes to sapping productivity in the United States the global soccer tournament still has a thing or two to learn from March Madness and the National Football League.
Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which often measures lost workplace productivity, said many U.S. fans will tune in for the quadrennial soccer tournament, which kicks off Friday in South Africa, but the event still trails the NCAA men's basketball tournament, dubbed March Madness, and other events.
"Soccer simply has not caught on with the majority of American sports fans, Challenger CEO John Challenger said in a statement.
"However, the World Cup is a unique event and could attract a lot of viewers who might not typically go out of the way to watch a match," he added. "Even as the sport grows in popularity, though, it will have far less of an impact on workplace productivity than the March Madness basketball tournament, for example."
In Challenger's nonscientific, nonbinding ranking of sporting events with the most potential to affect workplace productivity, the World Cup ranked No. 4: