The Reuters global sports blog
from Shop Talk:
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."
It might sound cliché, but who doesn’t enjoy rooting for the underdog? Unless you have a connection to one of the schools still involved or your bracket still has a chance at winning, who doesn’t want to see Northern Iowa, Cornell, or St. Mary’s College push deeper into the tournament?
As the Sweet 16 begins on Thursday there are still 11 conferences being represented (only 7 conferences represented in the Sweet 16 last year). Duke vs. Purdue is the only matchup pitting the two highest possible seeds against one another. My guess is that at least one surprise team will earn themselves a ticket to the Elite 8.
We approach the Sweet 16 having witnessed magical runs by teams like Northern Iowa and St. Mary’s so let’s take a quick look back at two defining players that helped them get here. Tomorrow we’ll review the teams that are left and the possibility of an all mid-tier Final Four.
This year’s NCAA tournament opening weekend pulled out all the stops and set the stage for what could go down as one of the best tournaments ever. In particular there were the thrilling last second heroics of #9 Northern Iowa to defeat #8 UNLV and a dominating win by #10 St. Mary’s over #7 Richmond. Both teams followed up those wins with spectacular surprises against Kansas and Villanova to leap onto the national scene. It has been a good March for students, alumni and fans of both schools.
The madness of March continued today as we saw the fall of the top overall seeded Kansas Jayhawks to the #9 Northern Iowa. Additionally #2 seed Villanova collapsed against #10 St. Marys and #3 New Mexico lost to #11 Washington. Cinderella has arrived to the Sweet 16 and brought along some friends.
Brackets everywhere have been busted wide open.
Northern Iowa was not intimidated by Kansas and played solid all game long. Kansas fought back at the end, but the Panthers’ 3 point shooting solidified the upset. The Jayhawks are now the first #1 seed eliminated and the shocking loss is now the exclamation point on a growing list of surprises helping to establish this year’s tournament as a classic.
We didn’t have to wait long for the thrills and excitement of March Madness to capture the attention of college basketball fans everywhere.
In the first three games of the 2010 NCAA tournament we witnessed an upset, overtime and a double-overtime. Not a bad start.
The Ides of March may be looming for Greece and the EU, but stateside this month means only one thing: March Madness. It is estimated that as many as 50 million people will fill out a bracket for the collegiate basketball tournament this year. This has led to wild speculation that this annual event could cost companies millions of dollars in lost productivity.
March Madness is driven by several factors. Alumni bias comes into play, as pride and tradition associated with their collegiate teams drives fan into a frenzy. Others tend to be more analytical, attempting to predict the inevitable upsets and shockers.
Detroit may be at the heart of the U.S. economic meltdown, but for a sports fan there are few places better than the Motor City, even if it is sputtering along these days.
This weekend Motown is revving up for one of the biggest parties in American sport, with close to 100,000 college basketball fans hitting town for a bit of March Madness and the Final Four.
John Calipari’s hiring as the new basketball coach at Kentucky signals an immediate renaissance at one of the nation’s most storied programs.
Lexington is the perfect home for the master salesman. If Calipari can lead relative lightweights Massachusetts and Memphis to the Final Four, it’s scary to imagine what he could do at a powerhouse.
Here on Tobacco Road, Madness is about to break out.
Doctors, dentists and ordinary folks will reschedule appointments, telephone calls will go unanswered and party hosts will frantically consult newspapers and television stations to ensure Aunt Suzy’s birthday gathering does not come at the wrong moment.
Even productivity will slink downward as employees nationwide, and perhaps the boss, peak at televisions and the Internet for an update.