March Madness Estimated to Cost Employers $1.3 Billion Per Hour

Monday, March 14, 2016


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The 2016 NCAA Tournament is set to begin on Thursday and according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc. the tournament could cost up to $1.3 billion per hour in the opening week of the tournament.

“We are approaching full employment across the country. In some metropolitan areas, the unemployment is well below the threshold where talent is readily available. In this environment, employers should be taking steps to increase engagement and loyalty, not find ways to crush morale and employee camaraderie,” said Andrew M. Challenger, vice president of global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

A survey of the 2015 tournament done by career found that 15 percent of workers planned to participate in March Madness office pools. That number was up 11 percent from 2014. Challenger, Gray & Christmas are estimating that as many as 20  percent of 50.5 million of the 252.6 million employed Americans could be joining office pools this year.

More Access

For this year's tournament, workers will have more access to watch the games then they ever have before. This is due to NCAA March Madness Live which will allow fans to watch live streams of games across 12 platforms, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku players and Roku TVs, Amazon Fire tablets, IOS and Android Mobile devices, Windows handsets, Web browsers, and the Apple Watch.

March Madness Live generated 80.7 million live video streams and 17.8 million hours of live video consumption during the 2015 tournament.

“The level of access is unprecedented, adding more fuel to the March Madness fire. It might be tempting for employers to try to beat back the flames by limiting access to streaming sites or banning office pools, but such a strategy will only backfire.

Efforts to suppress the Madness would most likely result in long-term damage to employee morale, loyalty and engagement that would far outweigh any short-term benefit to productivity,"  said Challenger.

2016 NCAA Tournament

The 2016 NCAA Tournament is set to begin on Thursday, March 17 with the first games tipping off just after noon eastern time.


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