World Cup Soccer is unlikely to be the subject of heated Monday morning debate in US workplaces. Americans are just not fervent followers of the sport, unless it involves the local U12 Boys Travel team. I have heard snippets of interest from unlikely sources who are simply interested in an event on the world stage.
More Nationalities; More Conversation
The greater the diversity in an organization, particularly those with immigrant populations born in far flung countries, the more likely the subject will come up. From Algerians to Germans and countries large and small in between chatter might increase based on success of the team and influence of the sport. But while informed Americans might be talking about the tie with England they won’t reach anywhere near the interest level in other homegrown contests.
Can’t Compete With March Madness
Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas did some informal polling and concluded that interest in the World Cup ranked 4th in the US behind NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships, Fantasy Football and The Super Bowl. Sounds like we are holding fast to our description of the game of football.
An Opportunity for Education?
Without the threat of extensive business interruptions due to employees sneaking out to catch a game or logging on at their desk this might be an opportunity to educate about the sport. If there is an enthusiast among your team they could share their interest, or at least explain the structure of the tournament. What does Group C and D mean,and why is a tie score a good thing? It can also be the platform for a diversity discussion about different countries and cultures. Maybe it will help in conversation with global clients.
Since the World Cup won’t be a likely disruption you can concentrate on keeping employees focused on the day before a long holiday weekend!