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'June Madness' Invades Corporate America

Is World Cup fever disrupting business in the U.S.? What are they doing about it? At large New York-based companies in particular, which employ people from across the globe, the World Cup has indeed proven disruptive; employees who don't smoke are faking cigarette breaks, stealing outside to watch games in bars, many more are keeping one eye attuned to FifaWorldCup.com, and another on the lookout for their boss. The Wall Street Journal calls it "June Madness," and the surprising thing about it is the way many companies are choosing to respond. Instead of waiting for scores of employees to call in sick, take last-minute vacations, or schedule extra-long meetings in the outside world, companies are countering by putting in more flat screen TVs, or in the case of banks like Deutsche Bank or JP Morgan Chase, they're making sure half TV monitors on trading floors are tuned into the games. "June Madness" has penetrated smaller companies, too. One McDonald's franchise owner installed plasmas in dining and break areas as if to say, 'We have it here, so don't even think about staying home.' Of course, there's now ESPN360 for those with certain Internet Service Providers (like Verizon), which will be stream-casting 52 of the 64 matches live to PCs.

Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) »

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