thoughts, theories, observations & informationSubscribe Now

The March Madness Myth

I recently read in the Dayton Business Journal that according to a recent study conducted by a Chicago based consulting firm, March Madness costs companies$1.7 Billion. Really? Does anyone really believe this to be the case. I don’t. I suppose if we all still worked on assembly lines, and then spent the day mindlessly consuming basketball instead of building widgets, this would perhaps be accurate. However, the assumption that we are still a mindless drones who would otherwise come to work, not talk about life with co-workers, and otherwise not have fun at work seems dated and flawed to me. Is March Madness a distraction? Potentially. Is it any more of a time waster than the 500 meetings you may have to sit through? Doubtful. Does it give employees something to talk about, share with one another, and potentially connect on level deeper than a shared source for a paycheck. Absolutely. March Madness, Brackets, and the fun that surrounds them are perfect for conversation – not just between employees but with Clients and strangers too. March Madness is an opportunity to connect. I wonder if that study considers just how many sales reps led off appointments this week with the question “how did your brackets hold up the weekend?” That question generally sparks discussion which builds rapport and potentially trust. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. Do the math. Is this part of the non-productive time cited in the study? For 16 days March Madness very effectively replaces discussion of “the weather,” at a time when the weather is actually interesting. Sure, people might be less productive in cranking out widgets while their favorite team or alma matter is on the court, but I want to see the study that shows how much business is helped, not hindered, by March Madness. What do you think? Is March Madness good or bad for businesses?


March Madness to cost companies $1.7B – Dayton Business Journal: