Two games in, and my bracket’s already busted. Oh hey, welcome to the CCC blog. I’m trying to sneak in some work today around the NCAA Men’s Tournament games. Sound familiar?
March Madness. As a basketball fan, sports junkie or gambler, you love it. As a business owner or manager, you may hate it. How do you make the most of this productivity black hole?
- Embrace the excitement. Approximately 40 million Americans will fill out more than 70 million brackets in 2015.* If you try to keep it out of the office, you’re missing out on the excitement it creates. Have an office pool, and encourage employees to display their brackets with pride. Have a “Tip-Off” party to commemorate the start of the tournament, complete with a basketball day luncheon of hot dogs or coneys, chips, nachos, other finger foods and all the trimmings.
- Bring the competition into your business. Hold contests for your various departments (most sales, most billings processed, highest amount of collections, etc.), and utilize the bracket format. Who’s going to #SurviveandAdvance to the next round? Recognize round winners, underdogs succeeding, MVPs, and of course, overall winners. Give meaningful prizes, such as a day off, lunch at a nice restaurant or coveted branded swag.
- Create a winning atmosphere. Beyond just displaying their brackets, encourage employees (or departments) to decorate their workspaces. Team paraphernalia, #1 foam hands and motivational sayings are all great ways to get in the spirit. If possible, allow employees to dress the part with their favorite team apparel. Allowing dress down days during a fun event doesn’t cost you anything but is appreciated by employees. Take your efforts one step farther by handing out basketball-themed promotional items complete with your brand. Branded water bottles, basketball stress relievers and rally towels are fun items that recipients can continue to use long after March Madness is gone. Offer higher end items, such as a tone-on-tone embroidered pullover, to contest winners.
Embracing the spirit of March Madness is a win-win. Your employees are happy yet still productive, and you end up on the right end of the final score.
Related reading: Sports & Leisure: Scoring Points & Creating Fans
How has your company embraced March Madness?
Who do you have cutting down the nets on your bracket?
Who’s your favorite college basketball team?
*Statistics courtesy of the American Gaming Association and GfK Custom Research North America
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