Super Bowl Talk Isn't Cheap

January 26, 2007 ( - With the Super Bowl only a week away, the folks at Challenger, Gray & Christmas have once again attempted to quantify the impact on workplace productivity.

In fact, the various partying plans, pooling, and/or surfing for information about Super Bowl XLI could cost employers some $800 million in lost productivity this next week, according to the outplacement firm.

In Chicago and Indianapolis, the two cities whose National Football League teams will face off on February 4 – losses could reach $85 million, according to the firm’s estimates. In Indianapolis workers are expected to cost their employers $2.5 million for every ten minutes of lost productivity, while Chicago employers could lose $14.6 million for the same time.

The firm says that if employees spend 10 minutes a day focused on the game, that adds up to $162.1 million per day, based on average earnings and expected viewership.

The Mourning After

Then there is the day after the championship when people discuss the game’s plays, the TV commercials, or simply call in sick, resulting in more money lost, the outplacement consultant reported.

None of this contemplates the positive impact that the event surely has on the economy – well, at least certain food and beverage producers. And what Madison Avenue do, shorn of the nation’s willingness to actually wait FOR the commercials?

Ultimately, of course, if there wasn’t the Super Bowl, it would probably be American Idol, 24, or Desperate Housewives. Or surveys about how much time we’re wasting talking about such things.

At least we’re talking.