Super Bowl XLI Could Cost Employers Over $800 million 

In the week leading up to the Super Bowl XLI in Miami between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, February 4, the amount in lost wages could exceed $810 million, according to an estimate by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.  

Super Bowl spending by consumers and advertisers is a boon to the economy, but the U.S. employers could potentially lose as much as  $162.1 million for every 10 minutes of unproductive work time by the  distracted workers, according to Challenger estimates. 

Other Interesting Super Bowl Numbers:  

  • $100 million: The amount of money Americans spend each year on Super Bowl merchandise.
  • $2.6 million: The average cost of a 30-second commercial during this year’s Super Bowl.
  • $613.4 million: The amount of money spent by the top-five Super Bowl advertisers between 1987 and 2006.

Challenger’s calculations are based on the assumption that of the estimated 90 million Americans expected to watch Super Bowl XLI, 63.4% or 57.1 million are employed. The average weekly income for all workers in America is $682, according to the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That breaks down to $17.05 per hour or $2.84 every 10 minutes in a 40-hour work week.

According to the calculations, for every 10 minutes the 57.1 million employed Super Bowl fans spend at work chatting about the game or surfing the Internet to compare starting line-ups, it costs employers $162.1 million. 

“In fact, the benefits of the Super Bowl XLI on the workplace far outweigh the negatives. Common interest in one of the teams might bring together two employees who might never have interacted otherwise. If companies can find a way to take advantage of Super Bowl excitement to build morale and company loyalty, the benefits can be even greater,” Challenger said.

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