The Weekly Buzz – Bracketology
Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and Selection Sunday, so I’m impressed that you are reading this (and not finalizing your bracket for the office pool). But you know what? I want to talk brackets too. (I have an ulterior motive—my Blue Devils beat Mike’s Orange on Thursday.)
I was just talking about Warren Buffett a couple weeks ago, but he’s back in the news again because of his insane annual bracket challenge for Berkshire Hathaway employees. He will give $1 million a year, for life, to any employee who picks a perfect Sweet Sixteen. The chances of that happening are super slim, though not as slim as in the first challenge he did back in 2014 with Quicken Loans ($1 billion to someone who could pick a perfect bracket). That got a lot of social media mentions, but mathematically it was obviously a stunt. Buffett now shows he’s actually committed to giving money away by offering a $100,000 consolation prize.
Breaking the Law
As much fun as it might be to have a bracket pool at work, it’s technically illegal outside Nevada and Montana. (Berkshire Hathaway’s prize competition doesn’t count as sports betting because participants don’t have to wager money to participate.) The FBI usually turns a blind eye since they are too busy figuring out how rich kids get into prestigious colleges, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful.
Basketball Wins, Productivity Loses
There are a lot of upsides to March Madness, from marketing opportunities to morale boosts. But when employees are streaming games at work and otherwise devoting work hours to following basketball, NCAA fever obliterates productivity, even among employees who are not sports fans. Estimates range from $1.9 billion to $13 billion in lost productivity!
Let’s talk about how following our favorite teams helps build working relationships! Seriously, even if you are a Tarheel, you can drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.