What the Super Bowl Means for Employers

by | 2 Feb, 2018

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On Sunday, February 4th, the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will face off in the 52nd Super Bowl. This year, over 100 million Americans are expected to tune in to the big game. While the Super Bowl is an annual source of excitement for sports fans all around the country, it can also be a source of stress for employers and HR professionals.


Because the Monday following Super Bowl Sunday is a very common day for employees to take a sick day, show up late, or be distracted at work. This can result in loss of productivity in the workplace. According to Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, Inc., if the same number of workers expect to take the Monday after the Super Bowl off work this year as last year, it could cost employers over $3 billion in lost productivity.

This has led many employers and HR professionals to ponder whether or not it is better to just make the day after the Super Bowl a company holiday. 72% of HR professionals surveyed by Office Team stated that they wanted the Monday after the Super Bowl to be a work holiday. Some groups have been organized in support of making the day a federal holiday, and petitions have been made to the White House and Congress, in favor of making it an “American Sports Holiday”.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to make the day after the Super Bowl a holiday or not is up to each individual employer. This choice is just one of several factors surrounding the Super Bowl and how it can impact the workplace.

An Opportunity for Employee Engagement

While the Super Bowl can be a source of distraction and can have a negative impact on employee productivity and focus, it can also be a great source of employee morale and engagement. Because so many employers today are looking for ways to boost employee engagement, employers should take advantage of this opportunity.

One way of compromising between giving employees the day off, and enduring a loss of productivity, is to incorporate ways for employees to connect about the big game into the work day on Monday. Employers could host a company-sponsored breakfast and coffee, which would have the dual benefit of giving employees a structured time to connect about the game, and getting employees into the office on Monday morning while still keeping morale high.

Office Pools

According to the “Workplace Policies for Office Pools” poll released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more office pools are coordinated for the Super Bowl than for any other event. Many HR professionals even report that office pools tend to have a positive impact on employee morale.  That being said, the poll also reports that two-thirds of employers do not have policies regulating office pools, fantasy sports leagues, or gambling in the workplace. Employers should pay careful consideration to local and state laws regarding gambling, and consider developing a policy on office pools that sets out guidelines on whether or not office pools are prohibited, to what extent company resources can be used, and disciplinary action that will be taken if an employee fails to comply with the guidelines laid out by the employer.


In conclusion, the Super Bowl is an exciting event for many, and there are potential effects (both negative and positive) that can spill into the workplace. While the day after the Super Bowl is a common day for employees to take off, come in late, or be distracted at work, the Super Bowl can still be a great opportunity for boosting employee engagement. Employers should consider ways in which they can boost employee morale with regards to the Super Bowl. They should also, however, consider potential risks and regulations, such as those surrounding office pools, and be sure to develop policies for how to handle these matters.

Do you want to learn more about how Navigate can help to take the reigns with concerns like this and other administrative necessities that detract from the growth of your business? Click here to set up a free consultation.

Tom DiSilva
Tom DiSilva has been providing professional human resource services for over 30 years. As the CEO of Navigate PEO, he actively partners with organizations of all sizes in the Greater New England area and across the country to help their businesses grow. He has expertise in HR and Labor Management, offering guidance and support for key areas of business such as negotiations, operations management, employee coaching, and employee benefits design. He is an active member of The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), Professional Association of Co-Employers (PACE), and The American Payroll Association (APA). He is deeply committed to giving back to the community both personally and through Navigate Cares, which provides support for several nonprofit organizations such as the USO, The Boys & Girls Club, and the 3Point Foundation.

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Disclaimer: this article does not represent expert advice and is provided for informational purposes. Please get in touch if you would like expert HR advice.