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The Impact Of Sports On American Society

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Sports in America and elsewhere have profound impacts on societies around the world. 
They can serve as a form of entertainment and bonding and can also impact work-life. 

For two weeks, teams worldwide compete for the title of World’s Best. To the casual fan, catching your national team in competition can directly conflict with your working or sleeping hours. To the more ardent fan, seeing your national team in competition can severely crimp your work and social lives. 

Some companies throughout the UK have even considered a 4-day workweek, and sports, entertainment, and family are some of the calculus behind those considerations. 


In the United States, sports’ impact on society is just as immense as everywhere else. 


Photo: Your Teen Magazine

The Super Bowl is the preeminent sporting event and entertainment event of the year. In 2022, almost 100 million TVs broadcast the game to households, restaurants, and bars throughout the United States. For four hours, TVs were set to the network broadcasting the game, with people of all interest levels watching some of the game.

The Super Bowl’s impact on American society goes far beyond the game itself. People tend to gather together and hold large Super Bowl viewing parties, with the highlights being the commercials and the half-time entertainment.

For most people, the social gathering and the entertainment surrounding the game are more important than the game itself. They are what people talk about long after they forget who played, won, and lost the championship. 

And the impact lasts longer than the games. Celebrities and brands are made during the commercials, and labor hours are lost due to the post-game “Sick Monday” that occurs the day after. 

It’s thought that about 10% of the labor force calls out sick the day after the Super Bowl to the tune of over 2.5 billion dollars and nearly 7 hours of labor lost per worker. 

Another significant sporting event that long-reaching impacts society is the collegiate basketball national championship known as March Madness. 

March Madness runs for two weeks and pits 64 teams against each other in a single-elimination tournament where the team that wins 4 games is the National Champion. 

The tournament’s appeal is that it is played by amateurs, some of whom will be playing professionally in a short time, and the players represent various colleges and universities. 

The draw is on both the schools the teams represent and the skill and the drama of amateurs playing passionately in perhaps their final games. 


While the Super Bowl is a one-day event that offers a variety of entertainment for everyone, March Madness has one distinct difference. 

People enjoy the craziness of March Madness because they’re gambling on the games. 


No, it’s not gambling on the games in the traditional way where you need to understand the March Madness odds, money line, or over/under. However, for the casual fan, there’s a different way to play and wager on the games than traditional sports books. 

People participate in office pools, which is a form of gambling. In an office pool, you select teams to advance or lose in a bracket and get points for each round you get correct. After the championship, the player with the most points wins the pool. 

The impact of people playing office pools is a combination of sick days, longer lunch breaks, fewer meetings, and rescheduled appointments, impacting labor hours to the tune of about $13 billion. 

Meanwhile, ad revenue increased, with the most recent tournament in 2022 showing $900 million in advertising aimed at people watching the tournament. 

While the Super Bowl is an extremely popular event, it’s relatively brief compared to the two weeks of the college basketball championship. The other difference between the Super Bowl and March Madness is that with the college tournament, people have a broader opportunity to play in the pools.

People don’t need to understand the intricacies of the sport. They can choose a team based on their alma mater, a mascot, or other points of interest and have some passing interest in the outcomes of the games. 

For others, they can take the tournament as seriously as the players themselves, spending hours digesting breakdowns and matchups before making their selections. 

The point of playing office pools is to have an enjoyable two-week tournament, to experience the highs and lows of the games, and to be invested in a team or teams until the eventual National Champion is chosen. 


Between the time invested in watching the games and lost labor hours, is it time to consider the impact of sport on American society and employment as intertwined?
If so, is it time for businesses to consider adjusting their work schedules or even adopt a 4-day work week like in the UK and elsewhere? 

Featured Image: Your Teen Magazine
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