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Fantasy Football Costing Companies Millions
Are you ready for some football? The 2013 NLF season kicks off tonight. And competition isn't just on the field---it's also on the web in fantasy football leagues.
With nearly 30 million fantasy players in the U.S., a new study finds fantasy football may be hurting companies.
For about the next four months, millions of people will be devoting their time to fantasy football--from drafting and trading players, to tracking stats.
However, companies many have to worry about the lack of time spent doing real work.
For decades, fantasy football has been a growing trend across the U.S. Due to the growth in technology, fantasy football players can access their leagues anytime, anywhere.
"With all these apps now and everything, you can pretty much check them whenever you want," fantasy football player Steven Cheffy said. "And I just do to make sure I keep up on who's not going to be starting and who's not starting. Sometimes a lot of people wish that we didn't check them more than often."
Those people are also known as employers--who hope their employees spend more time on work and less time playing fantasy football.
"I'm guilty of that," fantasy football player Robert Spain said. "I do play in the workplace. I just keep my phone on vibrate. Any time someone sends you a trade offer or a trade goes through, the phone vibrates letting me know I have an email."
According to a study by Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc., playing fantasy football in the workplace is actually costing companies money. In fact, it costs more than $1 billion each week during the NFL season.
UIS College of Business Dean Ron McNeil said it's out of the employers' hands.
"I don't think you can stop it," McNeil said. "Some companies have tried by cutting off access to the games, but people are still going to do it. And I think by the end of the day, we are going to measure what people do and their productivity rather than something else."
Businesses like Buffalo Wild Wings do the complete opposite.
"We usually do one big Buffalo Wild Wings fantasy football draft and have all of the employees involved in it," General Manager Misty Follick said. "They have a blast at it, plus it gives them something to talk about with the guests."
Although some businesses may be losing yards, Spain says it boosts the team's morale.
"I think it builds camaraderie," Spain said. "I think it gets everyone together in doing something fun other than just being co-workers."