Social Media Makes March Madness More "Mad"

6:14 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, N.C. -- When you think about big basketball games or tournaments, you might picture a sports bar. If you can't make it to the game itself, a sports bar is always a good way to enjoy the game with a crowd.

However, more and more people are turning to social media to get the feeling of watching a game with a group.

"We're actually talking about this with people who live all across the world. You have sports fans from one team that you can all connect with. So, I think it has really opened up the broader sense of team spirit," Danielle Hatfield, Social Media Expert and owner of Experience Farm, said. 

Bleachers Sports Bar on Spring Garden in Greensboro opened last month. The owner knows people love using social media to talk about sports. Now, he's encouraging customers to Tweet and post about the game and the bar.

"We are reaching everyone and letting them have an opportunity to let their friends know where they are at, where they can come and that they can sit in a peaceful atmosphere to enjoy and laugh and have fun," Bleachers Sports Bar Owner Darryl Murray said.

Of course, all this social media chatter can spoil a game, as well. Many people have to work while their favorite team competes.

"You literally have to go on a social media lockdown until you've watched your game in the privacy of your own home. That's a huge challenge for people sometimes...not getting the information, not getting the scores," Hatfield said.

But, plenty of people still find ways to watch the game during the workday.

A new study reports March Madness costs companies at least $134 million in lost wages over the first two days of the tournament. Three million workers spend one to three hours watching games instead of working.

"Some employers embrace it. They have a lot of fun with it to try and boost morale. Others block it. But, because so many people have access to smart phones, it's very difficult to not have your employees taking a peek here and there throughout the workday," Hatfield added.

But, productivity loss isn't as bad as it once was. Many people make up for that lost time by doing extra work when they're technically off the clock. Smart phones make it easy to do that.

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