Each fall, football enthusiasts draft their own fantasy teams from the NFL and compete each week with other league members. The fantasy football season run for the entire 15 week NFL season. Though they may be fun; a new study by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has tried to put a dollar figure on the impact of team “owners” managing their rosters during work.
The business of fantasy football is powered by 24.3 million players and earns about $1 billion according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Often these leagues have buy-ins which means paying attention to one’s fantasy team could lead to a big payoff. Workers may be managing their team’s rosters during time when they would otherwise be working.
Challenger, Gray, & Christmas estimate that over 22 million fantasy football team owners spend at least one hour a week adjusting their rosters during the work day and that is a conservative estimate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that $19.33 is the national average hourly wage. The total of 22 million people taking off one hour a week, at that hourly rate, comes out to $430.9 million lost every week. That totals $6.5 billion after the 15-week fantasy season.
This number sounds high but the effects end up being slight on the overall economy. Challenger, Gray & Christmas noted that their study is “very rough” and “non-scientific.” CEO John Challenger said on the firm’s blog that, “Employers will not see any impact on their bottom line and, for the most part, business will proceed as usual.”
Challenger goes on to say, “Companies that embrace the growing popularity of this activity could actually see a positive impact, particularly in terms of employee sentiment and loyalty.”
Guarini, Drew. “Fantasy Football Costs Employers Upwards of $6.5 Billion, Study Finds” News and Trends, Small Business. The Huffington Post. 9/4/2012. (9/12/2012).