News / USA

Silicon Valley's Latest Perk: World Cup Viewing Parties at Work

  • Commuters wait for the train at the Estacao da Se subway station in downtown Sao Paulo. Subway workers suspended a strike on Monday that crippled traffic in Brazil's largest city, but warned they could resume their walkout on Thursday, when Sao Paulo hosts the first game of the World Cup, June 10, 2014.
  • Flip-flops printed with the national flags of soccer teams are sold in a sports shop, in Rio de Janeiro, June 10, 2014.
  • In a beachside parking area, a van contains a stockpile of coconuts, in Recife, June 11, 2014.
  • A building in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, June 11, 2014.
  • Armed Brazilian soldiers are deployed to provide security at the Corinthians arena, Sao Paulo, June 11, 2014.
  • Reginaldo, a Brazilian flag seller, waits for customers sitting in traffic just days before the 2014 World Cup events begin, Cuiaba, June 10, 2014.
  • Germany's national soccer team members wave as they are transported to the sailing ship 'Pangaea' near Santo Andre village, near Porto Seguro, Brazil, June 10, 2014.
  • The Obelisk is lit up in the Brazilian team colors of yellow and green in Buenos Aires. On the eve of the opening of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer will be lit up in the blue and white colors of the Argentine national team to show sportsmanship between the two nations, June 10, 2014.

PHOTOS: Brazil World Cup Excitement Builds

Reuters
Theme lunches, giant TVs and viewing parties. Silicon Valley may be far from the World Cup in Brazil but tech employees are getting in on the globe's most prestigious soccer event.

Twitter, LinkedIn and Nvidia are among several tech companies airing matches in their offices during the next month and encouraging employees to follow the action.

The World Cup has made inroads in the United States, although employees at many companies must be circumspect about getting their fix. But some tech companies, famous for giving their engineers everything from gourmet food to on-site hairdressers, World Cup fever's penetration is reminiscent of Latin America or Europe, where the tournament captivates the public.

Redwood City's Evernote, which makes note-taking software, dished up traditional Brazilian Feijoada meat stew and bolo de fuba cornmeal cake for lunch while Thursday's opening match between Brazil and Croatia played on projector TVs.

As the tournament progresses, with up to three games per day in the coming weeks, Evernote, as well as Twitter, Facebook Inc. and Zynga Inc. will have games playing in conference rooms and other locations.

“There are no real rules, you can watch as much of the game as you want,” said Linda Kozlowski, Evernote's vice president of worldwide operations. She expects many employees to bring laptops along and work while cheering their favorite team.

Most of this year's matches are scheduled during office hours in California, making for potential disruptions at companies known for demanding work schedules.

Electronic Arts Inc., which makes the 2014 World Cup Brazil videogame, is hosting “viewing parties” at its offices, including in a big-screen theater at its Redwood City headquarters. Its Vancouver, Canada office has daily contests for employees to win official World Cup soccer balls.

The region's top technology companies attract talent from around the world, making for diverse engineering departments often including a fair share of soccer enthusiasts.

Half of Silicon Valley residents speak a language other than English at home, compared to a fifth of people across the United States, according to the US Census Bureau.

French, US, Brazilian and Mexican team jerseys were spotted at chipmaker Nvidia on the days of “friendly” matches ahead of the 32-country tournament.

Cafeterias at Nvidia's 4,000-employee Santa Clara headquarters are showing matches throughout the tournament, said human resources manager Stephanie Luck.

“Because we hold our large meetings in cafeterias, we already have big screens and projectors. So the World Cup or [San Francisco] Giants World Series, anything super-important like that, you can walk into the cafeteria and it's just a sea of people,” she said.

The arrival of international stars like David Beckham to play in North America's growing soccer league has increased Americans' interest in the world's most popular game. But Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the iPhone, may be ahead of the trend.

Two in three Americans do not plan to follow the tournament, and only 7 percent anticipate following it closely, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid