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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid