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

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid