The afternoon temperature highs aren’t the only things heating up this time of year. College basketball is in full swing and you’re probably already hearing some buzz on who will win the upcoming tournament.
Whether you’re in the office or working remote, picking up on the college basketball hype can help to boost company morale, create an atmosphere of camaraderie, and make time for some much-needed fun! No need to be a bracketology expert or longtime fan — implementing a few simple ideas can get your whole team engaged and excited about the weeks to come.
Create department brackets.
The die-hard basketball fans will likely have their personal brackets ready from the jump, and adding in another tournament on top of those could just get repetitive. Mix things up by having each department collaborate to create a bracket. You can grab a printable version from the NCAA website. Those with more knowledge about the teams can lead the discussion while making sure to take into account the team members who might be watching college basketball for the first time.
The discussions around the picks are sure to be lively, and your teams will be able to share the highs and lows of the season together. Once the brackets are set, share them with other departments to compare, and find some time for cross-departmental conversations about their odds (and maybe just a little friendly trash-talking).
Host a team outing to watch a game as a team.
This year, the last four games start on the first weekend of April. This gives you plenty of time to put together a great team outing to watch one of the games! Most bars or sports restaurants will be showing the game, if not having fun watch parties of their own. To take it a step further, bring decorations for your tables and copies of the brackets so everyone has easy access. If a crowded restaurant isn’t your scene, consider hosting a backyard watch party with a projector and screen to soak up the early spring weather!
If your team is remote, and won’t be able to watch the games together in-person, you could opt for a virtual happy hour. If you’re a bit too burnt out on those, you could have a separate Slack channel just for “live-slacking” the game while the team watches separately. To help make it special, you could send a quick “Thnks for all the fun this month!” — but more on that later!
Provide weekly updates and rankings for each department.
Keep the engagement going by adding quick recaps and ranking updates to weekly newsletters or department-wide emails. Be sure to share your appreciation for their participation, and maybe include a small reward for the department at the top of the leaderboard each week. Include the upcoming games and schedule for that week so your team can be sure to watch or host viewing parties together!
Have a “spirit day” to show off team colors.
Provide the opportunity for your team to show off their alma mater, their kid’s college, or just their favorite college basketball team. Encourage them to wear their team’s jersey or other merch or bring their collegiate coffee mug to the office for the day. If you’re not customer-facing, maybe even encourage some face painting. This will be sure to spark some conversations and highlight connections your team might not know are there yet. Extra points for team members who show up supporting rival teams!
Award winners with prizes — try Thnks!
When the thrill of the season comes to an end, be sure to celebrate your teammates and show your gratitude for them through prizes. Thnks is an awesome option for this, since you can personalize the messaging and the prize itself. The Thnks catalog has everything from game day snacks to team gear, so everyone involved can feel like a winner.