May 20, 2010

Call it a case of temporary insanity, lasting 31 days, gripping over a billion people, reoccurring worldwide every 4 years. It’s the FIFA World Cup. In a few weeks, the eyes of the world will turn to South Africa, the host of this year’s edition of global soccer madness. Below are a few of the symptoms we may witness as a result of the festivities.

World Cup Baby Boom: Historically, the host country and those that achieve success in the tournament experience a jump in the birth rate following the competition. These babies are often named after a star member of the parent’s respective national team.

Lost Productivity:  During the last World Cup in 2006, estimates placed the cost of lost productivity by workers in England at just over $7 billion for the month of the tournament, and this was only in one country. All over the world the picture is the same. In Brazil, on days their national team is playing all businesses shut down, including banks.

Consumption: The global beer conglomerate SAB has predicted a 6% rise in sales during the period of the tournament. This equates to about 30 million additional glasses of beer for the month. In order to insure adequate supplies for the duration of the tournament they have ramped up production over the last few months.

World Cup Mania will soon be upon us, and even though we will see little of its effects in America, it’s interesting to know the depths of the madness that will soon grasp the world, albeit temporally.

– Ian Walker