Indy Eleven Presale Through February 29

Spring is on the way and so is the 2016 Indy Eleven soccer season. The action begins April 9 at Carroll Stadium against the Ottawa Fury.

Through our partnership with Indy Eleven, you can order tickets for this game and any other match during the 2016 Indy Eleven season before they go on sale to the general public.

Access this special presale opportunity now, running through 10:00 a.m. on Monday, February 29. To order your Indy Eleven tickets starting at only $11, visit http://presale.indyeleven.com and enter the code PRESALE.

Schedule

Eleven Offering Soccer, Business Combo

08-19-15vTBR_Networking-Night (720)I love to tackle (no pun intended) stories that fall under the Business of Sports banner, combining business elements with the games we love to watch and play. Our team did some excellent work in BizVoice from Nov-Dec 2013 through Sept-Oct 2014, with a summary available here.

The Indy Eleven, in a rare Wednesday night game on August 19, is mixing soccer action with a “Networking Night” featuring business leaders representing a variety of industries.

A pre-game reception, open forum with the business representatives, dinner, two drink vouchers and exciting professional soccer (7:30 p.m. against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Carroll Stadium) are all included for just $25. Tickets are now available.

Time for Some Midweek Soccer and More

The Indy Eleven may be going through a few growing pains on the field (1 win, 6 losses and 4 draws but with a number of close, heartbreaking setbacks) as a first-year team in the North American Soccer League, but the franchise has a perfect mark at the gate — six home games in league play and six sellouts.

All games are played on Saturday evenings with the exception of an upcoming Wednesday contest (August 6) against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The team has a special “Happy Hour Night” offer available for businesses and individuals with a game ticket and hospitality package for just $25. Details are available here.

The Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice magazine featured the off-field success of the franchise in its March-April issue this year. Check out the story if you missed it, and check out the state’s newest professional team and the excitement of the soccer experience on August 6.

Life is Like a Team Sport

I admittedly have little knowledge about the game of soccer. I participated in a league for elementary students for a few years, but my experience mainly consisted of talking to teammates on the sidelines and partaking of the snacks before going home. I’m not even sure my foot ever made contact with the ball during a match.

In light of the recent World Cup matches, I came across an article posing the question: Is life more like baseball or soccer? The conclusion was that life mimics the team-oriented sport of soccer rather than the more-individualistic baseball. And while baseball is another sport that evades my complete comprehension, I found the argument compelling.

At Hanover College, where I’ll be a senior in the fall, we’re assigned to at least one group project in each of our business classes. During the first business class I took in college (and many of the subsequent ones I’ve completed), I received a speech on the team-oriented nature of business. Those of us who preferred individual work would have to adjust, because the success of an organization hinges on the collaboration of the individuals working within it.

The article is interesting because it asserts that even decisions we would consider purely personal—such as what career path to take, whom to socialize with and what values to hold—are actually influenced by the people around us, which makes sense. Our norms are determined by those we’re surrounded by.

Now, considering my lack of sports’ knowledge, I can’t truly comment on the soccer versus baseball argument, nor on Brazil’s loss to Germany (which seems to have inspired the article), but I appreciated the perspective on the team aspect of life and how influential our networks are. I think it’s something important to keep in mind, whether at work, school or simply with friends. Who we surround ourselves with and who we work with can play a major role in our lives.

Indy Eleven Looking to Pack ‘The Mike’ for Final Home Stretch

If you haven’t been to an Indy Eleven contest yet, you may be in the minority as the state’s new professional soccer team has created quite the buzz while filling its seats in Carroll Stadium. (And you can read our feature story on the team in the March/April BizVoice.)

The squad is closing out the spring season (the North American Soccer League split the year into two seasons because of the World Cup) with three home matches in May.

Here are links to tickets so you can treat yourself or your family to some high-level soccer:

Business of Sports (Impact) at Work

Global workplace productivity is expected to suffer over the next month as the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament takes center stage. The U.S. impact won’t be as substantial. Despite the continued growth in youth soccer (my son wanted to take a personal day from camp to watch the South Africa-Mexico opener on Friday morning), the world’s most popular game has not attracted the same fanatical support here at home.

But the folks at Challenger, Gray & Christmas have put together a non-scientific ranking of the sporting events that likely do have the biggest effect on employees … and ultimately employers. No surprise to me at No. 1. I’m of the belief that a certain Thursday and Friday in March are really national holidays.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (aka, March Madness) – Widespread office tournament pools and the fact that about half of the first 32 games are played during work hours (and streamed live on CBS Sports March Madness on Demand) make this the granddaddy of productivity sappers. Proof of the event’s impact on productivity: the “Boss Button,” which instantly hides the webcast behind a fake spreadsheet, was hit 3.3 million times during the 2010 Tournament.
 
NFL Fantasy Football – Millions of fantasy football participants manage their teams from their office, whether it’s preparing for the fantasy draft or initiating a four-way trade.   

The Super Bowl – While the game is not played during traditional work hours, the impact on the workplace comes the following day, when many Super Bowl revelers find this particular Monday especially difficult to manage.  

World Cup Soccer – Some companies in Europe and South America may even shut down on the day of a big match.
 
College Football Bowl Season – Bowl games start in mid-December and many die-hard college football fans attempt to watch every game. Some of these games are played during the day, while others go late into the evening.  

Baseball Playoffs and World Series – Games are mostly played in the evening, but often stretch into the wee hours. Groggy fans, particularly in cities with playoff/World Series teams, may be less productive the day after these prolonged games.
 
NHL Playoffs/Stanley Cup Finals – Professional hockey playoffs last almost two months. For cities with teams playing, this can create considerable distractions. 
 
NBA Playoffs/Finals – Much like with baseball and hockey, productivity is mostly killed in cities with competing teams. The biggest threat comes from late night game-watching on work nights. 
 
The Olympics – While most people get their fill through prime-time coverage, faster Internet connections are making it possible to watch live streaming of events from one’s desk. 
 
Apple Product Announcements – While this technically is not a sporting event, these announcements feature almost as much pre-event hype and watercooler speculation about what will transpire, particularly among members of the IT staff. Most events, which occur in the middle of the workday, are covered via live blogging, so those who cannot wait for news reports after the fact are able to be among the first to learn about Apple’s latest creation or product update.

On the Pitch: Indiana Stadiums on (Big) List of Possible World Cup Sites

If you’re like me, you’re a casual fan of soccer who gets a big kick (sorry, Monday morning is the wrong time for puns) out of watching the World Cup. USA Soccer has released a list of possible future sites, and both Lucas Oil and Notre Dame Stadiums made the list. Granted, 70 stadiums were mentioned, but it’s something to think about:

The USA Bid Committee mailed letters last week to public officials and stadium operators in metropolitan markets across the United States in an initial and important step toward preparing a formal bid to play host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

In all, 70 stadiums in more than 50 metropolitan markets are in consideration, ranging in market size from New York City, where the new Meadowlands Stadium will open in 2010 in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., to college town markets such as Lincoln, Neb., and Fayetteville, Ark. The outreach by U.S. Soccer and the USA Bid Committee truly represents a national campaign to welcome the return of the world’s most popular sporting event to the United States, with the comprehensive mix of metro markets and world class venues representing a chief asset of the U.S. bid.

“The United States is uniquely qualified to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 as demonstrated by the dozens of metropolitan markets with venues capable of staging World Cup matches in every respect, from the quality of their stadiums to their overall ability to accommodate thousands of fans, news media and visitors from around the world,” said Gulati. “We will soon begin discussions with officials from throughout the U.S. in the name of presenting a world class proposal to FIFA and the global soccer community.”