Thursday, April 26, 2018
Business

Tampa Bay businesses gear up for World Cup kickoff

World Cup fever is sweeping through office break rooms and cubicles and anywhere else interested workers can watch the big soccer match between the United States and Germany, which starts at noon.

At Grow Financial employees are competing in a contest launched earlier this month, with each worker choosing a World Cup team to support. Every win earns the employee a chance to pick a prize out of a bucket, including time off or a free lunch.

Some companies like website consulting firm Socius Marketing in Tampa plan watch parties during lunchtime, bringing in pizza for their cheering masses. Others, like the Tampa unit of Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau, will have TVs blaring the games in conference rooms, even if no formal festivity is planned.

Few office climates, however, may compare in intensity and rivalry to the Odessa headquarters of Bauer Foundation. The German-owned maker of construction equipment is bringing in food for about two dozen workers.

Even though a tie ensures both teams advance to the next round, Mike Germana, CEO of the Odessa operation wants to beat his bosses back in Schrobenhausen, Germany.

"The agreement I have with my colleagues in Germany is that if the game is going well, they may receive a text message from me," Germana said. "If the game is not going so well, my phone is not working and I don't have good cell phone reception."

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