Baseball's Opening Day Sparks Increase in Employee Absenteeism and Inattention

VerticalResponse Survey Finds Nearly Half of Offices Feel the Crack of the Bat on Opening Day

San Francisco, CA – Mar. 31, 2006 – Baseball's opening day is just around the corner and many of our nationÕs employees would rather take part in the pastime than focus entirely on work. VerticalResponse, the leading provider of self-service email and direct mail marketing solutions, recently surveyed customer companies in cities with professional baseball teams and found nearly half (46%) of respondents see an increase in absenteeism and inattention on opening day, as many employees either miss work entirely or tune eyes and ears toward the game through their browsers and/or radios.

The survey also revealed one-quarter of companies use baseball for business-related purposes, such as schmoozing clients at the ballpark, purchasing tickets in luxury boxes, and employee outings. Another notable aspect of the responses is the trends from different regions of the country, for example:

  • New England companies lead the way in baseball-related absenteeism and inattention, as 39% of the areaÕs respondents say opening day affects their productivity and many of the region's companies leverage Red Sox mania in marketing efforts:
    • Half of the responding area companies incorporate baseball in their direct email campaigns.
    • Half also experience a change in email response rate on opening day.
  • 43% of total respondents across the country make a family affair out of game day, taking their spouse and kids to the ballpark. Midwesterners skewed even more strongly towards family-orientation, with more than half stating they usually attend a game with their family.
  • The West Coast shows a more romantic trend, as 38% responded they attend a game hoping to sneak a kiss from a date on the Jumbotron.

“Many companies tie their promotional efforts to local and seasonal themes, and with new offices overlooking AT&T Park, we understand the appeal of baseball as a marketing tool,” said VerticalResponse CEO Janine Popick. “Targeted campaigns crafted around special themes, or devised with regional differences in mind Ð such as the kind revealed in the survey Ð yield greater results, underscoring the need for campaigns tailored to particular audiences.”

The unscientific survey was conducted via email in March 2006 and queried VerticalResponse customers in markets with professional baseball teams on topics relating to baseball and direct marketing.

About VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse, Inc. (http://www.verticalresponse.com) is a leading provider of self-service email and direct mail services empowering businesses of all sizes to create, manage and assess their own direct marketing campaigns. VerticalResponse’s flagship product, which allows customers to deliver sophisticated yet easily deployed email campaigns, is the most intuitive and affordable Web-based direct marketing solution available. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit www.verticalresponse.com.

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