Millions of people around the world will sit down and watch the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons face-off in Super Bowl 51 next Sunday. And millions of Americans will, apparently, call in sick the day after the big game.
That’s why Kraft Heinz Co. has decided to give its salaried workers the day off following the big game.
So should the Monday after the National Football League’s championship game be a holiday?
In a Super Bowl marketing stunt, the Ketchup-maker says “over 16 million people are expected to call in ‘sick’ or plan to miss work on the day after” the Super Bowl.
The company also noted that for those who do show up at work, are not doing much and “productivity plummets so far that the country loses on average around $1 billion.”
According to a 2016 survey by employment think tank Workforce Institute, which was released ahead of Super Bowl 50, nearly 16.5 million Americans may miss work the day after the Super Bowl. The survey also went on to suggest that another 7.5 million will show up late for work.
In addition to giving its employees that day off, Kraft Heinz launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to make “Smunday” a national holiday in the U.S. The company started a Change.org petition “to make the day after the Big Game a National Holiday.”
“We can all agree that going to work the Monday after the “Big Game” on Sunday is awful. So as far as we’re concerned at Heinz, we as a nation should stop settling for it being the worst work day of the year,” the petition reads. “We don’t settle for that awesome football Sunday to be just like every other day of the year. No. We eat. We drink. And we be merry, having the tastiest times of our lives. But then the very next day we settle for that Monday being a terrible work day.”
As of Friday morning, the petition has nearly 30,000 of the 100,000 signatures needed to be presented to U.S. Congress.
Kraft Heinz, which has head offices in Pittsburgh and Chicago, has opted out of airing a Super Bowl commercial this year, the Chicago Tribune points out. Speaking with the newspaper, the head of Heinz brands said the company is rallying to make the holiday a reality.
“We hope other brands and companies join us and get behind this effort. … What we really want to do is make this a reality,” Nicole Kulwicki said. “We’ve been talking about this for years and decided it was finally time to rally behind this for the American people.”
According to Variety, a 30-second commercial spot during the Super Bowl costs upwards to $5.5 million.