Sports are pretty much the ultimate team building experience. There are several ways that a company can use sports can be used to build teams, some of which are more enjoyable than others. Few things unite a team as well as having a sport in common; it is usually just a matter of figuring it out. Of course, some cheat and find a way for everyone to be part of the same sport. There are also ways for everyone to participate in a sport, even when it is not as obvious as it may appear at first. It is just a matter of picking a sport and charging in.
A company sports team is pretty much the most obvious way to go. While participants will usually be split into one of three roles, it does mean that everyone has a way to participate. There are the athletes themselves, those that actually compete in the sport, and ready to defend the honor of the company at every competition. At the other extreme are the fans, those that support the team and keep its spirits high no matter what. You also have the boosters that fill in the support positions, from creating and maintaining uniforms, dealing with travel chores, and any other roles that keep the team going. Combined with a push from marketing, and the team can be a serious tool for company morale.
There is also corporate support for major events. Even if that support is local, such as parties at each affiliate office, allowing fans to be fans can make for some great morale-raising opportunities. When you do so, you need to decide how to choose which team will be the focus of each party, or to be as non-denominational as possible. Regardless, celebrating major sports events can be a major morale boost and give fans a chance to celebrate, even if it is for the other team; recognizing that sports is a major part of anyone’s life is never a bad thing, and it gives everyone a chance to take a small yet welcome vacation from work.
The company can also sponsor its own sporting events. These can range from mini-olympics with silly events, such as a decathlon based on janitorial chores, to more serious sports such as an annual baseball game. Some companies sponsor such events as airsoft tournaments or participation in marathons for the same reasons. Regardless of which sport is actually chosen, you would be surprised at how effective a company sports event can be when it comes to creating a unified team spirit, even among rivals.
Ultimately, it does not matter which sport is chosen so long as something is chosen. Anything that allows for rivals to match wits, that allows a break from work even as people are getting for it, and basically recognizes that competition is an important part of everyone’s life will work. People love sports; remember that and somehow exploit that, and you will see some very rewards from it every quarter.