A few weeks back, the New York Times happened on to the story of Redfin’s Ryan Erickson, a Project Gotham Racing national video game champion we hired as a real estate assistant. Also a licensed agent, Ryan helps out with closing paperwork and sometimes zips around town to get our customers into houses.
But in his spare time, Ryan still competes, with Redfin as his sponsor. We paid for a Southwest ticket to the World Cyber Games U.S. Open and he agreed in return to compete half-naked with our logo spray-painted on his chest. At the last moment, he and his buddies decided to go with a Redfin t-shirt instead, but still seemed to take seriously their sponsorship duties:
The event was earlier this month at the Annex Theater in Hollywood, where, as Ryan said, “you walk with the stars on the sidewalk.” Ryan beat someone called IndigoFerret. Now Ryan has been invited to another tournament being covered by an ESPN crew of 16 cameras, and to the national finals in September. If Ryan wins in September, he’ll go on to the world championships in Italy.
The pictures of the event made me feel old: I was somehow flabbergasted to see young men drinking on a road-trip, and then nostalgic for the days when a hotel room, with cable, a well-made bed, an ice machine, and plenty of fresh towels seemed rife with possibility.