The Kind of Publicity You Just Can't Buy

Redfin’s sponsored athlete, real estate assistant Ryan Erickson, competed in another national video game championship, this one in the San Francisco Bay Area. The tourney made the front page of the San Francisco papers, and will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2 later this month.

We complained at the last tournament, which Ryan won, that our $200 Southwest ticket didn’t buy the all-body sponsorship package Ryan had promised us. So this time, without talking to anyone, he pulled out all the stops.

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What’s best about this picture is that no one in it, least of all Ryan, seems to have any idea how surreal it all is. And it’s hard not to like the home-made logo lettering in the Iron Maiden script, as small and distinct as a scar, underscored by an exciting, gratuitous shazam.

We would describe the scene of the tournament for you, but Ryan’s description cannot be improved on:
“To sum up the event, the place was on Treasure Island, the stage alone cost them $13 million, they had the best Hollywood caterers, an 11-time Emmy-award-winner filming it, free booze every day, gamer groupies, a huge pimp yatt, the works. Oh yeah, and everybody was trashed the entire time (as you can imagine Hollywood people would be). Some how they didn’t get robbed when they handed out $50G’s to all us gamers for spending money the first day.”

This time, Ryan didn’t win. When he leaves the stage, vanquished for the first time, it almost seems as if he is some decapitated, triumphant devil-spawn, escaped from one of the video games being played.

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There are few people with the fearlessness and unconventionality to compete on television half-naked, to raise their arms in defeat, to cover themselves and their hair (which later had to be shaved) with red paint. In short, Ryan is a true Redfinner.

Here’s our post-tourney interview:
What place did you come in?
4th – 6th. They made me play with a manual transmission.

Who beat you?
Some nobody with the game-name Naka360

How did the groupies react to the red paint?
The groupies loved it.

Were any of these women your wife?
Nope.

Did we actually remember to pay for your ticket?
Nope.

[Turns out the tournament paid for the trip. We're sponsoring Ryan at his next tourney. He loves his wife very much.]

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