A typically collaborative spirit got a bit competitive recently when a group of Esri employees met for a friendly soccer tournament known as the Esri Cup—co-ed, cross-departmental teams who compete on three fields in at least four matches. Friends and family members can also play, or just come out to enjoy the action and root teams on.
This was the first year some participated, including a colleague of mine in Human Resources, Megan. She got involved after hearing about Esri Cup from one of the hiring managers she supports. “I was a little worried about playing, because I had just finished recovering from an ankle injury,” she said. The day of the tournament, she was a little nervous, but excited. “It’s a very competitive match, and I knew some had been playing for several years.”
Turns out Megan had no need to be nervous. Her team, Thunderstruck, came in second. Red Bull Redlands came home with the championship trophy … and a year of bragging rights, of course.
“It was a great day. I got to see people in a different light—a fun, yet competitive environment,” Megan said. “I would love to play again next year.”
Donny in Industry Solutions added, “The tournament is always fun. There’s enough competition to take it seriously, yet you’re playing with many familiar faces, and that lightens the mood. It serves as a time for me to catch up with old friends.”
Even though Esri Cup is an annual event, there are year-round opportunities for staff to play soccer. Many participate in adult leagues offered at the Drayson Center, a nearby fitness and recreation facility, where Esri employees receive a substantial discount on membership fees. “I also play at the Drayson Field co-ed league; the most fun matches are always against other Esri teams,” said Donny.
Will Red Bull Redlands hold on to the championship next year? Time will tell!