Ronnie Singh wasn’t supposed to be in gaming, or sports, at all.
His parents immigrated to the U.S. to provide a better life for their family. He was supposed to be a doctor, a lawyer or a computer scientist.
They didn’t work their butts off for their son to end up gaming.
Singh said, “There’s a lot of pressure as a first-generation kid. My parents worked so hard when we were kids. They worked at traditional businesses. The expectations were for me to go to college. I was the first member of my family to finish college in The United States. And I was going to go to post graduate school and become a lawyer.”
But he was torn. On one hand he wanted to be a good son, and listen to his parents and be a good example for the younger generation who followed after him.
But he never wanted to be a lawyer or any other of those other professions. He wanted to work in sports.
But that would have to wait until later.
At first, he did the sensible thing: He got a job in a law firm, before committing to law school, to see if that was the right career path for him.
He was working 80 hours a week and making great money but he hated it.
So, he quit.
And he took an unpaid position at a minor league women’s basketball team.
Yes, you read that correctly.
He left a high paying job at a law firm, and decided not to go to a top tiered law school, in order to work for free.
Imagine what his parents must have thought.
Singh said, “I was actually worried that I’d get disowned.”
He quickly found a paying gig with a minor league baseball team: The San Diego Surf Dawgs.
Singh said, “I was running their game day operations. In minor league sports it’s not about what’s happening on the field, or on the court, the real products were the sponsorships and making them fun.”
They had a toothbrush sponsorship and he would have their dance team go out with these gigantic toothbrushes and brush the bases in between innings.
He didn’t realize it then but learning how to market with no budget was an extremely valuable skill.
At the same time, he started to get into NBA2K, which at the time was just a new basketball game.
It started out as just a game that he liked to play after work. But he quickly became really good and became one the best players on the platform.
Singh said, “I emailed the head of marketing one day, Sarah Anderson. And I was like, ‘They’re starting to recognize me on these forums and I’m sort of becoming a force. What are your thoughts about me starting a Twitter account that’s named Ronnie2K?’ And she’s like, ‘That’s a great idea.’ That singular decision set off this chain of events which is what it is now.”
It turned out to be a great decision for both parties.
Singh just celebrated his 15th year with the company. He is currently the Digital Marketing Director for 2K Games.
He is the face of the company. He plays in celebrity games. He’s at all the parties. He’s the guy.
But on the flipside, when NBA players don’t feel like their rating is high enough, they yell at him. When there are glitches in the game, or if people just aren’t happy with the product, Ronnie gets it.
But the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Singh said, “The real impact about building a platform is to build it for good. To be able to grant wishes, as part of the Make-A-Wish program, or to build courts for underserved communities with 2K Foundations, or to help the BLM movement be taken to another level; that opportunity to use video games as a platform to story tell is the thing I will look back at as the proudest accomplishments of me and my colleagues at 2K when it’s all said and done.”