Last Thursday, 5.4 million fans watched the series finale of NBC’s Emmy-winning comedy “The Office.” Who knew that one of those fans was Mayor Lee Leffingwell – and that he would take the finale’s Austin-centric ending so seriously?
The longrunning series ended with Athlead – a fictional sports promotions company lead by John Krasinski’s character Jim Halpert – was moving business to Austin. This revelation earned a humorous backing from Mayor Leffingwell. He released a statement on his Facebook page giving a thumbs up to Austin’s latest corporate relocation.
Leffingwell predicted that Austin and Scranton, Pennsylvania – the town where the show takes place – were due to develop a long-term relationship. Referencing the home of popular character Dwight Schrute, Leffingwell reported that Austin is “hoping to incentivize a prosperous beet farm to relocate.”
Leffingwell also name-checked a nonfiction human in his press release – longtime friend Deep Nasta, another fan of “The Office.” He claimed that Nasta’s work in the real estate business would be instrumental in helping Athlead develop a cohesive local identity.
Nasta didn’t know that the private joke between the two would be turned into a public press release. He was, however, largely pleased with how the show portrayed Austin and the benefits of its unique culture and lifestyle.
“I watched the season finale and it was obvious they were really promoting Austin, as far as the type of city where a company like that, even though it’s fictional, would want to move to,” Nasta says. “It was really interesting to see them talk about our music and our culture and our food, because that’s obviously what’s drawing these companies to Austin.”
Surprisingly, this wasn’t Nasta’s first brush with national television. In 2009, at the taping of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” Nasta was picked to be “President of the Audience” … “and the rest was history,” Nasta jokes. (You can read more here.)
So while folks are sharing suggestions for which Austin neighborhood Jim and Pam should move to – it’s clear where they’ll be working. Below, the mayor's release:
MAYOR LEE LEFFNGWELL NAMES LOCAL TO AID ATHLEAD EXPANSION
Philadelphia-based Athlead, a sports marketing company, is moving to Austin. In a recent announcement, the company will relocate Athlead team members Darryl Philbin and Jim Halpert. Philbin and Halpert, recent members of the Dunder Mifflin Paper team of Scranton, Pennsylvania, are expected to help the new Austin company expand.
Austin Under 40 winner, well-known man about town and local adventurer, Deep Nasta, has been tasked by Mayor Leffingewell to help Athlead succeed locally.
"Deep is a truly unique individual," said Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "He can help this company expand, by showing them a good time and pointing them towards our best tacos."
Leffingwell says he expects to see a few more faces from Scranton in Austin, soon.
"There's a new bond between the Scranton and Austin, and I'm confident this isn't the last we'll hear from the area," said Leffingwell. “We’re hoping to incentivize a prosperous Beat farm to re-locate”.