This paper shows that it is profitable for a firm to hire an overoptimistic manager to commit to a certain investment strategy in an R&D tournament situation. In the unique symmetric equilibrium, all firms delegate to overoptimistic managers, where the optimal degree of overoptimism depends on the riskiness of the tournament. In these situations a manager's type may serve as a substitute for delegation via contracts. By delegating to overoptimistic managers, firms can escape the rat race nature of R&D tournaments. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.