The Story of Resolution Promotions
We warn you that our story is long and continually ongoing, but we hope that reading it brings more clarity to the kind of effort you will receive from us at Resolution Promotions. The company originates with founder and CEO John Archibald, who tells our story below from a first-hand perspective.
I was born in New Jersey and grew up in Tennessee as a sports junky who would play as many competitive sports as I could each calendar year. By the time I headed to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga after high school, the one thing I knew was that being a professional athlete was not an option, so I was forced to find another way into the industry. While in Chattanooga, I discovered a peaked interest in public relations, and that is the route I chose to go.
After receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Communications, I left everything in Tennessee and moved south to Fort Myers in 2004 to become the Public Relations Director for the Florida Firecats of arenafootball2, a feeder to the Arena Football League at the time. The ensuing season had major ups and downs, from the tragic loss of a player in a Labor Day car accident to the entire region being displaced by Hurricane Charley. On the field, the season was capped off by reaching the ultimate high, with the Firecats winning the league championship on our home turf.
At that time, I was living on no salary and only received sales commissions from the Firecats. Long story shot, I knew that I could not afford to remain in South Florida after the season, and that is when I opted to make a second life changing move in nine months.
What I wanted to do was apply the same methodology I did as a young athlete, working in as many sports and for as many teams/programs as possible on a year-round basis so I could advance my professional career more quickly. I felt the location where sports were most saturated was in the Northeast, so an unlikely move back to New Jersey was the decision I made.
To leave South Florida, I had to give up virtually all of my personal belongings. Renting a moving truck was not an option, so I was forced to throw out everything that could not fit inside my Nissan Altima. Once my car was packed, I headed north on a 1300-mile drive to New Jersey with nothing but my own thoughts riding as co-pilot.
That trip to New Jersey was made on my last $150. Thankfully, my gracious sister gave me a full-time job at an orthopedic firm she managed when I got there, and she also rented me a condo that she had just put on the market.
With a full-time job and a roof over my head, it was time to get back to the mission. I began reaching out to every single team throughout the New Jersey and Philadelphia region, landing part-time gigs in everything from semipro football to basketball, lacrosse, indoor soccer and every sport in between, again at various levels.
After three more years of constantly grinding and pursuing my dream, I was really starting to struggle with whether or not my true break was ever going to come. Luckily at this time, a brand new arena was being built in Newark for the New Jersey Devils, and their ownership group had decided to establish a Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) team called the New Jersey Ironmen to play there as well. Having spent a season with the Philadelphia KiXX of the MISL, I sent my portfolio to the Ironmen as I had done with so many other professional teams in the area, but something different happened this time. They actually asked me to come to Newark for an interview about their Director of Communications job.
I later headed up to Newark (where my great uncle had once served as Mayor during the 1920s) and met with Ironmen General Manager Tony Novo and another person who was a long-time MISL executive. Briefly stepping into the meeting was Ironmen head coach Omid Namazi, who was a former head coach of the Philadelphia KiXX and has more recently served as the head coach of the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team. While still a bit raw in terms of experience at that level, I was later told that I became the front-runner for the job because my attitude sounded as if I “would run through a wall” for the team. They were right.
About a week after the interview, I received a call and was offered the Director of Communications job. Needless to say, I quickly accepted.
I began working around a great group of people at the Ironmen, among them being former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tony Meola, and we remain very good friends to this day. With Meola on the roster, the Ironmen received requests from media outlets all over the world. The current National Soccer Hall of Famer proved to be the ultimate professional and helped me weave my way through the world of media relations at that level, something I am permanently indebted to him for doing. The Ironmen continually packed star power into Prudential Center, including at our first-ever home game when the legendary Pelé served as honorary captain in front of nearly 14,000 fans.
While working for the Ironmen, I endured a strenuous daily commute. My days began with a 30-minute drive to the train station, which was followed up by an hour train ride and 30-minute walk to my office at Prudential Center. With a daily four-hour commute, I spent a lot of time in my own thoughts, very similarly to that drive from Florida to New Jersey three years earlier. Eventually, I decided that I had to come up with something better than what I was currently doing. It was simply not sustainable for the long-term.
Mentally and physically exhausted on one of those train rides, the idea I conceptualized in my head was to start my own sports communications firm. After doing some research, I discovered that I passed by the main New Jersey office of SCORE in the Newark train station every single day. I then set up an appointment with SCORE, which is composed of executive volunteers who administer small business mentorship. I had no idea how to legally start my own business, but I gathered enough information that day to figure it out.
Next up was the task of creating a name. All I knew was that “Sports” had to be in it. I also wanted the name to somehow indicate the pursuit of chasing goals. After a deep dive on Thesaurus.com (is that not where every great business starts?), the word “Resolution” seemed to jump off the page at me. That day, Resolution Sports was born. Then on November 4, 2008, Resolution Sports LLC was legally filed, and I was officially a business owner (Resolution Sports is now under the Resolution Promotions umbrella).
Admittedly, part of the reason I created Resolution Sports was that I thought it would be cool to say I owned my own business. It was not long until that loose ambition was forced to become my obsession.
In July of 2009, the staff of the Ironmen was told that the team was ceasing operations. The state of professional indoor soccer had become too toxic for the Devils ownership group to continue seeing it as a smart business initiative.
At this point, I had two options. The first was to admit it had been a good run over the past six years since college graduation and to accept the idea of working in a “regular” job. The second was to go full-force down the path of building my own business and seeking new clientele. If you know anything about me, you know which route was immediately chosen.
In addition to jumping into entrepreneurism with both feet, I took a unique strategy in terms of how I would market the business. With very little expendable funds, I decided to cover sports as a journalist in order to get the Resolution brand out to the public. Rather than make the commitment of a full season that a team sport would entail, I determined that covering boxing and MMA (one-day commitments as opposed to season-long commitments) would be the most intelligent strategy, especially considering my passion for both sports. Before long, I could be seen at nearly every combat sports event throughout the region, from club shows to major arena cards.
Upon the closure of the New Jersey Ironmen, a few of our former staff members had made the move to Sky Blue FC of the upstart Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). They must have put in a good word with the team leadership there because I soon received a phone call from then Sky Blue FC General Manager Gerry Marrone to gauge my interest in handling their communications duties. Having spent a few USL W-League seasons working with the California-based Pali Blues Soccer Club (winning two championships) and the New Jersey Wildcats, I had already developed a strong connection to the women’s game and quickly accepted their offer.
Over the next two-plus years with Sky Blue FC, I went on international tours with the club in Turkey and Japan, was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House and worked through two full seasons of WPS. However, league turmoil came to a head in early 2012, and WPS ceased operations. For the second time in less than three years, I was forced to make another hard pivot after losing my main source of income.
After picking up a few small contracts, I had to make a tough decision. The business revenue was not sufficient enough with the loss of Sky Blue FC, so I eventually accepted an offer from a close family friend to take a full-time corporate job.
Over the next two years, I worked that corporate job and spent every other minute of my day rebuilding the business with a more solid foundation. Also during this time, my life hit the most inconceivable low when I tragically lost my oldest brother.
When that happened, my entire family was suffering through the most devastating pain we had ever felt, something that we all know will never truly go away. As I was trying to get my feet back under me, I eventually found an internal motivation to pursue things for a greater cause. It was then that I decided to expand the company to cover every industry, not just sports, and it would be operated everyday as a dedication and tribute to my brother.
A former stock car racer, my brother ran under the number of 605. On 6/05/2013, Resolution Promotions LLC was officially established, with each anniversary since being a “celebratory lap” on 6/05. The number 605 carries a level of significance for me that I will never be able to accurately describe, as does the company of Resolution Promotions as a whole. Simply put, it represents something so much bigger than me, and that is why I will never allow it to fail.
As had become the norm in my life, I soon hit another crossroads in late 2014, as that major international corporation where I worked moved its entire operation to North Carolina. For the third time in just over five years, I saw the majority of my income taken from me, but this time would be different.
Sky Blue FC had been reestablished in the U.S. Soccer-operated National Women’s Soccer League in 2013. Before my corporate job had expired, Resolution Promotions already had a verbal agreement in place with Sky Blue FC, and additional deals were also in negotiations to further strengthen the foundation of the business.
Resolution Promotions continued to handle all communications responsibilities with Sky Blue FC through the end of 2018. At that time, I decided that it would be best for the company to remove itself from professional sports team management to focus on working predominately with small businesses, athletes and influencers. Resolution Promotions had undergone rapid expansion over the preceding year, and that approach was a better business initiative for the company and our increasing roster of clients. Although it still feels a bit strange to be completely removed from team sports, I know that it was the right decision for the business.
Today, Resolution Promotions services a wide variety of small businesses and mid-size companies throughout the country, covering many different industries. The incredible growth and development that our company has experienced is truly humbling, and I am forever grateful to all of the people who have played a role in this journey.
The beauty of Resolution Promotions is that our company is built on trials, tribulations and even mere survival at times, but we are also not afraid to make necessary pivots when the time comes to do so. The experiences we bring to the table are ones of personal adversity and overall perseverance. We will “run through the wall” for your business if you entrust us, that much I can promise you.
John Archibald, Founder & CEO of Resolution Promotions
If you made it this far, we hope that you now have a clearer image of who we are. Further, we hope that your business can become part of the unwritten future of the Resolution Promotions family.