It was late October 2019, one year ago today.
I had spent countless hours developing the Jersey Wrestling website, promoting the sport and its people, and building an online community.
The first year, it was for fun, like an intense hobby at the intersection of coding and wrestling interests.
The second year it became more like a real job.
Some periods were busier than others, but there were no days off.
This cadence was something learned from legendary coaches Paul Morina at Paulsboro and Roger Reina at the University of Pennsylvania.
The website started out as a way to normalize wrestlers rankings across time and weight.
100 wins in New Jersey was good, but it was more about winning percentage.
Finding complete and accurate records was almost impossible.
There had to be a better way of ranking, and premier tournament history was mostly accessible.
So we mined for that data. And we mined hard.
First was NJ. Then NCAA DI. Then NJ girls. Then Men's Freestyle World and Olympic. Then NCAA DII and DIII.
Over time, one of the most complete and accurate wrestling datasets in the world was created.
Unfortunately, all this and little revenue was being created with Google Adsense, less than a thousand dollars a year.
Our apparel had some popularity, but it never got the appropriate attention.
No sponsors, though honestly, none were ever pursued.
There were only one or two small donations.
But the community loved the website and all of its content.
They still showed strong interest, so there was hope and it kept going.
So, it was October 24th, 2019, and I get an email - a website comment from the VP of Rokfin, Jaime Brugueras.
First, it was dismissed as spam.
But he followed up through various communications in the following days- email, Facebook message, etc.
Same message to start: "Would it be crazy to offer some of Jersey Wrestling's content as a subscription?"
Followed up with his Rokfin pitch: "...subscribers of Rokfin pay $9.99 a month and get access to all content on the network..."
Along with a line toward the bottom explained that it was founded by Flowrestling founder Martin Floreani.
I thought this might be real, and this could be big.
And about a year ago, a leap of faith was taken.
I followed-up with Jaime and told him I was definitely interested but wanted to learn more.
There was cautious optimism.
I didn't want to mess up what I've worked so hard to build, but this was the most fantastic opportunity ever for Jersey Wrestling.
Jaime sets up a meeting between Martin and myself, and I was pretty much freaking out.
My daughter, Charlotte, had daycare until 4:30, so I went early and answered Martin's call from my truck.
It was surreal to talk to Floreani, having watched him build the Flosports media empire from the ground up.
We introduced each other, talked about our families, backgrounds, and Jersey Wrestling joining Rokfin as a content creator.
Big names were on the network already at the time - Jordan Burroughs, Ben Askren, PA Power Wrestling, Calgrapper, Willie Saylors.
A few days after talking with Martin, the contract was signed and Jersey Wrestling went on to have its most success ever.
It's really been an amazing year.
Thank you to all of our loyal Jersey Wrestling supporters who have been with us since the beginning.
The website is reaching more people than ever before with over one million views last year!
A special thank you to our exclusive Rokfin subscribers!
You are the ones really keeping this going, and we are so thankful for you all and grateful for the opportunity to serve the wrestling world.
We are super excited to work with the Rokfin team in 2021 to provide our community with the best wrestling content possible.
Tune in to the NLWC 3 event live this November exclusively on Rokfin!
For the dream!!
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