Ryan Paul, vice president of digital at No Limit Agency, was studying abroad for a year at the University of Wales when he decided to try pickup basketball at the local gym for some exercise and fun.
He played hard for a few hours with several groups of people and was starting to think the session seemed a bit intense for an open gym when he got the word that he had made the team: the official University of Wales men’s basketball team. The team played all over the United Kingdom and went undefeated, which qualified them for the European tournament.
Giving it his all has served Paul well in his career as well.
Paul has a marketing and international business degree from Iowa State University and has worked in several fields and for several companies, picking up valuable skills along the way.
He worked as a rep for a bank, where he honed his account management skills; he worked for a printing company; he managed the design and creative process for an industrial design firm; he worked at a digital design agency and a traditional ad agency with design roots; and he had his own small design agency for a while, focusing on graphic user interface.
Then he realized it was time to do something different. As part of his work with Checkers at the ad agency, he needed to have discussions with Chicago’s No Limit Agency, which does public relations for Checkers. He had several talks with Nick Powills, chief brand strategist for No Limit, and was intrigued by the bold plans of the agency.
He’s been the VP for digital since July and is building systems and structure for the future. Paul, whose indefatigable nature and cheerfulness amaze his co-workers, is especially proud of the groundwork being laid with 1851 Franchise, the agency-powered franchise news site.
“I think we do a great job of connecting the silos, and 1851 solves the content marketing puzzle in the best way possible. I loved Nick’s idea and wanted to be a part of it. I watched it turn into a strong site and saw it could be a development tool for clients,” he said.
He’s pleasantly surprised that the site reached 100,000 readers so quickly.
“We found a niche. There’s a lot of engagement with the site,” he said.
He hopes to continue to grow 1851 and apply it to more verticals. His goals also include helping to establish processes at the agency. Paul loves working with the young, talented staff at No Limit.
“I want to give people room to move within the system while having process and guidance and structure. Everyone can succeed with that.”
In his spare time, Paul, who has been in Chicago for nine years, has continued his love of sports. He plays softball, beach volleyball, soccer, kickball and flag football. His kickball team, the ’murricanes, are two-time defending champs in Chicago.
Sports is a great way to blow off steam after work, he said, and he also is a huge fan of the blues and jazz. His daughter, who is almost 1, also keeps him busy and is a constant source of joy.