With network TV coverage drying up, millions of rodeo fans were left in the dust without access to live event broadcasts. Rather than sitting idly by lamenting the changing times, FWV helped long-time client Wrangler seize the reins to become the world’s largest rodeo content producer.
Wrangler Network is now a primary hub for western lifestyle content, not only drawing unique visitors and millions in content views, but also further endearing the Wrangler brand to its consumers.
Beyond roping, wrestling and riding, fans can access exclusive music, such as ACME Unplugged, which is curated by Grammy-winning indie folk artist Chance McCoy of Old Crow Medicine Show. In addition to McCoy, the next performance features Andrew Combs and JP Harris. Stream live on Wrangler Network March 28 at 7 PM CST.
The industry is taking notice, with Wrangler Network recently being honored as a finalist for PRWeek’s coveted Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Media Campaign of the Year. So what lessons can you learn from the success of Wrangler Network? How can you transition from being a one-way advertiser to a full-fledged, integrated lifestyle content producer?
Here are four things to consider, according to FWV Senior Vice President and Wrangler account lead Jenny Pilewski:
- Know your audience. This isn’t just about talking to fans, but talking with them: ask the right questions, listen, try to understand who they are, what they want and how they interact with one another. Yes, we reviewed a lot of research and did a thorough analysis of the market opportunity, but the true inspiration for the Wrangler Network came from having boots on the ground and really respecting what it is to be a rodeo fan.
- The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We built a strong team with the right combination of trade partners, all of whom are deeply imbedded in the space and vested in the success of professional rodeo. Wrangler wisely leveraged its Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sponsorship to not only secure content, but also to tap into PRCA’s built-in audience of rodeo fans. In addition, we worked with western and equine media, the Professional Bulls Riders Association, Future Farmers of America and Wrangler endorsee, George Strait to gather and promote content. In return, we provided them an additional marketing platform, making it a win-win for everyone involved.
- Time it right. Wrangler secured online streaming rights during broadcast negotiation season and worked with local rodeo committees to access and share live scoring (a first). We also produced a Wrangler Network teaser video to run in-arena and provided announcers talking points to read during rodeo events.
- Integrate. In addition to leveraging our partners, we layered in public relations, digital advertising, email, blog articles and more to fully surround rodeo fans with information about Wrangler Network. Rather than rely on just one approach to draw attention, ours was a complete 360° campaign.
At the end of the day, Pilewski credits Wrangler and its parent VF Corporation with having the mindset to not only buy off on a big idea like the Wrangler Network, but also the ingenuity to put meaningful support behind it.