RELIEGH, NC: The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) has hired French/West/Vaughn (FWV) as AOR, focusing on brand management and media outreach, after an RFP.
FWV began media outreach for the organization, which runs more than 600 rodeo events a year, June 1, conducting outreach to national and regional general interest media outlets, as well as non-traditional media such as entertainment, lifestyle, and business publications, and bloggers.
The organization is facing increased competition in the entertainment segment including from mixed martial arts and NASCAR, and the agency will focus on that area, according to Rick French, president and CEO of FWV.
“There's just a lot of competition… for sponsors' dollars, and they're fighting for their share of the consumer's entertainment dollar,” French said. “We know how to position the sport and what it stands for. Really rodeo is the original extreme sport if you think about it.”
Sean Daniels, PRCA VP, who led the search for an AOR, noted in a statement FWV's sports-related experience.
“FWV has worked with athletes, teams, league offices, and sponsors in every major sport, making them the ideal partner to help us identify and achieve our development objectives,” he said.
FWV will also develop a number of new media for PRCA, including the creation of podcasts and RSS feeds, as well as Web segments featuring various cowboys. The agency will target consumers ages 18 to 40. Rodeo's target audience skews slightly male, French said.
Protests by anti-animal cruelty groups present another challenge for the association.
“In rodeo, the thing you're always dealing with is [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals]. There is always some issues-management work in dealing with the perceived treatment of livestock,” he said.
The open-ended account has a six-figure budget, which French described only as “a large piece of business.”
FWV previously represented the PRCA from 1999 to 2001. The relationship ended when a former PRCA commission left to take another position elsewhere, said French.