In 2015 the world’s top cowboys and cowgirls decided it was time to form their own rodeo association by launching the Elite Rodeo Association (ERA) starting with a 15 tour dates of events while going up against the industry monopoly. What made this association different was being owned by the sport’s top 55 athletes, with 42 of those being world champs. The ERA came to be when rodeo contestants felt frustrated with the current circuit feeling like they’ve been left out of decision-making on how their sport was being run as well as the grueling and lengthy tours.
The ERA model was to guarantee appearances of the top talent in professional rodeo as well as being owned by the contestants. This progressive model was set up for aspiring elite rodeo athletes to participate and earn ownership in the ERA. Eligibility to compete was to be determined by the ERA qualification system.
The organization came to Rudkin Productions in the infant stages with just a logo needing a robust website equipped with qualification system, athlete highlights, real-time scoring system as well as being a place for those in the industry to gain information. After months of preparation – it was time for the public relations unveiling equipped with press kits, specialty times, real-time social media and web rollouts. The Association continued to gain name recognition with large tradeshow exhibits and collateral materials. Our objective was not only to reach a new audience but to work towards the larger goal of restructuring and reeducating an entire industry’s way of thinking. We had to convey to fans through broad-minded marketing and materials that these athletes were not leaving the sport but enhancing the sport to the next level. It meant building brand awareness to the idea of a complete overhaul of the existing system.