Strategy, Branding, Marketing, Video
Red Deer, Alberta
The Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) is the annual final event of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the pillar of the Canadian rodeo circuit. For over 44 years, Canada’s greatest rodeo athletes gathered to compete for both prize and pride – now over $1 million in winnings – and a place in history as one of the country’s greats. In 2018, the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce and Westerner Park partnered on a successful bid to host the annual event, officially making the city of Red Deer the new home of Canadian rodeo.
After being awarded the title of host city, the committee enlisted William Joseph to develop strategic branding and marketing collateral that would transition the Canadian Finals Rodeo into a new era, and solidify it as one of Canada’s premier sporting events.
With a deep-rooted legacy in its previous home, moving the CFR to Red Deer required a brand refresh to bring renewed energy and excitement to both the city and sport. Through thorough research and analysis, it became evident that rodeo was having difficulty growing as a sport, due to stigma surrounding the treatment of animals and lack of visibility in the modern sporting world. We sought to raise awareness of the CFR and its new home with audiences both old and new, through personalized stories of the athletes and animals to develop a deeper connection with the sport. The bright colours and loud nature of the new visual assets added an unexpected element of creativity to match the exhilarating nature of rodeo.
We developed additional materials to help increase visibility and excitement around the event, including eye-catching city bus wraps and two billboard designs that are displayed just ahead of Red Deer on the Trans-Canada highway. We provided a press release announcing Red Deer as the new home of the CFR, and copy for radio ads. Additionally, we identified and solidified a partnership with rodeo influencer Ted Stovin, creator of everything-cowboy.com and the Cowboy Shit podcast, both of which cover rodeo and bull riding news. Ted’s properties became an important content platform for the CFR, and added an authoritative voice to their marketing campaigns.