Tractor Supply Rides Pro Bull Riding's Surging Fan Base

Tractor Supply, already wooing the hearts of wanna-be farmers, is hoping to tap into their cowboy dreams, too. It just announced a sweepstake for a VIP Experience at the upcoming PBR Teams Series Championship, including all expenses to Las Vegas and dirt-level seats– a $10,000 package. Kimberley Gardiner, the retailer’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, tells Marketing Daily (via email) what its customers love most about the most exciting eight seconds in rodeo.

Marketing Daily: Pro Bull Riding is an extreme sport growing fast in popularity. But I imagine many of your suburban customers haven’t heard of it or don’t follow it closely. How does it align with your customer base?

Kimberley Gardiner: While its roots are in the western lifestyle, PBR has broadened its appeal with more suburban and urban markets, including selling out major events in New York City and Los Angeles. Over the last ten years, PBR’s audience has grown by 22% to 82.3 million fans. And it’s evolving to attract younger and more diverse audiences. When you look at Tractor Supply, our customer base has evolved to include more suburban and urban areas. They are looking for authenticity, getting back to their roots and being more self-reliant. That’s very similar to the PBR fan base. The partnership is a perfect fit for us. 



Marketing Daily: This is pitched just to loyalty club members. Why?

Gardiner: We know many of our 26 million Neighbor’s Club members have a passion for PBR, so we wanted to reward their loyalty to Tractor Supply by creating a sweepstake just for them. Neighbor’s Club members will also receive an email with an exclusive 20% off ticket discount to the PBR Team Series events in their area. We also have PBR point-of-sale materials in select stores promoting the sweepstakes, including instructions on how to sign up for our Neighbor’s Club. We’ll be doing promotions on our Tractor Supply social channels.

Marketing Daily: How does this fit into the event marketing strategy? So much conventional wisdom has changed since the pandemic and multiple cancellations.

Gardiner: Sporting events, concerts, festivals and other events are starting to return to pre-pandemic attendance levels. And that’s something we are paying attention to as we evaluate event activations.  People are ready to get out and go to an event or a concert.  But for us, it has to be the right fit. Whether it’s a local store marketing effort or a companywide program, the key for us is to find experiences that will appeal to our customers and stay true to those looking to live what we call the “Out Here” lifestyle.

Marketing Daily: What else is on your event shopping list besides bull riding?

Gardiner: Other sports with a similar fan appeal resonate with our customers as well. We continue to evaluate and look for opportunities. We want to help bring them experiences through Tractor Supply and our partnerships that they can’t get anywhere else. 

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