Tractor Supply Company’s history with country music goes back decades. But the retailer is looking to give its steel-guitar roots a decidedly Gen Z beat in an effort aimed at discovering the genre’s next generation of talent.
The Brentwood, Tennessee-based company is partnering with a list of stars, including brand ambassador Lainey Wilson, Ashley McBryde and Jimmie Allen, along with Opry Entertainment Group, for a contest inviting new artists to submit an original song inspired by the company’s “Out Here” tagline. By May, the retailer plans to have a list of five winners. Each will get mentorship, a studio recording session, and the chance to perform live in Nashville.
Wilson, who has won two CMA awards, is curating the program and will bring each winner onstage during some of her upcoming performances on the Grand Ole Opry stage. The two will also appear in an upcoming special, set to air in the fall.
Marketing for the new effort includes messages to its 28 million loyalty program members, its 2,100 stores, and paid and social media.
A Tractor Supply spokesperson tells Retail Insider the effort continues a long tradition of working with country stars, dating back to George Strait in the 1990s. It currently sells a line of pet toys called MuttNation, an exclusive partnership with Miranda Lambert. (Sales support pet rescue and adoption.)
She adds that the new endeavor with Wilson works because of its “next generation” focus and mainstream appeal. “These artists all have crossover appeal beyond the traditional country music audience,” she says. “They reach younger, more female and diverse audiences. And those are demographics we are seeing grow in our customer base.”
The partnership also involves communities in a way that makes sense to its customers, encouraging people to support local and upcoming talent.
That ties into other Tractor Supply sponsorships, such as its ongoing support of professional bull riding, and a custom content series (including video) on women in western sports set to debut next month. It also includes efforts with Future Farmers of America and SkillsUSA, a collaboration with Carhartt.
“We are always listening to our customers and want to find ways to meet them where they already are, in addition to supporting causes and events they care about,” the rep says.