If You Can't Say Something Nice, Don't Say Anything At All!
Facebook. What a blessing and what a curse.
This year, Dodge awarded $20,000 truck vouchers to all event winners at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. That's $160,000 in vouchers. Wow. Shortly after this rodeo, I had the unfortunate opportunity to stumble on a Facebook post from someone congratulating all RNCFR winners, and telling them to essentially throw their vouchers away and buy ANY other brand truck besides Dodge. Ford, Chevy...anything but Dodge! Now this person happens to be fairly well-known and influential in the rodeo world, with their livelihood dependant on the sport of rodeo, so this public post struck me as fairly alarming. Doesn't matter who this person is, doesn't really even matter what your opinion is about Dodge, but I have a few things for you to consider.
Dodge has been the "Official Truck" of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association since 1982. They have a whole program called Ram Rodeo that's entire mission is to find ways to partner with rodeos throughout the US and Canada. That's 30 years of continued support in the form of added money and product donation. Additionally, Dodge offers a 1% rebate on all new truck purchases if you are a member of the PRCA, WPRA, NHSRA, USTRC, NIRA, just to name a few. That's roughly $500 savings on a new truck. I am no math whiz here, but over the last 30 years this has to be somewhere in the millions of dollars of contributions and rebates. (No, I am not gettng paid for this...if that is what you are thinking).
Now answer this question for me. Do you think these MILLIONS of dollars that Dodge has given to support rodeo have helped this sport to grow and flourish?
I am not naive here. I realize that Dodge has benefited in many ways from the advertising they have gleaned from these contributions. It's a simple marketing strategy. They obviously had to make this pencil at some point, with the end result being money in their pockets. But more importantly, I also know that rodeo would not be where it's at today without their support, and for that reason I am very appreciative.
Now to come full circle on a smaller scale. If Heritage Brand sponsored an event, and I caught wind that someone in that organization was blatantly criticizing my company, you can bet that would be the last penny I ever contributed towards that event or organization. And whether or not you like the tack we make, there's a good chance that the money we are contributing to the event you are competing in (or spectating) is a little bigger and little better because of our support.
So while I'm not asking you to go buy a new Dodge, I am asking you to think about what you say about the businesses that make the sport you love possible. And for the record, I do drive a Dodge, and if I was ever lucky enough to win a $20,000 voucher towards a new one, you can bet I would post about it on FB too...just in a slightly different way.
Thanks for listening ~ Jess