Our speaker today was Helen Masterson of Masterson & Friends in Arvada, Colorado. Helen reminded us of her mention of the Greeley rodeo a couple weeks ago – this is rodeo month in Colorado and Cheyenne Frontier days start next week – a true Wild West experience
Rodeos began more than 100 years ago. This is the only major competitive sport to evolve from a working lifestyle. Events are based on the skills used by cowboys in everyday ranch life. Helen added that Cowgirls have competed in rodeos since 1904. Women excel at barrel racing because the competition is judged on horseback riding skills, not strength. The horse and rider have to work closely together displaying the same skills used to cut calves from the herd.
The name of the Greeley rodeo, The Spud Rodeo, changed some years ago, when the rodeo started – potatoes were a major crop in the area. As the rodeo grew the name changed to the Greeley Stampede – think about your business name. DO you need to create a slogan or a tag line to call people to action? Face it today – people just don’t think! As many of you know we can frequently be under a fire ban and yet a couple years ago two hikers actually asked fire fighters in Breckenridge how big of a fire they could build with the fire ban!
Moving on to that cowboy hat and the standard today – the Stetson. As a youth John Stetson worked with his father who was a hatter in Vermont. When John was diagnosed with tuberculosis – he left the hat-making business to explore the West. He found that early trappers and gold seekers were often wearing flea infested coon-skinned caps, John Stetson changed all that through the art of felting from the skin of animals. He created the wide brimmed hat that would keep the elements out, with a waterproof lining – the hat could double as a water bucket. The original cowboy hat could carry a half gallon but acquired the nickname, the ten-gallon hat. What is your businesses Stetson? Find that new niche or product – like Susan (Avanti Insurance Services)  now offering home warranties and with Suzanne (Food for Thought Catering) it is the gluten free offering – find yours!
Why is the cowboy boot designed the way it is? The pointed toes and high heel are designed for riding – not walking! The toes let the boots slide easily into and out of the stirrup and the heel keep the foot from slipping in the stirrup when roping and provide traction when roping on foot. As well the high top of the boot protects when out in the field from thorns and thistles. What common sales item or service can you promote in a way that people don’t think about? Such as Cindi (EcoGraphics Printing) – business cards and forms – yes – not new to their business but maybe promote more is the option of signage.

Next, we have the saddle horn on the western saddle – it not there just for you to hold on to, although it can become a security handle when the ride gets rough. The horn was added to the western saddle as a tool for roping cattle. When a rider ropes a steer, he can loop his end of the lariat around the horn to absorb the force generated when the steer hits the end of the rope. The horn is there for one reason – hold the rope. If you are going to target an audience, you need to be specific. Have you noticed the they promote rodeos differently these days – now the main advertising hook is the music and the rodeo is secondary. In America, today people love their music.
Know your audience and demographics. What is your hook – as with Laura Kilty and Shaklee it is Health.
Lastly is the branding iron – in calf roping, the rider ropes the calf, throws it to the ground and ties three of its legs together. Cowboys still catch calves this way for branding. Helen has a branding iron that is the form of HL which are her initials (Helen Lucille). What is your brand?
Lastly – never approach a bull from the front – a horse from the rear and never squat with your spurs on!
If you are looking for someone to write an ad or article the will catch your target market give Helen Masterson and Masterson & Friends a call!
Helen Masterson * Masterson & Friends Communications * 303.467.9680 * helen@guestguidepublications.com