Each year, stallion owners invest thousands of dollars into marketing their studs. A good chunk of that budget is set aside for promotional materials that are given out as freebies, often including handy items such as hats, cups, coozies, towels, and sunglasses–or items practical for the horse owner specifically, such as tail brushes or hoof picks. More unique items like phone-charging stations, temporary tattoos, candles, phone covers, notepads, and nail files have all made their debut as marketing tools in the equine world, as well.
This year, as the world navigates its new realities amid COVID-19 concerns, stallion owners and managers have even gotten creative with items especially sought after during the pandemic, including hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Stallion owners and managers rely on a combination of foresight, light-heartedness, and strategy as they consider which promotional tools will be the most attention grabbing and most effective. No matter what, they all have one purpose: to build a stallion’s name and brand recognition.
Kate Jackson, breeding manager at Terry Bradshaw Quarter Horses where stallions, Telasecret, Initials Only, Speechless, FG Phenomenal Fella, A Bucky Kid, Influentual, Intuit, El Futuro, and Extremely Hot Chips all stand, has been working in the breeding side of the industry for her entire adult life. In fact, even her parents were involved in breeding, standing Appaloosa and Thoroughbred stallions at their farm in Kentucky. According to Kate, staying one step ahead of what’s popular in mainstream culture is the most important factor in selecting promotional items.
“I try to think about what the next most popular item or gadget on the market is and apply or marry it within my stallion promotion,” she says. “When I think about promo items, I like anything that’s a little different but still practical and desirable,” Jackson says. She recalls how she recognized a marketing opportunity when fidget spinners were about to hit the market. “I added a logo on them and brought a little mainstream fun into the stallion advertising. I always try to think outside the box and do something a touch different than the standard items we often see.”