Cowboy Christmas Las Vegas 2022 – Shoppers line the center aisle during the Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas opening night at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
Custom hat maker Braydon Shaw runs his trade as customer Mitch Klum looks at the Burns Hats booth during the 2019 Cowboy Christmas Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Now the Cowboy Channel is the first competition this year with sponsors presenting a huge western lifestyle show called Cowboy Christmas. The fair is held in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Photo by Patrick Everson / Exclusive to the Review-Journal
Cowboy Christmas Las Vegas 2022
Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas offers many shopping opportunities for rodeo fans and western lifestyle enthusiasts, including many horse saddle vendors. The show joins the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Hunter and Outdoors Christmas, taking over the South Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center each year during the Wrangler National Championship Rodeo. Photo by Patrick Everson / Exclusive to the Review-Journal
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Shoppers browse merchandise on display during Cowboy Channel’s Christmas opening night at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
As Las Vegas Events looked for a title sponsor for one of its main events, Cowboy Christmas, the first thought was naturally to find a brand associated with the Western lifestyle. Perhaps an apparel company or other entity in the boy/cow merchandise space, looking to raise their profile and strengthen their relationship with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
But while putting together the proposals, Bo Gardner, vice president of marketing for Las Vegas Events, had an unexpected opportunity: the chance to work with a company that would showcase all aspects of Cowboy Christmas instead of a partner that could compete with some demonstrator. .
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So, as the NFR returns to Vegas, the huge show in the South Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center is called: Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas.
“This is the first time Cowboy Christmas has had a title sponsor,” Gardner said, crediting Patrick Gottsch, CEO of RFD-TV, which owns the Cowboy Channel, as the key to forming the partnership. “It’s a perfect fit because in the grand scheme of things, it brings such strong value to Patrick’s brand and ours. It has the opportunity to inherit 230,000 attendees and benefits all of our exhibitors and sponsors. to have Cowboy Channel there. .”
The Cowboy Channel got the rights to broadcast the NFR last year, instead of CBS Sports Network, and it actually had better traffic under the circumstances. Due to pandemic restrictions, the NFR had to take a year off from Las Vegas and was held in suburban Dallas. But Cowboy Channel improved its NFR ratings.
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However, Gottsch and his friends at RFD-TV – longtime Cowboy Christmas – were eager to return to Las Vegas, looking for ways to gain a bigger presence at the massive Western lifestyle show.
“Cowboy Christmas is always something we look forward to every year,” Gottsch said before agreeing to the rebranding. “I don’t know how it could be more perfect. Sponsoring it and calling it Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas is a no-brainer. We can have so many advantages throughout the year.
“It’s a great marketing opportunity for both organizations. We can promote it all year round and get people excited.
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And keep in mind that it’s only Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas. Most of the fair’s second floor is taken up by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Hunter and Outdoor Christmas.
“They overlap with Cowboy Christmas. The live stage is downstairs and we produce half of the stuff on that stage. We’re 100 percent partners in this,” said RMEF CEO Steve Decker, who, like the other participants, on twist for. the show to return to Vegas. “It’s like going back to normal.” Even though we’re a year away, we’re really pushing the customer experience. It will be everything historically and more. And for those who have never attended, it is a must-see experience.”
Hunter and Outdoor Christmas Expo visitors will be offered an expanded experience on both floors of the convention center, Decker promised.
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“Every vendor is coming back, plus some, and (we’ll have) some new interactive events,” Decker said. He highlighted the new cowboy revival every evening on the live main stage hosted by country music writer and artist – and former rodeo boy – Shane Miner. The show focuses on the history of traditional country music.
After a lost year, Decker is happy that Hunter and the outdoor vendors can get back on track.
“It’s an opportunity for our actors to go down there and do what they do. These are pretty small businesses and this fair is a big part of their success,” Decker said. “A lot of these small businesses depend on it. It’s a vital source of income. It’s a great way for these small businesses to end their year.
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Likewise, the Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas has been expanded in its entirety. Gardner and Gottsch echo Decker’s enthusiasm for the live stage program: Cowboys for Conversation Calcutta, which begins at 10:15 a.m. This will be followed by Flint Rasmussen’s long-running and popular Out the Barrel at 11:15am. After the Revival of the Cows at 12:30 p.m. and ends each evening with a new NFR Cowboy Channel tailgate party starting at 1:30 p.m.
“We’re copying GameDay on ESPN,” Gottsch said of the tailgate broadcast. “It’s a few hours before the rodeo and our evening show starts. There’s the pregame show, then the rodeo, then the postgame show, then the gold buckle ceremony.”
Gardner added, “We’re trying to find a place for that tailgate party in Vegas. With the Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas present, it made sense that he would be there to coincide with the rodeo festival every night. The live stage has been completely renovated, it is luxurious and the entire production replicates what you would see on a regular TV show. This is a first class scene. “
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The NFR tailgate party ends each day at 4 p.m., just like Cowboy Christmas, giving rodeo fans plenty of time to get to the Thomas & Mack Center or the viewing party before the NFR’s new nightly start time of 5:45 p.m. That’s an hour earlier than in recent years, Gottsch’s game hopes will increase ratings even more.
Cowboy Christmas has more vendors. Gardner said that through relationships built in Texas at last year’s NFR, Cowboy Christmas found a home for 35 vendors that had not previously been at the fair. Among the newcomers is King Ranch, a 160-year-old Texas-based leather goods, western wear and outdoor products company.
“We went to the NFR a few times and saw Cowboy Christmas,” said Lance Hancock, King Ranch retail manager. “Last year, with the NFR coming to our backyard in Texas, it connected all the dots. We’re really excited to go to Cowboy Christmas. We think it makes sense for King Ranch to be in Las Vegas, to capture a customer base Many people come from the West Coast, California and Oregon and Washington to Cowboy Christmas.
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“So it’s another touch point to engage with customers and tell them the King Ranch story.”
The King Ranch is not alone in this goal, joining more than 350 Cowboy Christmas performers, plus hundreds more at Hunter and Outdoor Christmas. In fact, there are more exhibitors than there is room to get in, a sure sign that the vendors – like millions across the country – want to travel and get on with their lives.
“It’s the longest waiting list we’ve ever had, close to 200. It’s a big problem to have,” Gardner said.
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Better problem: An extra day for shoppers, rodeo fans and vendors — or at least a few hours that day. This year, Cowboy Christmas started on Wednesday, the night before the NFR with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the grand opening of the entire show floor.
Thanks to great brainstorming and an important partnership with Cowboy Channel, the draw will run until the NFR climax on December 11th.
“I’m really excited for Vegas in 2021. I think it’s going to be the best. We see it everywhere we go,” said Gottsch, who noted high attendance at several rodeos televised by the Channel Cowboy. “People have come out of it. COVID with a new respect for rodeo. I hope they show that respect by coming to Vegas. Not only did the western lifestyle business take off, but it exploded this summer and rodeo became became a sport in rural America.
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“We leave behind everything we have. Have a rocket