Opinion: Changes to the PRCA Brand

LAS VEGAS – The last time I did an article like this, I had reactions on both sides – both positive and negative.

That was back in 2015 when discussing the new logo of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. The next day I got a call saying that the “new logo” wasn’t actually a “new logo” despite it already being on the sign at the end of the office driveway …

Anyway, I was excited to see this change with the PRCA for the fact of the amount of discussion I knew it was sure to create. Anytime a brand changes its logo in any other major sport or business, it can be discussed openly. I think the same should happen for our sport. I love seeing discussion. I think sharing ideas in an open, public, transparent and safe setting can do much good for our sport.

OK, so here the new PRCA logo:

Before I say anything, what do you think? Leave your comments in the space provided below.

Now, here’s what I think.

Initially, I hated it. Likely because we’re all made to hate change.

After nearly 24 hours though, I don’t hate it. I don’t love it, but, I don’t hate it either.

I’ve been told by the PRCA Media Department that a media release is on the way. I look forward to hearing about this change and what the meaning behind it is.

This new logo uses back number NFR logo outline, I’m not sure what the three red stripes mean. I do think this new version is muddier than the other one. There is less detail on the bronc but now it reads the opposite way. ProRodeo PRCA rather than what we all know it as PRCA ProRodeo. With We Are ProRodeo also on the bottom, I think the double is unnecessary. ProRodeo PRCA doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily either.

Looking back before we look too far forward, here’s what the logo looked like on Tuesday morning.

 

Logos are a thing for me, they might not be for everyone but if you’ve read this far you’re likely intrigued as well. Looking further into the logo talk, I went on The Google and found a few things:

A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile & memorable. Good logos feature something unique without being overdrawn. … Principle of design; which translates to: Keep It Simple, Stupid. It does convey a very important design consideration

Logos are intended to be the face of a company. They’re meant to visually communicate the unique identity of the brand and what it represents. Depending on your design philosophy, simple logos comprised of only essential elements are often the most difficult and also successful.

Business logo design is an important tool when it comes to promoting a company’s products or services. But the logo must have a unique design that incorporates a design concept and colors etc. elements in a special way. Such a logo makes a lasting positive impression on the potential customers.

This is already the second change of the logo as the addition of We Are ProRodeo came about on April 19th of this year.
Looking back a bit further we can see the evolution of where we are today.

I am very glad to see the same bronc rider still intact from the Rodeo Cowboys Association (RCA) days. The orange and blue logo from what looks like the mid-80’s is a classic but we never saw the term PRCA until the previous change from what stood for most of the history of the organization.

Is PRCA recognized enough to stand alone on the logo? I’m questioning this honestly as it’s also a double, or triple mention now, if all is spelled out: Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, ProRodeo, We Are ProRodeo. 

I could argue that the entire brand is actually in a form of crisis currently. All of the social media accounts are the same, which I give props for. Those however are: PRCA ProRodeo now, they would be backwards based on the format of this logo, right? I also did some research on Twitter, Instagram and the old internet to find out how available PRCA is. In the United Kingdom, PRCA is known there as the Public Relations and Communications Association.

Other than that, in the United States, the PRCA we know could own Twitter.com/PRCAInstagram.com/PRCA and PRCA.com. These wouldn’t likely be cheap but wouldn’t it be worth it to own the PRCA domain rather than keep adding extra taglines to explain what we are?

Personally, I think this logo still hasn’t hit the mark and the branding is still adding extra unnecessary pieces.We don’t see the NHL saying We Are Hockey or the NFL talking about being the best in the business at football right? They just are and it’s implied.

Wouldn’t PRCA with the iconic bronc rider suffice? With the branding all simply under PRCA if someone didn’t know what we were, they could look us up, because we owned the right domain. I’m not sure what this rebrand cost but I would bet buying the domain and PRCA URL’s on social would be similar.

I believe the PRCA is the best in Pro Rodeo right now, however they are at the point where there isn’t much true competition. There isn’t a comparison to be made at this point between the PRCA and World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) or Professional Bull Riders (PBR). Both of those are for profit companies that have a different model.

Take a look at the PBR’s social impact. It’s staggering compared to that of anything else in Western Sports today.

Enough on that for now though, I like seeing change and I look forward to hearing more from the PRCA about this logo.

To get the conversation started, I talked to multiple sources in the Western Sports world, including Storm Dafoe, Director & Founder of Dafoe Media,
Ms. Dafoe works with sports teams, events, clubs, and associations across North America to create innovative sponsorship strategies and experiential marketing initiatives. In less than 18 months of her agency’s inception, Dafoe activated over $300,000 in sponsorship dollars with her largest client being the Canadian Cowboys Association (CCA) Finals in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Dafoe completed her Master’s Degree in Sport Management at ISDE Law School, during which time she worked closely with FC Barcelona and completed part of her graduate coursework at Columbia Law School in New York. To my knowledge she is one of the first people in our sport with credentials like this.
“What I take issue with the most is the crest.” Dafoe said. “When I initially looked at the logo the first thought I had was that it is indicative of the FC Barcelona logo, which is also a crest divided into three sections and characterized by its vertical, red strips. Crests in sports have been associated with European Football since the 1850’s, and if one were to put the identity of sports on a spectrum, European Football and Rodeo would more than likely come to rest at opposite ends. Rodeo also likes to speak to its heritage and that the events were born out of skills employed by the authentic cowboy in the grit of the Wild West. Crests however find their historical context in European nobility which, again, finds itself in polar opposition to the identity of rodeo and the community of western sports. A vintage silhouette of a bronc rider in a crest creates a bit of an awkward juxtaposition of imagery in the context of a sports logo. Perhaps, with a bit more research and insight, the PRCA would have settled on a design that better lent itself to the unique identity of Rodeo.”
“Finally, and arguably most importantly, is the issue of who this logo truly represents. The core shape of this logo is the same shape of the back numbers used at and widely associated with the NFR. But as we all know, only a portion of the members represented by the PRCA make it to that final stage. An athlete can go their entire career without progressing to the NFR. The NHL, for example, would never use an outline of the Stanley Cup as their primary logo because it only represents a small number of the athletes that make up the whole of the organization. At the end of the day, a sports organization’s goal should be to best represent their core assets- the athletes. Unfortunately this logo misses that mark and excludes the majority of its members. The PRCA is the pinnacle of Rodeo but with that comes the responsibility in being the pinnacle of advocacy for its people.”
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