“There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.” —Winston S. Churchill
Horseback riding is my sport, passion and therapy. I started riding at the age of five, bought my first horse when I was 10 and have owned my current horse, Apollo, for eight years. Time management and responsibility are two of the many qualities I learned at a young age from riding and working with horses. These qualities have helped me succeed in other aspects of my life such as college and work. I have competed on various levels all over the state of Michigan and on Michigan State University’s Hunt Seat Equestrian Team for four years.
Working in the advertising industry has opened my eyes to a different side of equestrian sports as a market for brands and advertisers to target. Owning and showing a horse costs a lot. There’s boarding, farrier, dental and vet bills, grooming supplies, supplements, riding tack and clothing. That gives brands and companies that target these horse owners a great opportunity for success.
Horse shows and various equestrian events also provide unique advertising venues.
Two well-known brands have recognized the opportunity the equestrian world offers. Nike, Inc., has the first ever partnership with young dressage rider Ayden Uhlir valued at $10.7 billion. This is a huge breakthrough for equestrians that will hopefully increase exposure for the sport.
Under Armour has also seized the opportunity and started selling various athletic shirts through SmartPak Equine. That opens the market for other athletic brands to develop clothing lines specifically for equestrians, similar to the hunting, basketball and other sport-specific clothing. While equestrian-specific brands such as Ariat International and Tailored Sportsman dominate the current market, there is room for significant growth within the industry.
Need some statistics to validate the impact of the horse industry and its potential? The horse industry has a direct economic impact of $39 billion annually in the U.S., providing 460,000 full-time jobs and with a $102 billion impact on the U.S. economy from industry suppliers and employee spending.
There’s a lot of opportunity riding on that.
Aleena Bobich, account coordinator