In the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s Ram Trucks did a study of world sporting events to determine what percentage of attendees drove trucks. Their report demonstrated a surprisingly large 51% of those surveyed at rodeos did indeed drive a truck for personal or for business purposes. After seeing this immense statistic, it did not take the folks involved in marketing at Ram Trucks long to realize that rodeo was a great sporting event to promote what was then the stand-alone Ram Truck brand.
How did Ram Rodeo Begin?
It was about the same time that Jack Lowry, an increasingly successful Ram Trucks dealer from Jersey Shore, PA, was getting his own young family involved in horse shows and rodeos. Jack discovered that by merchandising directly to the “grassroots” population he could reach even more people on behalf of his dealership. Literally, Jack began to take trucks rigged up to tow to these events and show them off to other participants. This would ultimately lead to a “sale” and Jack would return home to set the next truck up to go to the next event.
A Ram Trucks Marketing representative heard about Jack’s method of truck sales and contacted him early in 1981. Ram Trucks, then Dodge, was eager to find out what secret Jack had for merchandising these trucks. A relationship was established and that led Ram Trucks to offer Jack an opportunity to lead this new sports marketing endeavor. Within weeks they were sponsoring the first of 18 events for the year that Ram Trucks would be the exclusive automotive sponsor. Success was found and by 1982 the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association signed Dodge on as its “Official Truck”.
In the early years the company was known as Dodge Ram Tough Rodeo and primarily marketed Dodge’s struggling truck business but as time went on, the company officially changed its name to Dodge Rodeo, Inc., then again in 2010 Chrysler Group changed the truck brand to Ram Trucks and now Ram Rodeo has integrity as a valid tool to market all Ram Truck brand nameplates.
Jack retired officially in the fall of 2000 after 20 years of overseeing the program. Today, Ram Rodeo is owned and managed by longtime employees, Mike and Lori Orman.