While the sport of rodeo is certainly a tip of the Resistol to the Old West, make no mistake, these folks have no problem creating and embracing the incredible technology of the present.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in the mobile application for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
In fact, the mobile app is now in its seventh version, with new and enhanced features to help fans streamline the 10-day experience, whether they’re at the Thomas &Mack Center for competition, doing some shopping at Cowboy Christmas, taking in concerts or checking out any of the myriad other events going on during the WNFR.
“As more and more rodeo fans, and consumers in general, rely on their mobile devices, we have made it a priority to enhance our mobile platforms each year,” said Michael Mack, vice president of marketing for Las Vegas Events, which manages the WNFR and works in conjunction with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. “When we first introduced the app, we were surprised by the response. Today, the technology is so good that there are many different elements we can offer to rodeo fans in planning their WNFR experience.”
Indeed, the free app — available for both iPhone and Android — has a bevy of features that can help with scheduling, tickets, statistics, news, parking, maps and even following the rodeo from home if you’re not in Vegas for the WNFR. In 2017, the rodeo’s 33rd year at the Thomas &Mack, there are so many direct and indirect events that the app is a must to keep up.
“One of the challenges of the WNFR app is making sure that fans have information on all of the events and activities that take place over the 10 days,” Mack said. “There are literally hundreds of options, from Cowboy Christmas to autograph sessions, from the Wrangler NFR itself to the 35-plus viewing parties and post-event concerts.
“As a result, there are so many features available, including an enhanced schedule feature and ‘What’s Hot?’ category, improved maps and a custom photo feature. The format has been designed so that it is both easy to use and informative at the same time.”
Among the most popular aspects of the app is the Get Tagged promotion. Get Tagged serves as a contest that allows fans to collect entries into the “Prize Barn” by attending NFR Experience events throughout the city, including at Cowboy Christmas in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center and during nightly go-rounds at The Shoe, a new part of the experience at the Thomas &Mack. WNFR viewing parties at several hotel properties also serve as locations for Get Tagged.
Each time a registered fan goes into a designated location, the GPS-enabled technology of the WNFR app acknowledges that activity and provides an additional entry into the Prize Barn. Fans can collect tags at designated locations each day of the WNFR (Dec. 7-16), and the more tags you receive, the more chances you get to win prizes — including a particularly huge one.
“The grand prize winner will receive a pair of all-session plaza tickets to the 2018 Wrangler NFR,” Mack said, while expanding on why Get Tagged is such a popular tool. “We designed the Get Tagged promotion to reward NFR fans for doing the things that they already like to do.”
As popular as the Get Tagged promotion is, though, Mack said all facets of the WNFR mobile application have been well-received by fans, giving them a way to plan out their rodeo experience right from the palm of their hand.
“In addition to the Get Tagged promotion, my hope is that fans find everything they are looking for, including social media integration, news updates and useful maps,” Mack said. “Beyond that, the schedule feature allows fans to add any event to their calendar. With so many ways to enjoy the WNFR experience, we don’t want our fans to miss out on anything.”