Giving back royally

Charity probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people think about Crown Royal Whisky, but maybe it should be.

Considering what the company is doing to help others through various promotions at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, it should be given some props for being so progressive with its marketing program. The Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (JCCF), for one, is thankful.

For years, Crown Royal has sponsored a handful of cowboys as part of a “team” and has rolled out things like autograph sessions and appearances around town for its cowboys. In past years, the company would make donations to the JCCF, which assists cowboys injured in the arena, for every 90-point ride made by team members.

This year, it’s doing one better.

The 2012 Crown Royal Riders are bareback rider Tilden Hooper and bull riders Cody Whitney, Wesley Silcox and Steve Woolsey. Only Whitney qualified for the Wrangler NFR, so Crown Royal decided to put all its money on him.

For every qualified ride (and he’s made two in three rounds so far), Crown Royal is donating $1,000 to the JCCF. Whitney finished second in the opening round and won Round 2 with an 89-pointer on Wild Card Rodeo’s The Grinch, and he was in good spirits (pun intended) when I talked to him after his go-round win.

“For them to recognize what the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund does for me or anyone in the rodeo world, it’s awesome to be a part of that,” Whitney said of Crown Royal. “To know that every time I ride a bull, it’s going to help some family in need, that’s a great feeling.”

Cody Whitney, a Crown Royal Rider, won Round 2 of the bull riding Friday night.  (PRCA ProRodeo photo by Mike Copeman)

Cody Whitney, a Crown Royal Rider, won Round 2 of the bull riding Friday night. (PRCA ProRodeo photo by Mike Copeman)

Nearly 1,000 cowboys have had to rely on JCCF aid since it was founded 23 years ago, and the organization has awarded more than $6 million during that time. Simply put, it’s kind of a big deal.

One of Whitney’s fellow Crown Royal Riders, Hooper, has had to rely on the JCCF this year after suffering an injury, and Whitney has been happy to help his teammate. Former alternate Wrangler NFR bullfighter Cory Wall used the program’s assistance last year, and Whitney was glad to have Wall back in action this year to help him and the other bull riders avoid trouble and imminent danger.

“Without him, it’s harder for me to do my job,” Whitney said.

If those JCCF donations weren’t enough, Crown Royal is doing even more to help others at the Wrangler NFR. The company is distributing $15 taxi vouchers to consumers 21 and older throughout Las Vegas and online at www.crownroyalrodeo.com<http://www.crownroyalrodeo.com to help people get back to their hotels safely after enjoying the nightlife around town.

Crown Royal is distributing taxi vouchers in an effort to promote drinking responsibly and driving safely at this year's Wrangler NFR.

Crown Royal is distributing taxi vouchers in an effort to promote drinking responsibly and driving safely at this year’s Wrangler NFR.

For every voucher that is redeemed, Crown Royal is donating $10 to the JCCF. So, not only is the company doing something great for rodeo fans who are out and about enjoying themselves, but it is adding in the JCCF wrinkle to maximize the program’s reach.

“It’s a great deal, because, wherever we have an autograph session, you can get your vouchers there,” said Whitney, who has been handing out the vouchers at his various Crown Royal appearances. “Vegas is a good place to get a little wild, and Crown Royal wants to just remind everybody to drink responsibly and take the safe ride home.”

That’s great advice.

2 thoughts on “Giving back royally

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