Howdy and happy Thursday!
We’ve been busy over here at Silver Spur and realized the other day that this crazy ride started 9 years ago (!!!). It’s hard to believe it’s been that long–so we sat down with Founder & Chief Wrangler Bradley Joseph to chat about how it all began.
Q: What inspired you to start Silver Spur Marketing?
B: That is a great question. These are not my own words, but I would call myself an, “accidental entrepreneur.” It all started when I was laid off from Kroenke Sports. From there I started my business (originally One Trick Pony) and had a lot of success helping to raise money for Uncorked–we even brought in Chelsea Handler for a fundraiser. After that, my business partner decided to go in a different direction and I rebranded the company as Silver Spur Marketing. I took the top 5 things I wanted to do (branding, PR, digital, social and video production) and made those SSM’s offerings. I love that our cowboy branding is fun and approachable, and that it helps us stick to a theme and stand out.
Q: What was the first project Silver Spur Marketing took on?
B: Our first-ever project was working for the SaddleUp! Foundation with Shery Galbreath. At the time they brought me on, the equine therapy organization had outgrown its location in Cherry Hills and relocated to Parker, CO. They were in need of a redesigned website, public relations, branding and event support. Silver Spur helped to launch what became their annual fundraising party–the “Pack Your Bags Suitcase Party.” We did everything from designing the party logo to connecting with media and helping with logistics for the inaugural event.
Q: In the past 9 years, how has SSM grown and changed with the industry?
B: Nine years ago, social media was largely unknown and not taken seriously. We saw a burgeoning opportunity there and really leaned into the various platforms, encouraging clients to get behind it. Many of our clients were worried about their content; they didn’t know how to tell a story in 140 characters, use bit.ly or create a social media content calendar. As early adopters, we were able to get our clients to rally around social strategy early in the game.
We were also lucky to jump in to the video production game early on. I knew video would be big, but there is no way I could have predicted video content would be seen 9x more than text content on the internet and that YouTube would be the second most viewed website in the world.
As for how Silver Spur has changed in the past 9 years, we don’t do as much website building or social media planning anymore–instead we are focused on helping brands build storytelling content strategies. We’ve also seen a lot change in public relations over the years. There are no longer bonafide media lists, and all of the relationships we have were formed very organically over the past 25 years.
Q: If you could give yourself one piece of advice 9 years ago, what would it be?
B: Be patient. You’ll get there. For me, failure was never an option–there was never a plan B. I started Silver Spur during the economic downturn in 2009, and the only way to go was up. I knew that the more I kept churning the more cream would turn into butter. Each project led to the next one and I made sure to deliver on what I promised my clients. It’s always a work in progress, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
Q: What is the best example of SSM’s integrated work?
B: I think by far the best example of Silver Spur’s integrated work has been our projects with Urban Nights. We started with them at ground zero and created an entire identity, brand story and overarching strategy. We helped to bring on key team members to run with the fashion show and showed them the importance of video and content marketing. It was important to have a compelling video explaining the story behind Urban Nights. Now it has been almost three years and we’ve helped put on three different fashion shows at Mile High Station.
Q: Is there a project you are particularly proud of?
B: It is hard to choose just one. I am so proud of the work we’ve done at Riverfront Park and of the $140k of in-kind media we secured for Barbara Davis’ Carousel Ball. Also working the Emily Griffith Foundation was incredibly rewarding; we helped to sell out their fundraiser and raise money so students can graduate from technical college with no student loans.
Q: What is an experiential marketing campaign that inspires you?
B: I love that question and am inspired by so many. To name a few, I find the marketing at the X Games, Coachella and SXSW very inspiring. They do an amazing job targeting their young audiences. Brands have successfully turned Coachella into a fashion show–when I was there last year Calvin Klein rented out an entire hotel and had branded silver Audis shuttling everyone to and from the festival. Aspen Food & Wine also does amazing onsite activations with famous chefs. And I can’t forget to mention that Barbara Davis has been at the forefront of experiential marketing for the past 30 years. Her Carousel Balls are always fantastically orchestrated events honoring big-name celebrities that people buy tickets to see.
Q: Who is your dream client?
B: I would love to work with Leonardo DiCaprio on his nonprofit work –he usually puts on a big fundraising gala during Cannes Film Festival.
Q: Where do you see SSM headed?
B: I see us taking on more of a strategic role, helping brands to realize who they are and defining their core values. The value of Silver Spur lies in our strategy–we like to lean in and take a deep dive with our clients to figure out how they want to be received in the marketplace.
Until next time!
Ride for the brand,
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