NEW YORK, Aug. 4, 2023 — Rooted in their ethos of generosity, Crown Royal is celebrating Black Business Month with the announcement of The Hats Off Grant in partnership with the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Foundation (BPIRF), a fund designed to empower the Black rodeo community and inspire a new generation of riders to pursue their passion. Crown Royal is steadfast in their dedication to nurture the Black rodeo community. In the coming year, the brand has pledged to diversify its Royal Rider program, and committed to provide a total of $100,000 as part of The Hats Off Grant, which will be split among four (4) cowgirls and cowboys and offer the financial support needed to continue their rodeo career.
Beginning today through August 14, 2023, cowboys and cowgirls 25+, who are active members of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Association can visit www.bpirfoundation.org to submit their application for The Hats Off Grant. Applicants will be asked to include a video response sharing what Black Rodeo means to them and how the grant will help further their craft as they grow within the association. To learn if you’re eligible to apply for The Hats Off Grant, visit here.
“We at the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Foundation are honored to expand our partnership with Crown Royal through The Hats Off Grant. And what better time than Black Business Month as rodeo is an entrepreneurial sport?” said Valeria Howard Cunningham, CEO and President of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo. “This is a major milestone for the Black rodeo community, Crown Royal is the first major brand to provide this level of investment for aspiring Black cowboys and cowgirls to further their rodeo careers and fuel their passion for the craft. After all, they are the future of the Black rodeo culture.”
Crown Royal has also kicked off its search for a new cowboy or cowgirl to join its roster of professional riders as part of its Royal Rider program. The Royal Rider program is an initiative designed to support riders who compete under the financial sponsorship of Crown Royal; and through the search, the brand will work toward diversifying the collective by 30% in the coming year.
“At Crown Royal, we believe in the power of inclusivity and are committed to uplifting and celebrating those who keep the rich heritage and traditions of the Black rodeo circuit thriving,” said Tatiana Conti, Vice President, Crown Royal. “We thank the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo for their continued partnership and providing opportunities to participate in – and amplify – their rodeo celebrations. We look forward to supporting riders through The Hats Off Grant and fostering a sense of pride and belonging through the Royal Rider program.”
Crown Royal’s commitment to inclusivity, accessibility, and support for the Black rodeo community represents a significant step forward in fostering a more diverse and vibrant rodeo landscape. Through initiatives like The Hats Off Grant and the Crown Royal Rider program, the brand continues to champion equality, empowerment, and the pursuit of dreams.