The place that I hold nearest and dearest to my heart in Fort Worth is Billy Bob's Texas, 100,000 square feet of family fun! It has been a place of highs and lows, but always a consistent place where I feel at home...like family.
My Beginnings at Billy Bob's...
I started work at Billy Bob's in February of 2010, after my work at Championship Bull Riding. I was hired by someone who would become crucial in my life as a best friend and to my continuing education in Fort Worth and Marketing as a whole. I began work as part-time Marketing as an Assistant for Pam Minick, and part-time in Group Sales planning parties and group functions in the venue.
I immediately gravitated towards the Marketing aspect of the job. Loving the constant ability to be creative...it was FUN, and I couldn't get enough. Working with Pam, Billy and many others made me feel like I was smart enough, good enough, organized enough...just ENOUGH in general. That was a feeling I hadn't had in so long.
I also planned the smaller events at the venue, but it really wasn't my passion. I was so focused on Marketing. I know that it was severely frustrating for the Department Head in Group Sales, and I don't blame her for that frustration.
Eventually, I was able to move to full time Marketing, which was MAGICAL for my soul. I finally was able to do what I felt I was best at, and I was learning from the BEST teacher in the industry.
From Willie's Picnic, to Charity events, to Radio and TV broadcast, to Sponsorship Sales...it really was a dream come true.
Contacts I made that still carry me on today...
I saw an opportunity at Billy Bob's that I found true enjoyment in: Sponsorship Sales. I was always terrified of "Sales", but when you are selling something that you believe in 100%, it's so easy.
My first Sponsorship Contract was Southern Thread (a former brand of the Rocky Mountain Clothing Company & CINCH). Mr. Billy Minick told me that I would be making commission on it and handed me a check - that was the first moment in my life that I was able to open a Savings Account.
From there on, I blossomed and branched out - Resistol, Panhandle Western Wear (formerly Panhandle Slim) & Rock and Roll Denim (formerly Rock and Roll Cowgirl), Montana Silversmiths, Justin Boots, Leland's and so many more. I have to tell you that those relationships that I was able to form from my time at Billy Bobs still exist today, and are stronger than ever.
Signage in the arena, Showroom, Dance Floor, Boot Shine Booth, private rooms...there's a lot of ground to cover in 100,000 square feet, and as GM Marty Travis always said, "If it doesn't move, put a sign on it...if it does move PUT A SIGN ON IT!"
Today, the list has grown, and so has the contact list for Billy Bob's. Again, it is EASY to sell something you believe in and love.
I was full time at Billy Bob's until 2013, when my mentor and friend Pam retired. There were management changes, and without my constant support and cheerleader there with me, my passion was squashed from the new "way of life" there.
As devastating as it was to resign a week after this photo was taken, it was a necessary move to make. Within a week, Jamison Hochster at Panhandle Western Wear called me and offered me an interview. Within a week of that meeting, I was blessed with the perfect job with these people I was able to meet while fulfilling their Sponsorship at Billy Bob's.
God knows and provides. Every time.
I was gone for four (4) years. Although I was banned from Billy Bob's premises (a conversation for another blog post) BBT never left my heart or my mind.
A Long Awaited Return...
In 2017, there were changes made again to management again...the Old Guard Was Back!! How exciting for all of us that were pushed out during that gap time. Pam called me, and I immediately asked if I could please come back and sell / fulfill Sponsorships for The World's Largest Honky Tonk. She graciously said "YES!" I was ecstatic. A hole in my heart was filled.
During our hiatus from BBT, all of the Sponsor contracts had expired, and the program was completely dead. When we returned to work, I can tell you that people were energized and excited to become part of our great venue again. ALL of the neglected Sponsors happily re-signed with us.
So many of the "old guard" was returning...it was just like a family reunion! What a blessing for us all, and for the Venue.
Since this return, we have signed some really big Sponsor names - it is EASY to sell something you believe in and love. I am there weekly, working daily on making new contacts with new potential Sponsors.
It is EASY to sell something you believe in and love.