“Where the West Begins.” Fort Worth’s motto comes alive every January when the legendary Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo opens its corral doors. The oldest stock show in the country, it brings together farmers, ranchers, rodeo fans and cowboy enthusiasts from across the country.
With 1.2 million attendees a year, the Stock Show entices visitors from 41 states and nearly every county in Texas. For 23 days a year, Fort Worth’s restaurants are at full capacity, hotels are booked solid and the downtown is bustling.
“It’s the time of year when everyone digs out their boots and hats,” said Matt Brockman, the Stock Show’s publicity manager. He added, “But in the end, it’s partners like JPMorgan Chase that make this possible.”
“It’s a privilege to come here and our employees have gotten involved with volunteering at the events,” said Elaine Agather, Chairman of JPMorgan Chase in Dallas. The company’s deep relationship with the Stock Show has been in place for two decades.
“You cannot be a banker with impact without caring about the community. It doesn’t work. You can’t separate the two.”
Elaine Agather, Chairman of JPMorgan Chase in Dallas
As a close banking supporter, JPMorgan Chase knows it’s not just investing in the Stock Show, but also in the people of Fort Worth. Ultimately, an investment in the Stock Show’s economy becomes fuel for the town itself and the small businesses on which the town is built. Fort Worth’s small businesses have flourished alongside the Stock Show and Rodeo.
Kincaid’s Hamburgers, which is just down the street from the Stock Show’s home at Will Rogers Memorial Center, is a prime example. Over the last half century, it’s grown from a local burger shack to become a staple of the Fort Worth experience. “The Stock Show expanded our customer base, which is always good for business,” said Ronald Gentry, owner of Kincaid’s.
In all, the show generates more than $100 million annually in economic activity for the city, according to the Stock Show’s 2015 Economic Impact Report.
“When our show started, it was a couple of local ranchers with a few head of cattle. They were hoping to show off their livestock and talk about genetics and breeding,” said Brad Barnes, the president and general manager of the Fort Worth Stock Show. “We beat our chest about the fact that this is where the West begins, and it is.”