Tractor Supply Company partners with Lainey Wilson to launch country artists’ careers

The rural lifestyle retailer will launch a new Emerging Artists Program in 2023

Published On
Nov 18, 2022

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Rural lifestyle retailer Tractor Supply Company is doubling down on its commitment to enterprising country music artists, with rising country star Lainey Wilson at the helm. 

On Monday, the company announced Wilson will serve as its newest brand ambassador and helm its new Emerging Artist Program, a talent incubator initiative launching in 2023. The program will connect a class of country music hopefuls with mentorship opportunities to help them kick start their careers, provided by artists like Wilson and “several other established country music artists” to be announced in the coming weeks, according to a company statement

Lainey Wilson portrait

Tractor Supply promoted its partnership with Wilson with a Monday night TV spot that aired during the season five premiere of Paramount Network’s series Yellowstone as Wilson also made her acting debut in the episode. The spot stitches together video clips of Wilson’s life from her childhood to her current music career, highlighting her lifelong connection to the rural farming lifestyle that Tractor Supply celebrates. Footage from Wilson of her riding horses and plowing through mud on an ATV joins clips of her outside of a Tractor Supply store, joyfully trying out a lawnmower and later dancing on top of it. 

Wilson will curate the Emerging Artists Program, working alongside Tractor Supply to frame out the format of the initiative and the types of support it will offer to participants, the company’s chief marketing officer, Kimberley Gardiner, told Ad Age. Gardiner, who recently moved to Tractor Supply from her previous position as CMO of Volkswagen of America, added that the aspiring artists will team up with the program’s mentors to write original songs and perform those songs in Nashville. Tractor Supply will also support the artists by helping to distribute their music on streaming platforms and playing it across the company’s 2,000 plus stores, she said. 

“It’s not surprising that Tractor Supply [is] a fan of country music,” Gardiner said. “And we figured if we could help unknown artists break through and get some coaching, get some mentoring, it’s a great fit.”

The company worked with Nashville-based entertainment marketing agency FlyteVu to produce the spot, which was purposely produced using vertical video to resemble the raw, unpolished feel of a TikTok video, Gardiner said. Wilson’s song “Live Off” from her new album “Bell Bottom Country” plays underneath the video footage, with lyrics like “I live off gassin' up / Gettin' mud on the tires / Bourbon on sonic ice / And a damn good country song” demonstrating Wilson’s close ties to Tractor Supply’s “Life Out Here” brand message. 

“[Wilson] is so emblematic of what we call ‘Life Out Here’—that rural lifestyle, celebrating hard work, spending time with your family and giving back to your community,” Gardiner said. “The fact that she is literally going from a small town of less than 300 people in Louisiana and grew up on a farm and shopping at Tractor Supply [means] she’s got a lot of familiarity with the brand.”

The Emerging Artists Program comes on the heels of Tractor Supply’s Black Card brand ambassador initiative, which the company launched in 2021 to provide up-and-coming country artists with funds to spend at Tractor Supply stores in exchange for social media content featuring the brand. Over the past year, the company has partnered with about a dozen artists on this initiative, including Wilson, and plans to continue the program into 2023.