05 January 2012

Marketing the AKC Eukanuba National Championship

My name is Kathleen and I’m a marketing junkie. Why is this something I’m sharing on my Examiner page? I’m sharing because I got to see P&G Pet Care in action at the AKC Eukanuba National Championship. What a treat! Seeing the Minnesota dogs in action at the show was an added bonus! 

As part of the event, I found out how the Eukanuba name came into being. The name Eukanuba (pronounced “U-Ca-noo-bah”) originated in the 1940s as a lyrical expression (think Jazz) describing something “supreme.” When Eukanuba founder Paul F. Iams was looking for an unusual and memorable name that had significant meaning for the superior quality of his new brand, he chose the word Eukanuba

The event itself is the “ultimate dog event” that showcases all 167 AKC recognized breeds and varieties with the events coming to a climax on Sunday night with the naming of the National Champion. On the way to the Sunday night event, there are lots of dog experiences to be had. While wandering around the venue I was able to take in dock diving, obedience, herding demonstrations, Police Dog competitions, agility, meet the breeds, conformation and general canine entertainment. I think I walked about 15-miles a day!

This is a joint event with P&G and the AKC so there are unique and combined purposes in play during the event. P&G focuses on breeders, breeds and sharing their leadership and research into canine nutrition. Yes, this is a large company which some people find distasteful, but as a large corporation they are able to invest significant funds into development of products and programs for dog lovers.

AKC promotes awareness and hopes to encourage more people to participate in conformation dog shows by spotlighting events like Junior Showmanship, Agility, Obedience and Canine Good Citizen. The AKC was promoting the benefits of purebred dog ownership and AKC registration while extolling the virtues of the human/dog bond and the importance of responsible dog ownership. 

I’ve been showing animals for my entire life, and I am always amazed at the scope of this event. The 2011 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, AKC National Obedience Invitational and AKC Agility Invitational featured nearly 5,000 dogs, hundreds of vendors, and tons of fun! Being held in in Orlando, Orange County, Florida this is really an event for the entire family! This location offers easy in-and-out flights for dogs and is a wonderful family vacation area so plan on coming to Florida early or staying after the show to get the most out of your travels. 

  • 173 AKC recognized breeds are entered to compete.
  • The largest entries include:
    • 64 Boston Terriers
    • 61 Vizslas
    • 58 French Bulldogs
    • 57 Rhodesian Ridgebacks
    • 56 Retrievers (Labrador)
    • 51 Australian Shepherds
    • 50 Havanese
    • 50 Retrievers (Golden)
    • 48 Dachshunds (Longhaired)
    • 46 Rottweilers
    • 45 Pugs
    • 44 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
    • 44 Border Collies
  • The newest breeds to compete include:
    • 3 American English Coonhounds
    • 5 Entlebucher Mountain Dogs
    • 9 Finnish Lapphunds
    • 8 Cesky Terriers
    • 11 Norwegian Lundehunds
    • 12 Xoloitzcuintli
  • All 14 AKC Miscellaneous Breeds will be represented.
  • More than 130 “Veterans” (between 7 & 12 years old) are entered.
  • AKC Meet the Breeds® will feature 166 breeds at decorated booths staffed by experts. (Sat. & Sun. from 10 am to 4 pm)
  • By group, entry totals are: Sporting – 637; Hound – 526; Working – 605; Terrier – 441; Toy – 527; Non-Sporting – 469, Herding – 491 and Miscellaneous – 68
  • Dogs from 44 countries will compete in the Eukanuba World Challenge including Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The Eukanuba World Challenge is a one-of-a-kind event offering top dogs from around the world, and the winner of the Eukanuba Breeders’ Stakes, the opportunity to compete for the title of “Eukanuba World Challenge Champion” and a total of $15,000 in prize money.
  • Judge Mrs. Polly Smith of St. Stephens Church, Virginia will select the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Best in Show (BIS) winner. The owner(s) of the BIS winner will receive more than $50,000 while the breeder(s) of the Best in Show winner will be awarded $15,000.
  • Mr. James Reynolds of Nepean, Ontario, Canada will select Best Bred-By Exhibitor in Show from among 1,328 dogs (35% of the total entry) entered in the Bred-by-Exhibitor (dogs being shown by their owner/breeder) competition, who will be eligible to win the $15,000 cash prize. Same-day streaming video coverage of all regular and bred-by groups and evening events will be provided on akc.org.
  • 159 youngsters, ages 9-17, who have met high academic standards and qualification criteria based on year-round competition, will compete in Junior Showmanship.
  • Mrs. Zena Thorn Andrews, also a renowned breeder/judge of Dachshunds, will replace Tamas Jakkel to judge Dachshunds (Longhaired).
  • Ms. Carla M.S. Molinari will judge Sari Brewster Tietjen’s entire assignment.

You’ll be able to watch the show event broadcast on ABC Network Television on Saturday, 4 February 2012

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