Conversations with Big Rich

Trending on Episode 91 is Lee Riser, Senior Director of Marketing at Truck Hero off-road brands

December 30, 2021 Guest Lee Riser Season 2 Episode 91
Conversations with Big Rich
Trending on Episode 91 is Lee Riser, Senior Director of Marketing at Truck Hero off-road brands
Show Notes Transcript

Trending on Conversations with Big Rich is Senior Director of Marketing for Jeep & Off-Road Brands at Truck Hero, Lee Riser. Lee chased her career around Monroe, Louisiana with Superlift and Skyjacker, landing at Truck Hero recently. Listen in on a marketing 101 class for anyone in the industry. We support strong women in off-road!.

1:54 – This industry is definitely where I’ve grown up

11:36 – “I hired you as my replacement, so I’m handing it over”

20:05 – We like to align ourselves with those brands that are obviously making an impact

26:50 – it’s interesting to see the field of marketing evolve

32:53 – are you really an influencer if you have to tell people you’re an influencer?

44:15 – as soon as a vehicle comes out we’re starting to produce product for it

49:57 – be flexible, be adaptable and watch the trends

1:00:19 – I want to do stuff that stretches me, pushes the limits a little bit morel

1:09:35 – props goes out to the men in this industry that help encourage women

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.

www.maxxis.com

www.4lowmagazine.com 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)


[00:00:01.150] - Speaker 1

Welcome to The Big Rich Show. This podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four-wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing you may know the name. You may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiast. So now is the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation.

 


[00:00:29.430] - Speaker 2

Whether you're crawling the red rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability. Four wheels or two, Maxxis tires are the choice of Champions because they know that whether for work or play, for fun or competition, Maxxis Tires Deliver. Choose Maxxis, Tread Victoriously.

 


[00:00:55.990] - Speaker 3

Why should you read 4low magazine? Because 4low Magazine is about your lifestyle, the four wheel drive adventure lifestyle that we all enjoy, rock crawling, trail riding, event coverage, vehicle builds, and do it yourself tech, all in a beautifully presented package. You won't find 4low on the newsstand rack.

 


[00:01:16.550] - Big Rich Klein

So subscribe today and have it delivered to you.

 


[00:01:21.010] - Big Rich Klein

On today's episode of Conversations With Big Rich. We have Lee Drew Riser. Lee has been around the offroad industry for quite a while. I first met her through Skyjacker. I believe it was, and we're going to get into all of that. But Lee, thank you so much for coming on board and talking with us. You've been in the marketing part of this, and that's what we really want to concentrate on is the marketing of off road companies and how you got involved with it.

 


[00:01:52.920] - Big Rich Klein

So thank you for coming out.

 


[00:01:54.970] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the time and excited to kind of share the story. This industry is definitely where I've basically grown up.

 


[00:02:05.170] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. So let's go ahead and start with where were you born and raised.

 


[00:02:10.750] - Lee Drew Riser

So I was actually born in Westwood, Massachusetts, but I was raised in a little town, Pahoa, Hawaii. So it's been early elementary, high school and even the first part of College in Hawaii, actually.

 


[00:02:28.140] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, wow. Okay.

 


[00:02:30.490] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. So not a bad place to grow up.

 


[00:02:33.260] - Big Rich Klein

No. My wife and I visited Hawaii, the big island and then Oahu. And what I found, though, was it's too small for me?

 


[00:02:43.930] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes. Island fever is a real thing. You can drive across the island in a few hours. So that's not great for antsy people?

 


[00:02:52.040] - Big Rich Klein

No. And I'm one of those antsy types, I guess.

 


[00:02:57.130] - Lee Drew Riser

No, I agree. I definitely had island fever. It's hard when you're definitely confined to just what you can get to in a few hours in a car.

 


[00:03:05.660] - Big Rich Klein

Right. So when you were born in Massachusetts, but you moved to Hawaii, at what time frame did that happen in your life?

 


[00:03:14.200] - Lee Drew Riser

Early elementary school. Yeah. So basically, I grew up there. I graduated from high school and like that started College, actually, University of Hawaii at Manoa, which is located in Oahu.

 


[00:03:28.390] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. And which island did you grow up on?

 


[00:03:31.640] - Lee Drew Riser

I grew up on the big island.

 


[00:03:33.630] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:03:34.350] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. And then just spend a little time on Oahu for College.

 


[00:03:37.850] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. And what town on the big island did you grow up in Pahoa?

 


[00:03:43.990] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. Actually, if you saw the lava, that kind of went through a few years back, it went through that area. They got hit pretty hard.

 


[00:03:52.400] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. We actually drove some of the roads back into that area and got within. They had the major road blocked, but some of the side roads, you could get within probably 40 50ft of the lava. And it's amazing how that stuff moves across the ground. The paved road. I would have thought that it was melted up to it, but it was perfect. It was just like a big coating of concrete was laid down. Black concrete.

 


[00:04:27.980] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes. No, it's incredible to see Gosh. It comes through. It's a lot of destruction, but it stops in certain paths and you're like, okay, this is completely untouched. I mean, it'll make a V sometimes around houses. And like you said, you can see the road. Nothing damaged up until the point of then the lava covers it. It's kind of crazy.

 


[00:04:51.720] - Big Rich Klein

It is really crazy. What was life like, what kind of things did you do on the big island of Hawaii for entertainment as you were a kid growing up. Did you surf or anything like that?

 


[00:05:04.810] - Lee Drew Riser

I did more of the Boogie boarding, but, yeah, it was just a mile or two from the beach. So Kohiki area actually there. So, yeah, I was quite the beach bum, but didn't get into surfing much. A lot of the guys did surf, but, yeah, I spent a lot of time at the beach, and I was super involved in high school and a lot of different things. I was a little bit of an overachiever. I was in DECA, which is a marketing club. I was in FBLA teacher, Future Business Leaders of America.

 


[00:05:36.580] - Lee Drew Riser

I did close up Washington student body government, yearbook. So I stayed pretty busy with that.

 


[00:05:45.570] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. I used yearbook to get through all my English requirements in high school.

 


[00:05:52.090] - Lee Drew Riser

There you go. That's the way to do it.

 


[00:05:54.520] - Big Rich Klein

Well, if you see my writing or hear me talk, you can gather all that pretty easily. I was a yearbook photographer.

 


[00:06:04.580] - Big Rich Klein

I don't know how that translates into English, right.

 


[00:06:09.850] - Lee Drew Riser

That's the fun stuff.

 


[00:06:10.940] - Big Rich Klein

Did you do any sports while you were in school?

 


[00:06:13.810] - Lee Drew Riser

I did. So I was a cheerleader, and I also ran track.

 


[00:06:18.070] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, nice.

 


[00:06:18.590] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. I really enjoyed that. I know. Actually, I was digging through some of my boxes of stuff that made it from Hawaii, and I had my little Letterman from running track.

 


[00:06:29.360] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, excellent. What event did you participate in?

 


[00:06:33.810] - Lee Drew Riser

I did sprint, so I did, like, the 50 and the 100. I remember my coach putting me in for, like, the 400 one time, and I was like, no, that's not the event for me. I went for quick and easy and get it done.

 


[00:06:47.560] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, I get that. I'm not a runner, but that's obvious. So through high school, you said you were in a marketing club Decka. You said, yeah.

 


[00:07:01.420] - Lee Drew Riser

Distributive Education Clubs of America. So it focuses on a lot of different marketing training, and it really helps prepare you if you think you want a career in the marketing field.

 


[00:07:13.210] - Big Rich Klein

Well, and that's where you ended up so very good.

 


[00:07:16.330] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. I also did mock trial, and I was toying with law school for a long time, but I said, oh, I didn't want that much schooling, but then I actually went on to get my MBA, so it ended up being the same. But no, I love marketing. Marketing is definitely my thing. I definitely identified that, I think early on and stuck with it. So went to College and majored in that, got my undergrad, my BBA in marketing. And then, like I said, went on and got my MBA as well.

 


[00:07:48.330] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. You mentioned that you went to University of Hawaii, but it sounded like you didn't go there for your whole time, correct.

 


[00:07:57.000] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. Then I transferred to University of Louisiana at Monroe, and that's what brought me to Louisiana.

 


[00:08:05.110] - Big Rich Klein

How did that transition happen? From Hawaii to Louisiana? I could see going from Louisiana to Hawaii.

 


[00:08:13.090] - Lee Drew Riser

Exactly. I know. I actually transferred from a dorm overlooking Diamond Head in Waikiki to a dorm in Louisiana overlooking the Bayou, which is just a nice word for swamp. Yeah. It was definitely culture shock, but I had a connection here in Louisiana, so transferred for that and thought, why not? I had actually moved your site on them. So I had not been to Louisiana before moving here.

 


[00:08:44.270] - Big Rich Klein

Interesting. So did you have any jobs while you were in high school or College, actually.

 


[00:08:51.080] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah, I did. I tutored in high school and a little bit in College. So I was a reading tutor. I am a big English English fan. So that worked out well. And then in College, I actually had a couple of part time jobs. I was a student worker at the University and actually edited a lot of textbooks for our marketing professors. So there's a few textbooks out there that are, I think, still being used today that I think I touched and used. That was neat. And then I also did some sales stuff.

 


[00:09:27.290] - Lee Drew Riser

I worked at the buckle, and then I graduated. I feel like two diamonds, got my diamond certification and then was selling resale at sales while I was in College.

 


[00:09:39.580] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, wow. Okay.

 


[00:09:40.910] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. So that was a lot of fun.

 


[00:09:42.460] - Big Rich Klein

So you pick out your own jewelry?

 


[00:09:44.970] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes. Exactly. I'm too educated on the diamond side. Now I'm like, Honey, that's not the good stuff, but he has good taste.

 


[00:09:57.150] - Big Rich Klein

I tell Shelley we don't buy each other gifts. We just discuss things and then buy what we want or need, and we each pick out those kinds of things so that neither one of us ever feels probably more so her that she was let down. It kind of creates an area where we don't have any conflict.

 


[00:10:20.250] - Lee Drew Riser

No, that's good.

 


[00:10:21.320] - Big Rich Klein

So I always tell her, if you want diamonds, go ahead. Pick them out when you know you want them. And she's done her rings. But she hasn't been real diamond lately.

 


[00:10:34.180] - Lee Drew Riser

I don't know what it is.

 


[00:10:35.770] - Big Rich Klein

I think she's preparing for our retirement someday or something.

 


[00:10:39.750] - Lee Drew Riser

There you go. Hey, they're investments. I always say yes.

 


[00:10:44.110] - Big Rich Klein

Absolutely. So then you end up in Louisiana and you're finishing your College there. Did you do anything else Besides, was it just the two schools?

 


[00:10:57.150] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes. Just those. So, yeah, I finished up College and then got into marketing directly out of College. And actually, funny story. I was working for the staffing industry. And so I was working actually at a staffing agency directly for the marketing director. And we got actually a call about a position at Skyjacker. And it was funny we're not typically the ones obviously applying for it. But when I heard about the position, I was like, I'd absolutely love to do something like that. And it sounds like a really fun industry and something very different than what I've done in the past.

 


[00:11:36.700] - Lee Drew Riser

And so, yeah, I actually applied and got the job and was there about six months under the current marketing director. And she basically said, Well, I hired you as my replacement, so I'm handing it over. Wow.

 


[00:11:53.270] - Big Rich Klein

That's awesome. In six months.

 


[00:11:55.530] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. It was pretty quick. So moved into the kind of marketing coordinator role as I kind of transitioned to get ready for that marketing director role, which I did grow into and was very thankful for, got some great exposure. And I think, yeah, that's where you and I first met on the rock crawling circuit. We were heavily involved in motor sports and sponsorship and gosh, it was such a fun time. There were short course off road racing. There was Arca. Yeah, all those big events. So a lot of fun stuff going on, and that's a travel really kind of push.

 


[00:12:47.710] - Lee Drew Riser

I think the marketing to kind of the national level, obviously, we're already selling nationally, but there was a lot of things that kind of put us on the map. You know, as I was there kind of helping grow that marketing Department. So it was an exciting time in the industry.

 


[00:13:03.550] - Big Rich Klein

So you're working for a staffing agency. You're diamond certified. All your background basically is in marketing. Did you do any offroading in Hawaii before you moved to the mainland?

 


[00:13:19.170] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, yeah. Jeeps are obviously big on the big island and just operating in general. There's a lot of fun spots there. So I did a little bit of that in my teen years, for sure. Actually, I remember spending some time in California, too, over the summer and went mudding. So that was a lot of fun and gosh in high school, the guys were fixing up their old square body Chevy, and that's what we took out muddy, and it was a lot of fun. So yeah, I definitely had exposure to that side of it on the recreation, but, you know, hadn't done it professionally until right out of College.

 


[00:14:00.320] - Big Rich Klein

So was that something that sparked your interest in the skyjacker job when it appeared in your yeah.

 


[00:14:08.690] - Lee Drew Riser

Definitely a little bit. But also what appealed to me is just the national exposure. I was working in a small town in Louisiana, but to see a company that had national presence was also very appealing. Having traveled and seeing different parts of the world, I was kind of like, hey, I want more than just what we have access to here in Louisiana. So the appeal of kind of a national company was nice.

 


[00:14:40.590] - Big Rich Klein

So let me backtrack a little bit. Going from the Northeast to Hawaii. I'm assuming that was a job change or something for your parents or one of them.

 


[00:14:50.080] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. My dad, we actually went there on vacation, and my dad was in sales, and he traveled a lot anyway. So it's like if I'm going to be based out of somewhere, why not be paradise? And so we picked up and moved.

 


[00:15:02.950] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. That makes sense, because if you're doing a lot of flying, it's not a big deal.

 


[00:15:09.250] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. And he didn't have to travel often. I mean, obviously, it's not convenient to get to a lot of places from Hawaii, but he went on longer trips and bigger trips and was able to do that from anywhere. He was always in sales and did a lot of different things. So it worked out well that we could be located there and enjoy Paradise Paradise.

 


[00:15:31.480] - Big Rich Klein

Yes. I enjoyed my two weeks there. Like I said, I think I drove every paved road within about a day and a half and then started to redrive all the roads, like, in the opposite direction. And then we hooked up with one of the local with the local Big Island Jeep Club, and they took us out to a number of different places that they go and really had a good time there, though. Really good time.

 


[00:15:58.170] - Lee Drew Riser

Good. Yeah. It's a nicer place to visit. I feel like because you can get that taste. And then when you have island fever, you're done, you can go visit elsewhere.

 


[00:16:07.650] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. So then when you got to Louisiana and you're going to College, did you continue wheeling at that point? What kind of vehicle did you drive?

 


[00:16:23.470] - Lee Drew Riser

So no, at that point, I think that's the only thing probably in College when I didn't really have, like, a G for offered vehicle. We had a pickup truck that was shipped over from Hawaii but didn't do a whole lot in it. I know I was in a car at that time. So it didn't do a lot. I was pretty busy with school. I took 18 hours of College, and like I said, we had two part time jobs, one as a student worker and then also retail.

 


[00:16:53.090] - Lee Drew Riser

So I stayed pretty busy and I finished my undergrad in three and a half years. So got out a little bit early and then started working full time. And that's when I decided I wanted a Skyjacker. And that's when I decided I wanted to go back and kind of broaden my degree and get more on the marketing side and also just management business in general. And so I started pursuing my MBA at night. And after hours while I was working about 45 hours a week.

 


[00:17:27.720] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:17:28.120] - Lee Drew Riser

That was also pretty hectic time. There wasn't much time for recreation.

 


[00:17:34.330] - Big Rich Klein

Right. So you'd already had the job at Skyjacker when you went for your MBA?

 


[00:17:40.940] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. So it took me a little bit longer because like I said, I only took a few classes each semester to finish that up while I was working full time.

 


[00:17:52.390] - Big Rich Klein

And how many years did you work for Skyjacker?

 


[00:17:56.290] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, goodness. Combined. I was there 13 little over 13 years. So quite a while.

 


[00:18:03.070] - Big Rich Klein

So you started with Skyjacker, and then you left there for a little bit, didn't you?

 


[00:18:08.670] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes. I went to Fab Fours and then actually came back and worked for Superlift, also on the suspension side and then back to Skyjacker for a little while and then got an amazing opportunity with the company I'm at currently, which is Truck Hero. But I started on the Legacy Lund side we call it. So I was on the Lund brand side when we merged with Truck Hero.

 


[00:18:42.360] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. And what are all the brands that are under Truck Hero?

 

[00:18:49.430] - Lee Drew Riser

So we've got almost 30 brands under the Truck Hero umbrella now. So, yes, it's quite a lot of brands. We have about twelve truck bed cover brands. So that's our truck bed cover division, which includes are X, Tang, Truxedo, a lot of the bigger names in Taunu Covers and Taps that you'd be familiar with. And then we have our Jeep and all the division, which I'm over the marketing for the whole Jeep and Off Roadside now and then two of our accessory brands. So I cover brands like Rugged Ridge, Rampage, Super Lift.

 


[00:19:44.450] - Lee Drew Riser

And then, like I said, I retain two of our accessory brands, Bushwhacker and NFAB, which pair very nicely with the Jeep and Off Roadside.

 


[00:19:53.160] - Big Rich Klein

Right. Okay. Are you guys continually as a business model? Is Truck Hero going to continue picking up companies as they fit their mold?

 


[00:20:05.630] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, yeah. I think that's been a plan for a while. We're always looking it has to be the right opportunity, has to be the right mix. But that's certainly something that's of consideration. We've got a lot of the categories covered. We obviously try and go after the premium brands in the category. Bushwacker, the originator of the Fender flare amp research, the originator of the power step running board. So we like to align ourselves with those brands that are obviously making an impact in the categories that they are in.

 


[00:20:45.530] - Big Rich Klein

And you're still based in Louisiana.

 


[00:20:48.830] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. So what's nice is our super facility is right here in West Monroe, where I live. And then I'm close to our kind of accessories corporate office, which is in Atlanta, which is just a 45 minutes flight. So I go up there and then we also have our Amics kind of Rugged Ridge facility, which houses a lot of the juvenile Road brands, and then our Lawrenceville facility right there in Georgia as well, which is the manufacturing site for our ABS and Bush Whacker brands.

 


[00:21:23.510] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:21:23.910] - Lee Drew Riser

It's kind of nice. We've got three of our large facilities right there. Very close.

 


[00:21:27.900] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. So let's talk about those days at Skyjacker and then Super Lyft. I know that there was like a trading of business cards. It seemed like with a lot of employees where they'd be at Skyjacker, then over at Super Lift, then back to Skyjacker or vice versa.

 


[00:21:46.070] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes.

 


[00:21:47.390] - Big Rich Klein

It seemed like you guys were like competitors, but was it one company trying to steal the other ones, or was it just around the barbecue with the other company all the time? It always amazes.

 


[00:22:06.770] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah, it did. No. And it definitely happened. And that's what happens. We have two fairly large aftermarket companies in the same little town. There's not a lot of other opportunities. And so employees would transition back and forth because obviously you have the expertise in that area and you get familiar and comfortable with the suspension category. So yeah, definitely competitors. But it's a small town. Everybody gets along. There was some time where it's friendly competition, but still, obviously competition.

 


[00:22:45.910] - Big Rich Klein

Right. One of the things that I want to hit on is kind of like what's a typical work day. But before we get into that, let's talk about how somebody wanting to get into the off road market, say, with one of your companies or into a position like yours. What's the best process for doing that? Say, in marketing?

 


[00:23:12.070] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah, sure. And I do think it applies for other areas, but especially for marketing. Make sure the area of interest you want to go. And obviously that your education prepares you for that. So I knew I wanted to do marketing. I didn't necessarily know what industry. The opportunity obviously presented itself for the aftermarket. And I said, yeah, that's what I want to do. But I think for somebody getting into it, get exposure to definitely the enthusiast side of what either the brand or industry you want to get in, because obviously, that's going to be the customers that you're marketing to.

 


[00:23:50.330] - Lee Drew Riser

So if you have an understanding of kind of what the consumer base is, you will be more successful in the products that you market. So I do think you've got to have a passion and an understanding for not only the consumers but the products. And I do think it helped. I had some exposure to it. And then once I got into it, I was like, gosh, these people love what they do. And then I got to go out and experience it. I rode in some different buggies, some of the rock crawlers.

 


[00:24:23.810] - Lee Drew Riser

I remember Jeff Mello.

 


[00:24:25.410] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, yeah.

 


[00:24:27.610] - Lee Drew Riser

I was at Badlands Off Road Park in Little Attica, Indiana, and it was the Real Truck Club Challenge, which motor trend at the time, four Wheeler Peterson put on. And I remember it was a guy Blake in a Suzuki Samurai, and he invited me to ride along on one of the rock crawling climbs. And I did. And it was awesome. But you get to experience it and see it through their eyes. So I think anybody who's wanting to get into, whether it's the aftermarket or off road, I have an understanding and appreciation for what those consumers do with their vehicles because you'll just be more successful in marketing to them.

 


[00:25:11.560] - Big Rich Klein

Right? Nowadays, the marketing seems to really push toward digital over other forms of marketing. Is that really trackable?

 


[00:25:23.890] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, yeah. The nice thing about digital, the transition to digital is the digital. You can track your spend. You can see ROI almost instantly on so many of these platforms. Facebook social ads, obviously, Google Pay per click stuff. The metrics are there to very easily say, I'm spending X on my marketing dollars. What's my return? Obviously, in the earlier days, it was a lot harder to track. You had print, you had all these other mediums to go by, and marketing was a little bit of you had to go with your gut and which opportunities would get you the most exposure.

 


[00:26:09.190] - Lee Drew Riser

And sometimes you couldn't track it. But you could definitively say, hey, there was a Halo effect, or we received more exposure because of this. But I think with the transition to digital, yeah, we're seeing marketers like to be able to point to those metrics, point to the data and say, we know dollars spent are obviously generating this type of return, but it's still hard. There's other mediums that are out there in television. We still do some great programs, like With Truck, you four Wheeler. We sponsored Ultimate Adventure.

 


[00:26:50.190] - Lee Drew Riser

Some of those don't have the exact mech tricks that you can point to with digital. But there are obviously some other great metrics that you can, and you can point to the exposure that you get. Obviously, the impressions. And it's obviously been interesting to see kind of as the field of marketing evolve and what other opportunities we have out there. But digital plays such a huge role in all of our marketing initiatives now, right?

 


[00:27:20.150] - Big Rich Klein

That's one of the things being an event promoter that's been difficult forever is to figure out how to show that return on investment for companies that are marketing partners and what I always boil it down to is the offroad industry is really hands on. I think that the majority of the people that have the spending power have the resources to be able to make big purchases or to keep pumping money into their sport or their lifestyle. Are those that are a little older than, say, the youngest and maybe not as influenced by digital?

 


[00:28:11.120] - Big Rich Klein

Maybe they look things up.

 


[00:28:13.630] - Lee Drew Riser

Sure.

 


[00:28:14.270] - Big Rich Klein

But do you find that to be the case, or is it the 35 and under that are the spenders?

 


[00:28:27.670] - Lee Drew Riser

It really varies by brand. We have so many different products under our different brand umbrellas. It does vary by brand. So hey, the electric power running board from Amp Research. It is an older crowd, more affluent crowd. So that crowd is definitely different. You reach them, I think in a different way, and we do. We obviously use other forms of marketing and different Haines to still reach consumers because they vary so much and obviously their digital activity. But that whole crowd, even the older generation is they're active on Facebook and social because they've got children or grandchildren that they want to keep in touch with.

 


[00:29:15.250] - Big Rich Klein

So obviously digital and social is still a good place to reach them because you can pinpoint them by using certain demographic tools, not just.

 


[00:29:31.990] - Lee Drew Riser

The targeting. Yes, the targeting when it comes to interest. Obviously, it's great when it comes to a lot of the social advertising that you can do. You can really Hone in. Now it comes from you need to know your consumer, you need to know what their interests are. You need to know what they're doing. So it does go back to like what you were saying with them being engaged in motorsports and different things. Well, for the Jeep side of things and the Jeep and off road categories, those are absolutely interest that are targeted because we know that's what they're doing with their vehicles.

 


[00:30:08.360] - Lee Drew Riser

And I always say Jeepers will find a way to beg, borrow or steal to support that habit. And it holds true. Jeepers, no matter what sort of is going on, usually in the economy or in the world, they're going to find a way because that's a source of obviously not only happiness for them, but how they go out and enjoy life. They're out there using their vehicle on the trail.

 


[00:30:34.720] - Big Rich Klein

Right. Okay. So let's run through influencers. I know that's a big hot topic nowadays on whether or not like Instagrammers, Insta, Famers, whatever you want to call them that have 100,000 or 900,000 followers at one time they were really considered that's the people we got to support. But do you find that that's a good way to spend money or not?

 


[00:31:09.010] - Lee Drew Riser

Honestly, it also varies by brand. I do think certain brands and products definitely have more success and more luck with influencers. There's no doubt it does work well, I think in some tight niche, off road groups, they want to see what the hardcore guys are using. And if they're using your product, there's some credibility to be gained by that. But it has to be authentic. It can't just be obviously a paid influencer program. So I think that's what's important with obviously the brand is to align yourself with influencers that are genuine.

 


[00:31:52.360] - Lee Drew Riser

They actually use the product for what it's intended. They have used products similar to that before, even maybe using your brand, so that when they use it and they're showcasing all the benefits of it, they believe that it's not just a paid influencer program. So a lot of the influencer sort of relationships that we have have grown out of that they've loved using Bushwater products over the years. So we've obviously then grown that relationship with them. But I do think the most important thing is it has to be genuine.

 


[00:32:26.870] - Lee Drew Riser

It has to be a product that if you find somebody in a completely different field and you're like, yes, I want you to be an influencer, start using and promoting my products. Well, their fan base isn't your fan base, and it doesn't make sense always. So you just have to be careful. I feel like obviously with that influencer piece just to make sure it obviously makes sense for the brand and the product.

 


[00:32:53.160] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. I made a comment on a post that people were talking about influencers, and my comment was, Are you really an influencer? If you have to tell people you're an influencer.

 


[00:33:07.510] - Lee Drew Riser

That'S a good one.

 


[00:33:11.450] - Big Rich Klein

I don't know how relevant that is, but it stuck. It just popped and I went, you know, man, if you're going around telling everybody, yes, I'm an influencer.

 


[00:33:23.990] - Lee Drew Riser

Or you really want, no, you're right. When I think of an influence, I think of somebody that is making an impact and credible in that either category or that industry. Those are the influencers that make sense to your point, if you have tout, I am an influencer. What influence do you really have?

 


[00:33:50.390] - Big Rich Klein

So, like with Duck Fantasy? Was that the name of the show Dynasty?

 


[00:33:56.370] - Lee Drew Riser

Duck Dynasty.

 


[00:33:58.370] - Big Rich Klein

Were you involved with that show?

 


[00:34:01.910] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes.

 


[00:34:02.650] - Big Rich Klein

Heavily involved because they're based right there real close to Monroe, aren't they?

 


[00:34:08.870] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. They're in West Monroe. So this is their hometown. I lived one street over from Willie Robertson and several of the guys for many years. That was a very great partnership that I think obviously made sense. They became very big influencers not only in that space, but it was a pop culture kind of phenome. For a little while. They got tremendous success, and it was nice to be outfitting their vehicles, helping with those builds. And the products obviously made sense for their lifestyle and what they were using it for.

 


[00:34:50.160] - Lee Drew Riser

Then it was showcased on obviously shows and episodes. So that is a perfect example of one that really makes sense when brands can find those types of things in a line, and it hits. It can be really big. And Willie came out to SEMA, and it was just a huge hit with that crowd just because of the popularity of the show and the fact that he was obviously using his product and enjoyed printing. And they spun off. And they also have Commander, which focuses on the deer side of things.

 


[00:35:27.350] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. Sema is one of those places that it just absolutely amazes me. You'd be walking down, heading over to a meeting or something, and then you come across, obviously an entourage and somebody in the middle of that entourage and I'll look over and I'm like, okay, who is it? And I have no clue. But it's because there's so many different aftermarket industries or branches on the aftermarket tree. You might say that you never know who it is unless you're part of that world, whether it's a drag racer or an Indy car driver or somebody that has a body shop show or a tow company or whatever.

 


[00:36:19.010] - Big Rich Klein

If you never watch the show, you're always wondering, who is that right. And then in Vegas, of course, everybody wants the MMA guys, right?

 


[00:36:29.320] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. No. It is always funny to see kind of the variety out there this year.

 


[00:36:36.160] - Big Rich Klein

Sema was very interesting because of coming back after a year of not being there because of Covet and then opening up the new West Hall, where all of the truck accessories and four X four were pretty much over in that hall. And then companies that had more diversity, like, say, Curry. Okay. Where they're building for hot rods as well as for off road. That people have two booths, or they concentrate on the booth area where they were the most known. But it was really interesting seeing the way people use their booth space this year.

 


[00:37:21.790] - Big Rich Klein

Did you guys go out to where you out at SEMA?

 


[00:37:26.160] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, yeah. We have a very large booth in the new West Hall to display all the brands. But, yes, we had a great experience in the new hall, and we tried to focus on we have the Jeep off road. We had trucks. We had kind of a varied offering in the booth.

 


[00:37:48.830] - Big Rich Klein

Did you find that you had better contact with true possible distributors or distributors than you would have in years past. Less lucky lose, maybe.

 


[00:38:02.400] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. No. I think the quality was good this year. Obviously, the people who wanted to be there were there. People were excited to be back in person at the show. So there were a lot of quality connections and quality conversations that happened on the show floor.

 


[00:38:19.370] - Big Rich Klein

That's been my experience talking with different company representatives like yourself is that even though they were down, probably, I guess it was only like eleven or 1200 vendors instead of, like, 4400 or something. And then the numbers of the spectators or the enthusiasts of whatever were there, the numbers were a lot lower. But everybody that I talked to said that they had really quality discourse with those that were there. They didn't feel like they were burning a lot of extra time.

 


[00:38:55.370] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah, I agree. And honestly, the SEMA cruise and the SEMA ignited was the biggest I've seen in years. So that was also nice to see that kind of that crowd gathered and stayed, and we're excited to see the vehicles as they came out. And then obviously, like the drifting and some of the exhibition stuff that was happening. I see my nightTed after the fact it was nice to see an engaged crowd there.

 


[00:39:24.620] - Big Rich Klein

Right. The guy's drifting. I'm going to blame Loren Healy on this. He was out there drifting his ultra four car, and the smoke was heavy enough to shut down the monorail station.

 


[00:39:40.730] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, my gosh. I did not realize that.

 


[00:39:42.680] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, it set off the fire alarms and it shut down the whole system. And we were standing in line at the top because we thought, okay, we'll get out of here a little early so that we're not going to be in the crowds. Of course, there weren't that big of crowds, and the smoke had already filled up, and they had already shut it down by the time we got to the top. And it was like, oh, my Lord. So we waited about an extra half an hour, 40 minutes or so for that.

 


[00:40:08.770] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, but we talked to a lot of people and exchanged cards while we were in line. So it worked out really well. But I'm going to blame Loren Healy for that. Whether it was his car or not, somebody said it was. So that was good for me.

 


[00:40:20.340] - Lee Drew Riser

There you go.

 


[00:40:22.610] - Big Rich Klein

So then let's talk about a typical workday or a work week for Lee.

 


[00:40:31.190] - Lee Drew Riser

So a work day right now, it's still a lot of conference calls. I think this past year has really taught people that working remote. There's obviously a lot of ways to do it. I do work remote, but I travel. I still go to the different facilities. But for the most part, if I'm working from home, each day consists of a number of teleconferences and then obviously a ton of emails and then reviewing content. I work with the designers, the different web teams. And so as the brand director, we've got to have our eyes on all those different pieces of content.

 


[00:41:18.690] - Lee Drew Riser

So when we've got new promotional banners that are needed, I've got to review those. Are they ready for Web social ads? Are those good? Does the content match what we're trying to obviously portray to the consumer? Is it targeted for targeting specific categories or demos? Does the content and imagery speak to that? And I've got to put on different brand hats in a day. So it's a lot of that. It's obviously coordinating with the sales team for the big promotions that we do on the marketing side, whether it's our D to C sites or our BDB support, we still have a very large channel on the WD side.

 


[00:42:05.280] - Lee Drew Riser

So wholesale is a big focus for us. So we're catalog pages content for that. We do obviously a lot of marketing through that channel as well. I think a typical day is email process calls and a lot of content reviewing in marketing, you've got to be up to date with graphics and design and kind of what's new and what's out there because you want your brand to obviously stand out in the best way possible, which all comes down to the content that you're pushing out and creating.

 


[00:42:40.820] - Lee Drew Riser

We all know content is King, right? Yeah. I think typical day also includes reviewing stuff for social. We have tons of Facebook Instagram pages for all of our different brands, and we review user generated content because we like to share content that is generated from the people using our product. So that user generated content gets reviewed. And we work with the marketing team, and we have marketing specialists that help fill that content out, and it's just reviewing it and making sure it gets out and all the appropriate channels.

 


[00:43:14.640] - Big Rich Klein

So do you guys chase hashtags, then? Are there certain hashtags that you look for?

 


[00:43:20.810] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, yeah. No, definitely. For our brand. We have our branded hashtags, which obviously do generate good user content, but we seek out content just by actually looking at what we're tagged in. So not only hashtags, but just kind of using that social tool to listen to what consumers are doing. Sometimes you see crazy builds and you're like, oh, wow. That's what they're using Flares for. Now that's a different look or take on it. And you can see the trends too. Paying attention to that user generated content and how your products actually being used is important not only for kind of marketing, but also for future product ideas.

 


[00:44:05.240] - Lee Drew Riser

And how you launch and bring stuff to market.

 


[00:44:09.290] - Big Rich Klein

Are your brands when there's a new vehicle, do you guys try to be first to market?

 


[00:44:15.530] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes. That's actually a very big, important thing for us. As soon as the vehicle comes out and we can get data on it, we're starting to produce product for it.

 


[00:44:27.110] - Big Rich Klein

Interesting. I know that watching the Lift business, lift and bumpers, it always appears that everybody's trying to get that first vehicle off the assembly line or to find one so that they can take it apart and then reverse engineer the brackets and the bracketry and geometry and all that kind of stuff. And I would imagine that the same happens for your product lines. Or can you guys go more off of schematics provided by the manufacturers and do manufacturers even do that?

 


[00:45:03.590] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. No. A lot of it is from CAD Data, and we do participate in the tech transfer program with SEMA and then also any programs that the OES offer to get access to that ahead of time, because if you wait, you're already behind the ball because a lot of the products obviously just take time to develop, but those line extensions are so critical for us that we've got to stay out in front of them. So yeah, we're using kind of as much as we can on the tech transfer side to develop stuff from data.

 


[00:45:39.590] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. This is good information for those listeners that are on Fab shops or businesses that are producing product that if you're not part of SEMA, you should be so that you can participate in that technology sharing with the CAD and the measurements and everything they get from the manufacturers. Is that correct?

 


[00:46:06.770] - Lee Drew Riser

That's correct. Yes. So SEMA Garage. So there's one in California now. They just open location in Detroit. They also offer measuring sessions for SEMA members. So as soon as they get access to vehicles and sometimes they get access to them ahead of time from those manufacturers, they actually bring it in and they will let you digitize and scan and get up close and personal with all these new vehicles they just had. I think it was the new Tundra recently that they announced a measuring session on. So yeah, if you were missing something that you didn't get in CAD or wanted to get up close and personal with those vehicles, they have equipment to actually digitize and scan, and they have ways to obviously let you do that at the measuring session.

 


[00:46:55.340] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. On the marketing side, what do you think is going to be the Hot new platform or whatever? I know that a lot of people jumped onto the TikTok, and I don't understand TikTok. I don't know if that's a spot for offroad manufacturers or not aftermarket manufacturers. Where's the hotspot Besides Facebook.

 


[00:47:24.830] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. I know. Honestly, everyone is like, what's the next thing right? Snapchat also was kind of the upandcoming platform for so long, and then it was like TikTok emerged, and we do have a TikTok page. I definitely think it's a little difficult for off road and just the aftermarket in general, to embrace kind of newer technologies. I think we let other industries kind of test it out and have the success and failures. And then we're like, yes, that's where we want to be. But I do think it has to make sense for your brand.

 


[00:48:02.640] - Lee Drew Riser

So I do think it varies, of course, by brand. Tiktok may be great for some brands and some products, but the audience is a lot younger, so obviously that matters. And it is it's a very different world on the tick tox side, and it's kind of hard to gauge what content really hits that area. We've had some fun videos that we've posted, but I think if you're really looking to test and see if it's something for you, Tik Tok influencers is more. We found we identified some that they had a decent following.

 


[00:48:43.890] - Lee Drew Riser

They were posting content that was relevant, so you reach out to them and see how that goes versus your content from your branded page. It was a truck TikTok page. He had, like, over 100,000 followers. And so I kind of paired up with him for some content that we did. And, of course, his stuff hit way better than ours because he had that kind of engaged fan base already. So TikTok is interesting. Yeah. I definitely think a little too early to tell if right now it's a big thing for this industry.

 


[00:49:19.350] - Lee Drew Riser

It doesn't seem right now that it is. But we're there. We play with it as well. But I think the fun thing that we've seen, we do some foreign gifts for our brands and different things. And that page has generated a ton of views. And so people they can use that on their Insta stories in different places. And that's done very well. So again, it kind of varies by brand, but you have to be able to kind of react, you know, and if all of a sudden we start getting great engagement on some of those platforms, then we have to be able to put more resources into it.

 


[00:49:57.300] - Lee Drew Riser

So I think that's kind of the key. Be flexible, be adaptable and watch the trends, because if something's emerging and you're not following it, you don't want to get left behind.

 


[00:50:12.430] - Big Rich Klein

Right. So it's being fluid and being able to pivot quick enough to follow those trends.

 


[00:50:19.550] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes. Absolutely.

 


[00:50:21.650] - Big Rich Klein

We've always said that the off road industry and I'm going to make some people mad here is probably about five to seven years behind most industries when it comes to marketing. And I don't know if it's because of the age, like I said, of the people that are the ones with the disposable income, the buyers. I can go back all the way back to when we first came to Texas to put on an event, my son was asked, well, what's the difference between West Coast wheeling and wheeling in Texas?

 


[00:51:03.530] - Big Rich Klein

And looking at the vehicles, the vehicles that we were running on the West Coast were much more advanced than the ones being run in Texas in the technology, whether it was shock packages or types of suspension. As you know, every Fab shop out there was building first it was leaf Springs, and then it went to quarter elliptical systems and reverse shackling and extended shackles and all sorts of different things. Everybody was experimenting to try to get as much travel as possible. And those trends when they were popular in Texas was, you know, five to seven years after it was popular in Arizona or California or Nevada.

 


[00:51:58.180] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah.

 


[00:51:58.740] - Big Rich Klein

And I find that to be that way in the marketing as well for companies. And the other thing I find is that the off road market, especially for Fab shops, is that we have some great fabricators and engineers building things that nobody knows about.

 


[00:52:23.910] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. You're exactly right. And I do think a lot of it is because this industry is built from that kind of entrepreneurial spirit. So many of these guys are, hey, I can build a bumper. Hey, I can build and they have great products. Then they don't have the distribution or I guess the support for that to kind of bring it to market. And yeah, let people know about it. So I do think we're slower to adapt the new kind of cutting edge marketing tactics. But I also think we're slower to even adapt some of the technologies that are used in different industries.

 


[00:53:05.550] - Lee Drew Riser

And then the trends vary by location. Like you're mentioning, you got the West Coast crowd. You got the deep south, you got North, Northwest crowd, Northeast crowd. It varies so much by what's popular there, too. Some of the fads with the nose down, nose Carolina squatters. They just yeah.

 


[00:53:34.390] - Big Rich Klein

Thank God. That just seems dangerous. If you can't look over your hood.

 


[00:53:40.870] - Lee Drew Riser

You need to rethink your designs.

 


[00:53:44.110] - Big Rich Klein

I can only pour half a lift.

 


[00:53:48.530] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. So I do think there's a lot of things happening in the industry that causes it, but we are it doesn't make me mad to say that we are behind in some of those areas. It just gives us more to grow into. And I also think by the time we adopt it or we utilize it, we kind of have maybe some of the learnings from the other industries, which can be an advantage, too.

 


[00:54:16.430] - Big Rich Klein

Well, one of the things that I've tried to do is I was really late getting to Facebook, my kids and my nephew and everybody is a lot younger than me started off on Facebook, and I guess it was more youth orientated. Now the youth look at it and say, well, Facebook is for old people.

 


[00:54:40.430] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah.

 


[00:54:41.120] - Big Rich Klein

Because they transitioned. So you think that most I think Instagram was that way. And I think that you're going to find that Snapchat and then TikTok and whatever else comes up is going to be the same thing. It's first designed by the youth or people that are younger. And then by the time they move on to something else or they stick with it, it's their generation that uses it. But then the next, the older generation starts getting into it, especially when we find out it can be used as a marketing tool.

 


[00:55:19.790] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. No. And honestly, with Snapchat, that's where I think it's happening right now. I know many parents that are getting on because they've got a teenager that's on it, and they want to obviously see. But then that becomes the way they communicate like they are on that platform together. And there's more communication happening there. And so they want to be there because their children are or their grandchildren or whatever it is. So I think you see that with Snapchat right now, even just personally, I'm seeing that trend, like, there's a lot of people I'm like you have Snapchat.

 


[00:55:54.790] - Lee Drew Riser

Yes. Got on it because my 18 year old I communicate with her that way, and I'm like, wow. Okay. So, yeah, I do think you'll see a little bit of that ticktock. Probably the same way a lot of kids or teenagers are getting it. Parents want to be able to monitor. So that crowd is getting there. Now, how is it effective to market to that crowd, I think, is still what kind of is to be seen, right.

 


[00:56:24.260] - Big Rich Klein

So tick Tock is basically the thing that's the hottest thing right now with growth, it appears is there anything else that you're looking at as a possibility down the road, you know, getting involved with is there something else that, you know, you have kids that are younger? My kids are all older now. Our youngest is 28, 29. Is there anything in there that, you see that might be like going to raise the tide.

 


[00:57:06.450] - Lee Drew Riser

We actually have a social media manager now because all the brands that we have, we really needed somebody focused on kind of those trends. So he does a lot of looking on it. I think there's a lot of noise out there. There isn't something that kind of, oh, this is going to be the next or no clear winner right now, as far as okay. Yeah. A lot of people are gravitating towards this or a lot of people are starting to use this new platform, at least not that he shared recently.

 


[00:57:37.360] - Lee Drew Riser

So I think there's, like I said, a few things kind of oh, yeah. That's interesting little movement, but nothing like big. So I don't know that there's anything that I would say, oh, yeah. We're going to be there. We're going to support it with our brands right now. So there's a lot going on and going into 2022 that I'm sure we'll review. But right now, I don't think there's a clear answer for what's next.

 


[00:58:05.650] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. Whatsapp is something that I was told that's going to be the newest big thing because it was way bigger internationally than it was here in the US.

 


[00:58:19.890] - Lee Drew Riser

Right.

 


[00:58:20.390] - Big Rich Klein

And then it just seemed to kind of like, die off, and I don't know if it's died off or it's just people haven't started using it here in the United States like they do other places. Do you guys have a presence over there internationally?

 


[00:58:36.660] - Lee Drew Riser

Some of our brands are really strong. The Rugged Ridge brand kind of our Onyx products have a good international presence. And we actually, as truck hero, went to a recent event in UA, and we do we have a following. There's a need for our brands over there. But we have definitely not started using WhatsApp for that purpose? Honestly, the exposure for WhatsApp is a lot of international. I had family that was in Thailand and family in London, and honestly, was the easy way to communicate was using that.

 


[00:59:16.810] - Lee Drew Riser

So I definitely think internationally, a lot of people are already there in using it. But, yeah, I don't think for us that's really a big thing so big here, right.

 


[00:59:29.280] - Big Rich Klein

That's the impression I got. So you personally, what do you think the future holds for Lee?

 


[00:59:38.310] - Lee Drew Riser

Well, I'm excited. There are some big things going into 2022. This past year, I was able to attend Ultimate Adventure, which was awesome because I've sponsored it in different capacities at different companies. I've been in and we came in in a big way with Truck Hero this year, and we sponsored Rugged Ridge was the presenting sponsor. We had Bush Whacker as the official Fender flare. Info is the official sidestep. So all my brands were really represented. Well, there we had real Truck as the official retailer. And I got to go on this event that I've seen for so long the coverage, and it has such a great following.

 


[01:00:19.290] - Lee Drew Riser

But it was funny finally getting to attend and see, like, there's so much you missed in the coverage, it doesn't tell half the story like it's just such an experience. It truly is an ultimate adventure. So having kind of attended that and gone this year, I think it gave me the confidence to say I want to do more stuff like that in this industry, and I want to do stuff that stretches me, pushes the limits a little bit more. So I'm actually going to be competing in the Rebel Rally in 2022.

 


[01:00:51.270] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. I already have a confirmed team number officially signed up and going to be competing and building a Jeep for it.

 


[01:01:02.560] - Big Rich Klein

Well, I guess I'll be seeing you for eight days out in the wild.

 


[01:01:07.050] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah.

 


[01:01:08.130] - Big Rich Klein

Because my wife and I staff that we're course officials and you're doing it again for 22. Oh, yeah. We've done it all six years so far, and we will be going back long as Emily will have us.

 


[01:01:22.890] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, well, that is great news. Yeah. I'm so excited they put on a great event. Yeah. Emily and the team. We heard such positive things from different people that were partners in the past and then also Nina Barlow, of course, that won the event this year. She's been somebody we're working with on guiding, and she's actually taking our team on the Rubicon trail this year. So that's the other big thing that's planned for 2022 is we've got a Rubicon trip with kind of good representation from all of our brands.

 


[01:02:00.600] - Lee Drew Riser

We're going to have Ian Johnson out there. So it's going to be a really cool deal. And so I'm going to go out, actually, to a training, too, with Nina to kind of get more exposure and get ready for Rebel Raleigh.

 


[01:02:16.410] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. If you're going to be just the driver, I think it's better to know the whole thing. Yes. You look at the girls that have done really well in that event every year, and they can drive, they can navigate, they understand the math and how to do the plotting. And then the other thing is sand driving, which Nina, Nina is probably one of the best out there to teach you that when you get into those sand dunes, they can be really intimidating.

 


[01:02:59.550] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah, I know. We actually got to play in the sand a little bit Moab. This past year, we went to the dunes area in Moab. It's just funny how a Jeep reacts in the sand. And, yeah, if you're not used to it, you need to kind of get familiar. And obviously, yeah, that event, there's going to be so much of that. I want to make sure we're prepared. If I'm going to do something, I want to do it.

 


[01:03:27.820] - Big Rich Klein

Well, I understand the thing to remember about the Rebel is that your first time there, make sure you're able to absorb it all and enjoy it.

 


[01:03:42.730] - Lee Drew Riser

No, absolutely.

 


[01:03:43.770] - Big Rich Klein

That there's too many first timers that show up and they'll say, like, Well, I'm an extreme rock crawler or trail rider, or I'm really good at this. And I'm really good at that. I'm a mathematician or whatever. And this is going to be my gig. And then they get out there and they're not used to setting up their own tents, tearing it down in a hurry, not getting enough sleep. All the different things that happen in that event. You have so many new things, maybe not new things, but things that a lot of the competitors maybe haven't done a lot of because they've always had their support system.

 


[01:04:34.870] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah, exactly.

 


[01:04:36.790] - Big Rich Klein

And out there, you don't have your support system. A couple of people that I've interviewed that say, oh, yeah. My wife wants to do that. How do I get involved? And I'm like, you're not going to be because your wife or girlfriend or whoever you're sponsoring, they're on their own. We have the mechanics there. We have the course staff. We're going to make sure everybody is safe and everybody's going to continue to run no matter what happens. But you're not coming along to change a tire form.

 


[01:05:14.500] - Big Rich Klein

There is no chase crew.

 


[01:05:16.850] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. And that's why, like I said, I think I needed the confidence that I got from Ultimate Adventure being out there. We did sleep intense. One day, there was no facilities, and the guys are like, there's the Creek and I'm like, oh, my gosh, I'm not going to be the girl and not do it. So at 10:00 at night and got in camp late, I literally was setting up my tent in the dark. But I was like, I'm going in the river. That's happening. It was pitch black, literally, like, the little headlamp.

 


[01:05:48.890] - Lee Drew Riser

So, yes, there was river bathing that happened. And then actually, I get out. It really wasn't so bad. Then the guys were like, yeah, so the water mocker we saw earlier, we failed to mention that. And I'm like, good thing they didn't say that before. Otherwise, there would have been no creep bathing happening.

 


[01:06:11.930] - Speaker 3

Well, you don't have to worry about that.

 


[01:06:13.420] - Big Rich Klein

There are shower trailers on the Bell and really a great Cook.

 


[01:06:20.570] - Lee Drew Riser

The food thing was another thing. So we had obviously ARB Bridges, and we had to figure out how to, hey, we're camping for the next two days. You guys better stock up and what food and then only what you can Cook at camp. So that was an interesting experience, too. So I was like, oh, I'm roughing it more here than I will be at Rebels. Yes. But I will have the same tent because I was so pleasantly surprised I had a shift with the ease of setup and tear down.

 


[01:06:53.640] - Lee Drew Riser

And you've probably seen those out there so great. It's rare that I talk about a product that I've been like, this is awesome. I did. I thought it was so great. I actually practiced, like, hey, heading it up and tearing it down in the dark with a headlamp in my yard before I went to UA because I was so scared. The guys were like, you got to be self sufficient. You got to do your deal. And I'm like, oh, I will. So I literally could set it up and tear it down, like, in five minutes.

 


[01:07:23.740] - Lee Drew Riser

It was great.

 


[01:07:24.780] - Big Rich Klein

Good, because that's going to be good experience when you're on the Rebel. The whole idea is to get back in camp when there's sunlight. But that doesn't always happen.

 


[01:07:35.750] - Lee Drew Riser

No. Same with UA. Like, we had breakage, and there was stuff that happened, and it was like, yeah, pitch black. So put that little head lamp on and do what you can do. Excellent. Yeah. So I'm excited so personally, and I think professionally it'll be fun as well. I've done a lot of things over the years. I was reading back. Not too long ago. I was going through boxes and found Effort Industry magazine. I don't know if you remember that, but they had done some features on High Rise.

 


[01:08:10.670] - Lee Drew Riser

I was just 26 then, and they did a profile. It was called Gender Bender and just kind of what it is to be a woman in this industry and make it. And it was exciting to kind of look back gosh. That was a long time ago and kind of where I am today and just where other women are in the industry and really pushing the boundaries. I think it's an exciting time.

 


[01:08:37.790] - Big Rich Klein

I agree. And I'm so happy to see that. And that there's so many opportunities for women to get involved in off road. There's a lot of women that enjoy offroading, even though it's always been portrayed as a man, sport or hobby. When we get in the rock crawling and we have teenage girls that are competing now, and they may be driving. Their dads may be spotting them or whatever, but watching those women just expand their Horizons and become so capable, conquering their fears that, you know, that you're providing them with a basis in the future that they can do anything.

 


[01:09:35.610] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. No, it is. It's so important to recognize the people that encourage that there's a lot of strong women that have kind of broken down some of these boundaries. But, yeah, props goes out to the men in this industry that help encourage that and promote that, I will say on UA, it feels like the good old Boys Club. But everybody was so accepting and supportive. And, hey, Lee, do this or let's get you exposure to this. And those people that encourage they give you the confidence to, hey, I can take on the next challenge.

 


[01:10:16.550] - Lee Drew Riser

Let me try that myself. I want to do that. And it can be intimidating. But those people that encourage you to do anything, they matter, too.

 


[01:10:30.690] - Big Rich Klein

Absolutely. Well, Lee, I want to say thank you so much for coming on board and discussing your life and your history and your background and where you're going with our listeners. And I'm sure that we're going to get a lot of positive feedback on this interview. It was great. And again, thank you so much. And I hope you all the success that you ever want in any endeavor that you choose to go after.

 


[01:11:02.310] - Lee Drew Riser

Oh, thank you. No. I appreciate getting the opportunity to talk about it and all you do to highlight not only the off road industry, the sport, but also the great people that make it up because I think this industry is built so much on relationships and people. So I appreciate you highlighting that and giving everybody this great forum to talk about the history because it's important. It's what built us.

 


[01:11:28.500] - Big Rich Klein

Correct. All right. Well, thank you very much. And I'll see you on the Rebel for sure. If I don't see you, probably. Well, we'll probably see each other at Easter Jeep. Who knows for sure.

 


[01:11:41.240] - Lee Drew Riser

Yeah. Thanks.

 


[01:11:42.680] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. Thank you.

 


[01:11:44.970] - Speaker 3

If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating. Share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end.

 


[01:11:57.440] - Big Rich Klein

I hope you enjoyed it.

 


[01:11:58.490] - Speaker 3

We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much. Bye.