Media and Marketing of Major Dog Shows


To gain an audit of the AKC National Championship, Westminster and National Dog Shows for media coverage, social conversations and brand activations at the shows.

Early Findings


  • The AKC National Championship's main sponsor is Royal Canin, whose branding appears on all official material associated with the event.
  • Other official sponsors include TropiClean and SpectrumBrands.
  • A complete list of the 2018 vendors at the show is available here. However, the list does not clarify if any did any brand activations as such.
  • We then examined images and social media pictures shared by attendees to see if there was any evidence of brand activations or experiential marketing at the event. None were found.


  • The key sponsor for the Westminster Dog Show is Purina ProPlan.
  • Other official sponsors are Cosequin, Embark, LifeProof, Merck Animal Health and Trupanion.
  • A complete list of vendors is here. None of the booth descriptions imply they were 'brand activations'.
  • We also checked images shared on social media and the internet of the event for any sponsor or brand that looked like it was conducting a brand activation. None were found.
  • WKC partnered with GLOW to help grow its social media audience in 2018 for the annual dog show. It grew social following by over 15,000 and helped expand engagement rates, millennial audience reach and hashtags mentions.
  • One of their main initiatives was the #BestAtHomeContest to crown a winner from public submissions of their dogs.


  • Purina is also the key sponsor for the National Dog Show.
  • Another key sponsor is Carson Events (who coordinates the TV broadcast with NBC).
  • A vendor list is available here. Similar to above, there is nothing to indicate any of these vendors conducted any brand activations.
  • Similar to the other two shows, images and social media pictures did not yield any evidence of brand activations during the event.

  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

Proposed next steps:

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Our initial research found there was extremely limited information around brand activations that were executed to support the shows, outside of GLOW's work for the Westminster Dog Show. We looked at both brand activations possibly conducted during the shows as well as brand activations done by the shows themselves. While dog food brands are the leading sponsors for all three, we could not find any evidence that the brands have conducted any special marketing activations or interactive events outside of their key sponsorship. We recommend continuing this research using the following approach: 1) Find and describe key themes in the media coverage for the AKC National Championships, Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show (outside of winner announcements); 2) Find and describe the social sentiment and key themes in social media conversations around the AKC National Championships, Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show; 3) Continue an exhaustive search for whether there were any brand activations or experiential marketing events at any of the AKC National Championships, Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Shows in the past 2 years.
Alternatively, or additionally, we could also research key points of differentiation between the AKC National Championships, Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show, especially around branding and marketing.