Craig officially ‘Elk Hunting Capital of the World’
“I think trade marking this for Craig gives us great visibility, great search ability online and really draws attention. Every time somebody inputs elk hunting, having part of that as our brand is going to draw people to the Wikipedia post, local websites and news stories printed in state and national magazines.”
— Craig Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christina Oxley about local businessman John Ponikvar acquiring a trademark for, "Elk Hunting Capital of the World"
It’s official, Craig is now the Elk Hunting Capital of the World, as local businessman John Ponikvar trademarked the phrase for the community.
Having spent five years building the brand, Ponikvar said he thought it was time to trademark the phrase, a process he began last March.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Executive Director for the Craig Chamber of Commerce Christina Oxley said. “I have a lot of respect for a community member that took this entire effort on, supported it with his own dollars, really marketed it and went through with the process of having it trademarked.”
Ponikvar said he trademarked the phrase for the community, to give it some identification.
Ponikvar said he began the undertaking himself when years ago a branding strategy couldn’t be decided on for Craig.
“We were trying to brand Craig and they didn’t like my ideas so I thought, 'Shoot, I’ll go do it myself,'” Ponikvar said.
Several years and thousands of dollars of Ponikvar’s own money later, Craig is on the map.
“It’s worth it,” Ponikvar said. “Hopefully it’s a source of pride for Craig and Moffat County, giving us some identity, that we are something in the world.”
Oxley said trade marking the phrase would most likely bring good things for Craig, saying they had received overwhelmingly positive feedback from visitors to the sportsman information center.
“I think trade marking this for Craig gives us great visibility, great search ability online and really draws attention,” Oxley said. “Every time somebody inputs elk hunting, having part of that as our brand is going to draw people to the Wikipedia post, local websites and news stories printed in state and national magazines.”
The logo has already drawn people to the area over the past few years Ponikvar said, including a man who found a hat with the phrase on it in a Georgia golf course a couple years ago.
Ponikvar said the man, who films outdoor hunting shows, said he saw the hat and thought that’s where we want to go to film an elk hunt, so they came and filmed their show in Craig.
“I’ve been hunting in Florida and New Zealand, I took t-shirts and hats, everyone loves them,” Ponikvar said. “It’s starting to get around the world.”
Even a group in Canada recognized the importance of the brand, running an article about Ponikvar and the brand.
The brand has already created business for a couple of local business, including Jeremy Browning at Chaos Ink, redesigning the logo slightly and creating merchandise such as t-shirts and hats.
Joel Browning at Identity Graphics creates bumper stickers and banners for the brand.
“I want people to use it anyway they can, use it and benefit from it,” Ponikvar said. “I’ll provide it to anybody.”
Ponikvar said he hopes to eventually transfer the phrase and its trademark to the Museum of Northwest Colorado.
“This is a great individual effort to draw attention to Craig and Moffat County,” Oxley said.
Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org