Partner Content With a Diverse Purpose: Q&A with Matador Founder/CEO Ross Borden

Jordan Kelley, Content Director,

Inspired by people changing the face of sports and outdoor adventure, Matador Network collaborated with Ford and REI on a series about individuals who take the road less traveled…or get off road altogether.

From BIPOC representation in outdoor sports to creating a mobile workspace, this series follows trailblazers who push themselves to reach the next level and share their lessons along the way.

Brand Storytelling caught up with Matador's founder and CEO Ross Borden to learn more about this partnership that promotes not only a love for the outdoors, but works to expand the impression of those who partake in what the outdoors has to offer:

Thanks for taking the time to chat, Ross. How did you come to partner with Ford + REI on this?

We knew we wanted to do something really special and unique for the launch of the iconic Ford Bronco. We've been working with the amazing content + marketing team at REI since 2018, so we've built a lot of trust with them and we wanted to bring them into the fold in a way that would allow us all (Ford, REI, Matador) to collaborate on creative, and pool our respective audiences for media + content distribution.

The resulting program is a multifaceted campaign with two different original video series, a custom podcast - and we're even putting the new Ford Bronco Sport models inside select REIs across the country.

How do Matador’s established values lend credit and credibility to the Ford Bronco?

Matador is a global adventure brand built at the intersection of Travel and Outdoor. Our goal is for people to get out of their comfort zones and go on adventures more often - whether they're weekend road trips or expeditions abroad.

The content we created with REI and Bronco Sport aims to inspire people to venture out and plan new adventures slightly out of their comfort zone. Perhaps more importantly, Matador and REI have shared common values regarding Diversity and Inclusion in travel and the outdoors and we were thrilled to be able to bring new voices and perspectives to this partnership with Bronco Sport via stories of diverse talent and athletes breaking barriers in the outdoor space.

What did production of the series look like on the inside? How collaborative is the production process between Matador, REI and Ford?

For a program with so many moving parts, collaboration has been smooth and painless, and there was a deep level of creative collaboration between Ford (and their agency Mindshare Detroit), REI and Matador. We aligned on talent, video story concepts and distribution, among other things.

What goes into actually selecting the adventures being had?