Following in father’s bootsteps: Fallon Appleton makes her mark in marketing

Fallon Appleton and Toulouse

As the daughter of former All-Around PRCA Champion Cowboy and Rodeo Hall of Famer Dave Appleton, Fallon Appleton figured to know a thing or two about boots.

After a successful career in television, Fallon, who calls herself a “Fort Worth girl,” is now senior associate of marketing and communications for Lucchese Bootmaker. But her knowledge of boots, while formidable, might be overshadowed by her knowledge of goals – and the hard work, perseverance and sacrifice it takes to achieve those goals.

Fallon, to quote a longtime family friend, “has taken a family legacy for hard work and turned it into the beginning of a dynamite career.”

Fallon’s dad was born Australia in 1960 and came to America in 1980, determined to win the All-Around Cowboy title. He was relentless in pursuit of his goal and in 1989 he became the first Australian to win a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world championship.

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After retiring from rodeo in 1994 because of an unrelated sports injury, Appleton took a career cue from Larry Mahan, rodeo legend and master marketer, by marketing his own western clothing line. Dave also worked in broadcasting, horse racing at Lone Star Park, and the oil and gas industry.

Fallon first followed Dave into broadcasting, quickly rolling up credits in that competitive field before making the move to marketing and Lucchese in 2022.

And, just as Dave Appleton developed a passion for rodeo when he was growing up in Australia, Fallon has a memory from her youth in Fort Worth that sparked her to say yes when Lucchese came calling.

“I will never forget my first pair of Lucchese boots,” she recalled. “They were red with blue and white stitching that at the time matched my Fort Worth Country Day uniform perfectly – cowboy boots were one of the few footwear options allowed in the FWCD dress code at the time.

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“I wore them to class almost every day, and now, 13 years later, I still wear those boots and they look just like they did when I was a junior in high school. I believe that speaks to the craftsmanship that goes into Lucchese’s cowboy boots.”

Fallon said working for Lucchese has been the perfect fit for her. Lucchese has been working with cowboys for 140 years, handcrafting not only boots, but a legacy.

“It is such an exciting time as the company is bringing that legacy to the consumer with 19 world-class stores in locations like the Stockyards, Willow Park, Midland, Denver and Nashville, just to name a few,” she said.

Since she joined the company, Fallon said, Lucchese has partnered with Wrangler on a Wrangler 75th anniversary collection and has become the “official boot sponsor” for Texas A&M athletics and University of Texas athletics.

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Fallon, who was born in Arlington and grew up in the Fort Worth area, is a 2017 graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in university studies-leadership studies. She received a master’s degree in sport management from A&M in 2019.

Fallon got her first taste of the television industry in the summer of 2014 when golf producer Lance Barrow invited her to watch the inner workings of CBS Sports’ PGA tournament coverage at Fort Worth’s Colonial (now the Charles Schwab Challenge) and the Byron Nelson in Dallas. She would spend the next several summers with CBS as a spotter and assisting on-camera talents on the PGA Tour.

During the school year, she worked for the Southeastern Conference on CBS as a sideline assistant during A&M games and nationwide for ESPN as a production and operations assistant. In August of 2016, she began working for 12th Man Productions within Texas A&M athletics as the on-camera student reporter and assistant and later became the post-production intern and student reporter.

In 2019, Fallon joined KBTX Media, the CBS affiliate in Bryan-College Station. She started as the morning reporter for “Brazos Valley This Morning” and by the spring of 2022, she was co-anchor of  the program.

“From sports to lifestyle to news to politics, I am very thankful for the experiences and stories I covered during my six years in the television industry,” Fallon said. “However, after almost nine years in Bryan-College Station, I was ready for a new chapter and wanted to move back home to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“Marketing and communications seemed like the perfect next step for me as I always enjoyed those classes at Texas A&M. Additionally, working as a journalist at KBTX gave me a great foundation and understanding of what was required and needed of a public relations specialist.”

Fallon, 28, said she has always been inspired by her dad and his determination, calling him “the epitome of hard work and the American Dream.”

“My dad inspires me every single day,” she said. “He came to the United States from Australia at just 20 years old to chase his dreams in rodeo, and with hard work and determination he was successful. He and my mom instilled that hard-working, passionate, and resilient spirit in me. My dad has a saying that he has had me repeat since I was about 16: ‘Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.’ It’s become our code, and I think it speaks to the value we place on hard work and preparation.”

Though she’s based in Dallas with Lucchese, her heart will always be in Fort Worth, Fallon said. “I spent the majority of my time in Fort Worth attending Fort Worth Country Day, going to church at Christ Chapel Bible Church and enjoying family dinners at Joe T. Garcia’s. I call Fort Worth home.”

And, of course, she’s a big fan of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. Dave enjoyed much success at the annual event, taking the championship in bareback riding in 1988. He serves on the FWSSR board of directors and the Rodeo Contestant Greeting Committee.

“He said he won a lot of money there and it was his favorite rodeo,” Fallon said.

Fallon’s hobbies include hunting and spending time with her dog Toulouse, a Catahoula Blue Heeler. She’s an avid sports fan, which includes cheering for the Aggies, watching the PGA Tour and the Dallas Mavericks and Cowboys. She also enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants and traveling.

Along with setting the stage for her success in marketing, Fallon’s broadcasting career provided a lot of fantastic memories, she said. Can she imagine returning to TV in the future?

“At this point in time, I love what I do at Lucchese,” Fallon said, “but my dad always says, ‘Don’t close any door because you never know where the Lord may lead you.’”