By: Sean Gleason
November 11, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – On this special day that recognizes and appreciates all of America’s courageous military veterans, everyone at the PBR would like to say “Thank you.” We owe our deepest gratitude for your continued sacrifices and your selfless service.
Professional Bull Riders exists because of the opportunities afforded by this country and made possible by the men and women who have defended our freedoms.
Twenty bull riders turned a dream into an industry that provides for thousands of hard-working people – from the toughest athletes on the planet, to stock contractors, our incredible staff, our venue, media and brand partners, and many others across America who benefit from PBR events, television coverage, and our other business activity. We believe deeply in the American Dream and recognize that PBR Fans around the world, many of whom are American veterans, make it all possible.
This Veterans Day, we have spent many hours planning for the upcoming season, and the PBR team and I feel compelled to do whatever we can to help unite and celebrate our great nation. I want to announce today that the 2017 Built Ford Tough Series season will be the ‘Celebrate America’ season. In the coming weeks, we will share details outlining our Celebrate America commitments for every city we visit. We have a 23 year body of work that celebrates American values, but this year we will take that further and bring it under one, publicly-announced banner. I feel inspired on this day of appreciation for veterans, to put the principles of this tour in writing so we can be held accountable for them:
1) The PBR will celebrate and recognize our veterans and active duty military more than ever. We will expand our Vet Tix program to provide veterans and active duty military more opportunities to experience a PBR event at no cost. We will continue to feature veterans, active duty military, first responders and other heroes in all of our openings. It is our privilege to honor them.
2) We will work harder to provide donations, resources, experiences and other tangible benefits to deserving charities focused on veterans and children in need, in every one of the cities we visit. We will continue our support of other great charitable causes as we always have, but military veterans and children in need will receive special and meaningful emphasis.
3) We will align with organizations that support and recognize America’s hard-working farmers, ranchers and others who put food on our tables. America’s first industry spawned the great sport of bull riding and it remains critically important to our nation today.
4) We will expand our efforts to be inclusive and inviting to everyone with a new program that reaches into the cities we visit to host deserving and interested youth at our events. PBR riders, bullfighters, stock contractors, and others will teach young people the cowboy values of honesty, integrity, hard work, grit and determination. Then we will entertain them like only a PBR event can.
5) We will make a donation in every market we visit to the local humane society or another reputable organization offering services to animals in need, provided they do so in a non-political way. We would be half a sport without our great animal athletes, who are fortunate to receive the very best care and attention, and we will give locally to support reputable animal welfare causes in honor of them.
6) We will continue to proudly honor our national anthem, making it a special highlight of every PBR event. We will, of course, surround it with other patriotic and entertaining themes bringing Americans together, as we have been doing for the past 23 years.
7) We will create a unique line of PBR merchandise that celebrates America and proceeds from that line of merchandise will be donated to our deserving charities.
We have no grand illusions that these efforts will have a profound and immediate effect on a divided nation in need of healing. But we will keep riding down the trail spreading cowboy values – the values that built this great nation – in the hope that our small contribution can make a difference.
None of this would be possible without the support of the greatest and most passionate sports fans on earth. We will do all of these things in your name.
Respectfully and with appreciation on Veteran’s Day,
Sean Gleason & the PBR Team
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