By: Andrew Giangola
February 12, 2018
Expanding Beyond Bull Riding, PBR Wants to Grow High School Rodeo into a Global Media Property
PUEBLO, Colo. (February 12, 2018) – Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) today announced a partnership to grow high school rodeo through media, marketing, and programs for youth.
The extensive, multi-faceted partnership, which signals PBR’s further expansion into western sports beyond bull riding, includes global TV and digital rights representation for U.S. and international coverage of high school rodeo, and PBR sponsorship of NHSRA to market and support rodeo youth development programs globally.
“The NHSRA is proud to welcome PBR as a partner of high school rodeo,” said NHSRA Executive Director James Higginbotham. “PBR’s investment in the NHSRA will benefit our student athletes by increasing exposure for our association through marketing the rights to NHSRA’s media. We look forward to a rewarding partnership for years to come.”
PBR will focus on expanding NHRSA as both a TV and streaming product and building the profiles of the sport’s student-athletes.
“This is a significant opportunity to grow high school rodeo as a global media property by leveraging Endeavor’s reach, shining a light on compelling NHSRA student-athletes around the world, and raising awareness of a sport every young athlete should consider,” said Sean Gleason, CEO, PBR, a division of Endeavor, a leading global sports, entertainment and fashion company. “The young men and women who compete in junior high and high school rodeo are the future of the cowboy, keeping alive an important part of our heritage yet with virtually no traditional media coverage. We intend to change that by telling rich and compelling stories in addition to covering the events with their talents on full display.”
More than 12,000 students, eligible to win $1.8 million in annual academic and competition-based scholarships, participate in 1,800 NHSRA events held annually in 43 states as well as Australia, Canada and Mexico. PBR will stream to fans select NHSRA events over RidePass, its new 24/7 digital streaming service debuting soon.
PBR will bolster a feeder system that already produces many of its biggest stars, who often qualify for the NJHFR (National Junior High Finals Rodeo) or NHSFR (National High School Finals Rodeo). These former rodeo student-athletes include 2017 World Champion Jess Lockwood; 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis; 2013/2015 World Champion J.B. Mauney; 2014/2015 CPRA (Canadian Professional Rodeo Association) Champion Dakota Buttar; 2012 PRCA Champion Cody Teel; Gage Gay; Derek Kolbaba; Brennon Eldred; Cody Campbell; Matt Triplett; Chase Robbins; and Keyshawn Whitehorse.
Among the NHSRA events that PBR’s RidePass digital network will cover are the NHSRA High School Finals and the NHSRA Junior High Finals. The NHSRA High School Finals, scheduled for July 15-21 in Rock Springs, WY, is the world’s largest rodeo in terms of athletes (more than 1,600) and stock, while the NHSRA Junior High Finals, set for June 24-30 in Huron, SD, is the second largest rodeo in the world with more than 1,100 athletes competing.