By: Andrew Giangola
February 13, 2018
Investing in new events to bring mainstream exposure to a sport rising in popularity
PUEBLO, Colo. – Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) today announced a new collaboration to jointly produce, market and promote rodeo events.
PBR and WCRA have come together to expand television and digital coverage of professional rodeo, build the profiles of rodeo athletes and grow the sport’s fan base. PBR will facilitate these objectives by using its expertise to manage the media rights to these joint events.
While PBR has a history of supporting rodeos, including THE AMERICAN, the Calgary Stampede, California Rodeo Salinas, Denver Stock Show, and Pendleton Round-up, this announcement marks the first time that the league – formed 25 years ago when 20 cowboys broke away from the rodeo – has formally joined forces with a professional rodeo organization to produce and promote rodeo events.
The first rodeo under the new alliance will be the WCRA Rodeo Showdownat the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas in conjunction with PBR’s Last Cowboy Standing. The joint event will offer two rodeo performances and two PBR performances on May 4-6. PBR’s Last Cowboy Standing will take place on May 4-5, while the WCRA Rodeo Showdown will occur on May 5-6.
The Showdown will include the seven standard disciplines of rodeo (Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing, and Bull Riding) and will feature top athletes going head to head in the first ever match-play format consisting of eight competitors in each discipline. This exciting new format allows all athletes to be compensated, with the winner in each discipline earning $32,000 for a total of nearly $400,000.
“We are thrilled that PBR will join forces with WCRA and invest in professional rodeo to create new opportunities for the entire rodeo industry,” said Gary McKinney, CEO, WCRA. “WCRA is now aligned with PBR to promote events that will offer some of the largest prize purses in the industry, provide increased media coverage and modernize the presentation of our sport for fans. Just as PBR contemporized the rich tradition of bull riding, this collaboration will now do the same for rodeo. This endeavor with PBR is the first of many alliances we will initiate throughout the rodeo world.”
“As PBR expands in Western sports, we see opportunity to expand the market for rodeo events and coverage, which has not been commensurate to the growing popularity of the sport,” said Sean Gleason, CEO, PBR. “We’ll leverage our new RidePass digital network, broadcast relationships, and production expertise to develop exciting new marquee events complementary to the growing rodeo industry. Rodeo athletes will be able to earn additional money without having to choose between existing organizations.”
About the WCRA
The World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) is a professional sport and entertainment entity, created to develop and advance the sport of rodeo by aligning all levels of competition. In association with Professional Bull Riders (PBR), WCRA produces major rodeo events, developing additional opportunities for rodeo industry competitors, stakeholders and fans. To learn more visit worldchampionsrodeoalliance.com.
About the PBR
The world’s premier bull riding organization began as a dream of 20 bull riders 25 years ago and now operates in five countries. On its elite tour, the organization features the top 35 bull riders in the world and the top bulls in the business. The televised 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast, along with the PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour (RVT), the PBR Touring Pro Division (TPD) and the PBR’s international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico have paid nearly $184 million in earnings to its athletes. Thirty bull riders have earned more than $1 million, including two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney who is the top-earning athlete in Western sports history with more than $7.2 million in career earnings. PBR is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network. For more information on the PBR, go to PBR.com, or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/PBR, Instagram at Instagram.com/PBR, and YouTube at YouTube.com/PBR.
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.