by Courtesy

Expanding Beyond Bull Riding, PBR Wants to Grow High School Rodeo into a Global Media Property


PUEBLO, Colo. (February 21, 2018) – Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) have 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.


In addition to this major partnership in amateur rodeo, PBR also announced it is working closely on the professional side with the newly formed World Champions Rodeo Alliance. The goal is to team with WCRA to develop several million-dollar rodeos that provide increased earning opportunities for western athletes without asking them to choose among events or rodeo organizations.


PBR will also now sanction the bull riding at Days of ’47 Rodeo to be held July 19-21 at the state-of-the-art Days of ’47 Arena at the Utah State Fair Park. A total of 256 competitors will have the opportunity to compete for a share of a $1 million purse.


These rodeo events will be streamed for fans over the newly formed RidePass, a 24/7 digital streaming service that debuted last weekend at the PBR 25th: Unleash the Beast event St. Louis.

“Fans have been asking for more live-event coverage, more access to the unique and compelling personalities in western sports, and additional ways to celebrate cowboy values,” Gleason said. “RidePass will allow fans to stream everything from their favorite PBR and rodeo events to original western-themed sports series available nowhere else.”


Fans can join RidePass at www.ridepass.com


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.

In its new venture high school rodeo, 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.


“We’ve been big fans of high school rodeo well before Jess Lockwood was winning a quarter of a million dollars at the PBR while still competing in high school rodeo,” Gleason said. “PBR has been working to build the western lifestyle for 25 years, and we want to help the NHSRA grow and expose their great property to the world through our experience, industry relationships, and media channels.”

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