The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) was created in 1992 when a group of 20 bull riders broke away from the Professional Rodeo and Cowboys Association and started a circuit for bull riders only. PBR has experienced tremendous levels of success and growth, both in its business operations and sport over the last 15 years. The PBR is poised to continue on this trajectory, and today, the league is one of the fastest growing sports in North America boasting a fan base of 44+ million. In April 2007, the PBR partnered with its new majority owner, Spire Capital (a leading media private equity firm), and minority ownership is maintained by its management and athletes.
More than 1,200 bull riders from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia hold PBR memberships and compete in over 300 owned and sanctioned PBR bull riding competitions domestically and abroad. The North American operations are composed of two primary tours: the leading Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) and the Touring Pro Division. In 2011, the BFTS Series features 28 stops in 23 states on the schedule. The season concludes Oct. 26-30, in Las Vegas with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, and the crowning of the 2011 PBR World Champion. The World Finals is the richest bull riding event on the planet with the winner receiving the World Championship PBR Buckle and a $1 million bonus.
In addition, the Company began operating international tours in Brazil, Canada, Australia and Mexico in the recent years, each of which has significant expansion plans in the future.
Corporate sponsors include Ford, Wrangler, Stanley, Cooper Tires, Jack Daniel's, Dickies, the city of Las Vegas and many others, which have brought great recognition and expanded attention to the sport. The Company has significant initiatives underway to further its sponsor base and provide greater mediums of recognition to its partners through television, digital media, print and other initiatives.
The Company has a long term cable broadcast partnership with Versus to air each of its regular season and World Finals competitions. Additionally, nine BFTS events also air on NBC and CBS. In total, over 100 million fans tune in to watch PBR competitions through these networks and several international networks that air PBR programming.
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