FORT WORTH, Texas ― Adriano Moraes is a familiar figure in the PBR and although he’s been retired for more than five seasons, it’s not uncommon to see him at various Built Ford Tough Series events.
However, this past weekend, in Tacoma, Wash., the three-time World Champion was on hand for what might be an entirely unfamiliar role to his U.S. fan base.
Moraes, who now oversees the production of PBR Brazil events, was accompanied by a pair of key members of his staff – Adriano Andrade and Rafael Vilela – as they studied and took notes regarding how their American counterparts prepare and plan each performance of a BFTS event.
“We are going through a series of changes in Brazil and really try to show them (what) a true professional event should look like,” said Moraes. “That’s what we’re here for—to learn. Hopefully pretty soon we start looking more and more like PBR America.”
Chief Operating Officer Sean Gleason added, “The PBR brand and its execution is important worldwide – no matter where we’re at – but there are cultural differences from country to country that you have to be aware of.”
Moraes and Gleason agreed there is a cultural uniqueness they hope the Brazilian events will maintain – namely the festive atmosphere held over four to five days – while working to mirror the BFTS events produced in the United States.
In the past, PBR Brazil has created a high-energy and entertaining performance that reflects a multi-day party-like atmosphere that Gleason hopes they can continue taking advantage of in terms of building excitement around the sport of professional bull riding and especially the PBR brand.
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Gleason referred to international PBR events – Brazil, Australia, Canada, Mexico and China is forthcoming – as a customized product.
He added, “But at its core and the essence of what we do, we always want it to be the same.”
That starts with planning a tighter production from start to finish.
At BFTS everyone, everyone involved with the production from directors and assistants to in-arena announcers and entertainers along with pyro, lights and sound take part in weekly conference calls and then go over the entire performance in a pre-event rehearsal hours before the doors to the event open to the public.
Moraes and Vilela both noted that, in Brazil, they have not utilized a detailed timeline of events the way production personnel do so here in the U.S., where everything is planned out and organized down to what happens within each minute at any point during the event.
“I want them to see how synchronized things are,” said Moraes, of having Andrade and Vilela shadow production personnel this past weekend.
Andrade and Vilela both speak Portuguese, but both have a limited understanding of English.
They intently watched the show from the front of house area at the Tacoma Dome and both of them wore headphones to hear as everyone communicated with one another throughout the production.
“Now we want to do a timeline in Brazil,” Vilela said. “It’s important.”
He also added, “I want to involve the American style and the Brazilian style and make a big show.”
For those who have traveled to Brazil, there will be a few key changes.
At one point each night, Vilela used to drive a jeep into the arena at a high rate of speed doing figure eight burnouts around the shark cage with one hand on the steering wheel and his microphone in the other, as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy of excitement.
He will no longer be doing that.
Unlike rodeo announcers here in the States and down in Brazil, the longtime Brazilian announcer has studied Brandon Bates and Clint Adkins for years – “they are perfect” – and like them, Vilela intends to use his time on the microphone to tell the backstories of riders and bulls as well as the importance of the upcoming matchup.
Moraes said in the past there were times when the athletes would go unnoticed because the party-like atmosphere would, at times, overwhelm the grandstand area.
“As with everywhere and everything,” Moraes said, “it needs a little bit of change.”
He used the FIFA World Cup soccer games as an example.
The upcoming World Cup will be in Brazil, but much like when the games were in South Africa, there’s a familiarity fans have regardless of the host country. He said the same can be said for UFC matches that are held throughout the world.
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“For us, the PBR way is the best way,” Moraes said.
Another major difference will be not only adhering to a strict two-hour format for the performance, but starting the event at its scheduled time.
In the past, some events had a loose start time anywhere from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and sometimes as late as midnight before they started the competition, which is oftentimes followed by a large concert production that extends into the early-morning hours.
“I want them to see how good things can be when it’s well organized and well-rehearsed,” said Moraes, who noted the production is not as smooth as it could have been and suffered from what he termed “rough edges.”
However, everyone agreed, like the BFTS, PBR events in Brazil are very much a spectacle.
“We have a great team in Brazil,” Gleason concluded, “and they’re up here and we’re glad that they’re up here absorbing it. Just like they’re learning from us, we have learned from them.
“It’s a great worldwide product.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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