Professional Bull Riding has grown significantly over the past 10 years. My dream is to someday turn on ESPN Sports Center to see the highlights of the latest PBR Built Ford Tough Series event. The thought of that 15 years ago would have been foolish. Today I think I can see some light at the end of the tunnel but my opinions can be a bit skewed on this as I am engulfed in this amazing sport.
I myself have ridden bulls for 15 years and have been retired for 11 years. I have been an agent for Professional Bull Riders for 10 years in addition to raising bulls. So as you can see the sport of Bull Riding has been a part of my life for 26 years. I have seen the sport from different angles.
So let’s come back to my dream, Professional Bull Riding at ESPN Sports Center. I love the sports center! This might be part of my dream reasoning, but in reality it is more akin to my love for the sport of professional bull. I have been a professional Bull Rider, currently an agent for Professional Bull Riders and breed Bucking Bulls. I know the sport inside and out! I have seen the growth of this sport firsthand. I am excited about the growth but not satisfied. Due to my unique position, I know all about the sponsorship numbers for these athletes as well as the income of the bull athletes. Yes, revenues are much better than they were 26 years ago and sponsorship back then was virtually non-existent, but I think those numbers must be bigger. I think this is a key factor in making the Sports Center dream a reality. The Sports Center reports on sports that are mainstream and involve athletes who make millions. Obviously, Professional Bull Riding is lacking in these two categories.
I truly believe the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) is doing all they can to take this dangerous sport to the next level. Most of the people in this country grow up playing baseball, soccer and basketball so that they can connect to these sports as fans. This is another key factor for the overall growth of Professional Bull Riding. Login! The TV broadcast of the PBR Built Ford Tough series helps that, but I think there needs to be more focus on bringing the sport to American youth. I don’t have all the answers on how this should be done, but I believe some sort of plan should be in place. Maybe the PBR should dedicate a division to youth outreach. Like I said, I don’t have all the answers, but hopefully this will be an area that will be discussed. Who knows, I might end up in a committee on this subject.
Until then, the dream will stay alive! Next on Sports Center … da na na da na na!