Professional Bull Riding has grown tremendously over the past 10 years. My dream is to one day turn on ESPN Sports Center to see highlights from the latest PBR Built Ford Tough Series event. The thought of that 15 years ago would have been insane. Today I think I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel but my opinions may be a bit skewed on this subject due to the fact I am engulfed with this amazing sport.
I rode bulls myself for 15 years and have been retired for 11 years. I have been an agent for Professional Bull Riders for the last 10 years along with raising bucking bulls. So, as you can see, the sport of Bull Riding has been a part of my life for the last 26 years. I've seen the sport from many different angles.
So back to my dream, Professional Bull Riding on ESPN's Sports Center. I love sports center! That may be part of the reasoning for my dream but really it leans more toward my love for the sport of professional bull riding. I've been a Professional Bull Rider, I'm currently an agent for Professional Bull Riders and I raise Bucking Bulls. I know the sport inside and out! I've seen the growth of this sport first hand. I'm excited about the growth but not satisfied. Because of my unique position, I know all about the sponsorship figures for these athletes along with earnings for the bull athletes. Yes the earnings are way better than they were 26 years ago and sponsorships back then were pretty much nonexistent but I believe these figures need to be more. I think that is a key factor in making the Sports Center dream a reality. Sports Center reports on sports that are main stream and involve athletes who rake in millions. Obviously, Professional Bull Riding is lacking in both of those categories.
I really believe the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) is doing all it can do to take this dangerous sport to the next level. Most people in this country grow up playing Baseball, Football and Basketball so they can connect with those sports as fans. That holds another key factor for the mainstream growth for Professional Bull Riding. Connection! The television broadcast of the PBR Built Ford Tough Series is helping with that but I think there needs to be more focus on introducing this sport to the youth of America. I don't have all the answers on how that should be done but I do believe some sort of plan should be put in place. Maybe the PBR should dedicate a division for youth outreach. Like I said, I don't have all the answers but hopefully this will be an area that is discussed. Who knows, maybe I will end up on a committee for this topic.
Until then the dream will stay alive! Next on Sports Center … da na na da na na!