Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2017 - 40
PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDERS INC.
Energy also remains a strong sponsor, and PBR fits right
into that company's strategy of building its brand around
PBR is also strengthening its relationship with the
world's largest retailer, Walmart. In 2016, the league began
an innovative marketing program bringing "retailtainment" events to 40 Walmart stores aligned with its tour
dates. PBR riders and bulls will entertain and inform fans
at more than 100 Walmart locations this season.
The year 2016 saw great gains with technology partners
as well. Maingate was signed as an e-commerce partner,
focusing on event merchandising display and sales, as well
as managing online sales by improving PBRshop.com.
Also in 2016, PBR worked with leading game developer Rare Labs to release a new mobile game, 8 to Glory,
which is available for IOS and Android devices via free
download. The game features 30 top PBR riders and the
leading PBR bulls, and should help younger generation
fans get more involved with the sport.
In addition to licensee partners, PBR has begun experimenting with safety equipment, realizing that nothing is
more important than the safety of its riders. PBR recently
began a partnership with EVS safety gear, a maker of
They know they are
performing. It's fun to
see a bull kick his legs
and acknowledge the
crowd after a ride.
protective equipment for motor cross riders. "Early results
have been promising," Sohigian says. "Many riders have
taken to wearing the equipment, and like it for its light
weight and flexibility."
World of Possibilities
In addition to attracting more fans and viewers, PBR has a
growing following on social media. In 2016, among all major
sports, it ranked No. 1 in fan engagement on Facebook, had
the highest engagement rate on Twitter, and had the highest
growth rate in Instagram, according to CrowdTangle.
Of course its most important medium remains television. PBR viewership on CBS grew 12 percent in 2016,
and several times in its 2016 season its telecasts were the
highest-rated weekend sportscasts outside of the NFL.
It is also important to note that CBS broadcasts PBR
events not just on its sports cable network, but on its