This makes it even funnier: it’s not the first PBR attempt at figuring out what to do.
In late 2012, PBR hired Scarborough Sports Marketing to tell them what’s what. Here are the first biggies they came up with:
• 15% of U.S. adults 18 and over (i.e., 36 million) are PBR Fans.
• 8% (of the total adult population? Or of the 15%?) watched PBR on TV in the past 12 months
• 3% are avid PBR fans. (How did they decide who’s rabid? I mean, avid.).
All of this is based on—what? Did they survey the entire country? Slip a PBR survey into the census forms and voting records? (PFF: they kept capitalizing “Fans,” like it’s a title: “PBR Fans.”)
Because it was Finals time, part of the focus was on Las Vegas. They used numbers provided by PBR (a famously unbiased source), to come up with this:
38% of PBR fans visited a casino in the past year, which is 12% more likely than the U.S. average.
What? 38% of 36 million? As in, 1,368,000 people? Surely you jest.
This was further broken down into:
Within the past year, PBR fans engaged in the following casino activities:
• 31% played slot machines
• 15% ate at an upscale restaurant
• 12% played table games
• 10% went to a bar/nightclub
• 9% watched a stage show or concert
Here’s the thing:
Who the hell are they talking about? All PBR fans? Or just those who went to Las Vegas for the Finals? Or those who responded to an online survey? How can you possibly extrapolate such specific information from a miniscule sample? They also declared that 20% of all Las Vegas adults are PBR fans. Now, just how did they figure out that? A citywide survey?
So now, let’s help out the marketing geniuses and get more specific:
What do they consider an “upscale restaurant”? Olive Garden? P.F. Chang’s? Bouley?
I shudder to think.
Logic has never stopped PBR from jumping to all kinds of conclusions. According to Scarborough, there are more than 1 million PBR fans in LA and NYC. How do they know that? Is that the number of tickets sold? No, that math doesn’t work; 3 sold-out days at Madison Square Garden is 60,000 people, and that’s only if they make people sit behind the sound setup, Sky Box, and F150, and in the rafters behind the chutes—the no-view seats.
If that million includes TV viewers, how did they pin them down? Well, the marketing agency is owned by Nielsen (as in, TV ratings), so they could’ve used that technology to spy on people watching Versus. I kinda doubt they went to all that trouble—and what are the odds they’d pick the right million TVs to hook up? Naahh.
Last June, Scarborough came up with the earthshaking fact that within the previous 12 months, 81% of Lexington, KY adults were more likely than all adults across the land to watch PBR on cable TV. Um, why Lexington? Because this was about a month after the Kentucky Derby? Again, how did they get that information? Flyers on all the seats at the Derby?
What’s really funny is the amnesia. Far be it from me to take Fox “News” seriously, but here’s a chunk of a FoxNews.com article from 2006 that the PBR seems to have forgotten:
“And the demographics seem to break all the stereotypes about the kind of people who’d come to watch a cowboy ride a bucking bull for eight seconds at a time…”
Sean Gallagher, senior vice president of production and development for TLC, which carries “Beyond the Bull,” a 10-hour reality series on bull riders that began airing this year, said it’s obvious to anyone who attends an event that the audience for bull riding is burgeoning in all directions. “I brought my kids to a couple, and it’s amazing how many people there are from all walks of life,” he said. “It’s not just the cowboy-hat-wearing crowd.”
“Beyond the Bulls” has been “bringing a nice female number,” Gallagher said. “We try to go deeper into the lives of these guys. An audience member might say, ‘Yeah, I don’t know a lot about bull riding, but I know what he’s going through with his wife and I know what it’s like to have to leave my kid for eight days to go on a business trip.’”
And a PBR-commissioned study found that women were making heroes not of the cowboys but the bulls, some of which, like the notorious and now retired Little Yellow Jacket, have carved out fame of their own, even if it’s on the backsides of the sport’s less nimble cowboys.
“What we did find was that the women were more interested in the bulls,” [Randy] Bernard said. “We thought tight Wranglers would be the top reason women would go [sexist, much?], but it wasn’t. It was the bulls. So we started merchandising the bulls, and our bull merchandise outsells our cowboy merchandise.”
Well, no wonder: the only cowboy-on-a-tee-shirt you can buy is JB Mauney, and if you’re a kid, there’s a Chris Shivers tee. There’s more Bushwacker merchandise than anything else.
I can’t wait for the next marketing survey to get my jollies! I wonder if they even looked at the information they collected in NYC from us unfathomable females.