Yes, folks, THERE IS A NEW PBR CEO! THERE MAY BE JUSTICE IN THE WORLD! We’ll have to wait and see. Reason for caution: see highlighted scary part.

See for yourself:

From the PBR website, also in its Feb. 23 weekly newsletter (Note that the press release wasn’t from the PBR PR boss, Jack Carnefix):

Bill Holtz / Matt Ciesluk
Catalyst Public Relations 212-714-7901 / 704-409-7738 bholtz@catalystpubliicrelations.com mciesluk@catalystpublicrelations.com

Jim Haworth named Chief Executive Officer of the PBR

PUEBLO, Colo. (February 23, 2011) – The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) announced today that it has selected Jim Haworth as its CEO.

Haworth, who will report to the PBR Board of Directors, will lead the day-to-day business of the PBR, with oversight of all departments, including operations, finance, marketing and competition.   He will begin his duties immediately, and will be based in the Pueblo, Colorado headquarters, building upon the PBR’s rich history and business franchise.

During his long career, Haworth has served in a variety of senior executive positions at leading companies and most recently was Executive Vice President, President of Retail Services and Transformation Officer for Sears Holding Corporation and its Sears and Kmart units.  Haworth, who previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Executive Vice President of Operations for Sam’s Club and Chairman, President & CEO of China’s Lotus Supercenters, has nearly 30 years of experience in the leadership and implementation of retail operations, merchandising solutions, strategic planning, financial restructuring, information technology and tactical marketing.

“Jim has rich business experience and I am confident he will help us further elevate our sport and the PBR brand,” said Rick Patterson, Chairman of the PBR Board of Directors and Partner at Spire Capital.  “Jim has been an advisor to the PBR for years.  He is a passionate fan of both the sport and of the western lifestyle, a man who brings out the cowboy in all of us.  He is a great fit for the PBR.”

“Bringing on someone with Jim’s experience will further enable the PBR’s global growth and ensure implementation of the business plan that the senior management team has developed over the past several months,” said Jeffrey Pollack, Executive Chairman of the PBR Board of Directors.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity of serving as CEO of the PBR and to be working alongside the entire PBR leadership team, sponsors, business partners and fans to continue building upon the storied history of this sport,” said Haworth.  “I believe that my professional experience and expertise, combined with my love of the sport, will help us achieve our goals and fully realize the vision of the PBR and its founders.”

Ty Murray, PBR Founder and Board Advisor commented, “I’ve known Jim for years.  He has the values of a great businessman and a cowboy and I look forward to seeing him lead the PBR in the exciting times ahead.”

About the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR)
: The PBR is the world’s premier bull riding organization. More than 100 million viewers annually watch over 400 hours of primetime PBR programming on VERSUS, NBC, CBS and networks around the world. The PBR has awarded over $100 million in prize money and 20 riders have earned over $1 million, including Justin McBride with $5.5 million – the most of any western-sports athlete in history. The PBR was nominated as 2010 Sports League of the Year at the Sports Business Journal Sports Business Awards, alongside the National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Nearly 2 million fans attend Built Ford Tough Series and Touring Pro Division events each year. For more information on the PBR, go to www.pbr.com, or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamPBR and http://twitter.com/TEAMPBR.

From Source #2:

Cuttin Up Radio http://www.facebook.com/l/f0355/ http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cuttinupradio/2011/03/19/pbr-fridays-presents-ceo-of-the-pbr-jim-haworth PBR Friday’s presents CEO of the PBR JIM HAWORTH

3/18/2011 Jim Haworth is in his first year as Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Bull Riders, reporting to the PBR Board of Directors. He leads the day-to-day business of the PBR with oversight of all departments, including operations, finance, marketing, and competition. Haworth brings almost 30 years of experience in the leadership and implementation of retail operations, merchandising solutions, strategic planning, financial restructuring, information technology and tactical marketing. He joins the PBR after serving in a variety of senior executive positions at leading companies, including most recently Executive Vice President, President of Retail Services and the Transformation Officer for Sears Holding Corporation and its Sears and Kmart units. He previously was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Executive Vice President of Operations for Sam’s Club and Chairman, and President & CEO of China’s Lotus Supercenters.

So there you have it, folks–the official word, as undercover as possible.

HOWEVER, don’t get your hopes up too high. This guy’s background is in retail stores: Sears, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club. Who knows what he’ll do to the PBR. At least we know one thing: Pollack is no longer in charge of day to day operations, no doubt because of the uproar he caused among bull riding fans. WE HAVE BEEN HEARD.

BUT–now is not the time to let go the rope! This 8 seconds is not up. Keep posting about bringing back Justin McKee and Leah Garcia, and getting rid of Erin “The Idiot” Coscarelli (and David Neal, while we’re at it). I’ll keep submitting petitions until I’m blue in the face. In politics and military strategy, this would be called solidifying your gains. For all we know, Haworth could be more of the same. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. So keep squeaking, folks!

And while you’re at it, join me in doing the Ben Jones Happy Dance!

About Bull Riding Marketing

Creative services, marketing and public relations professional from entertainment industry background. Published in magazines and newspapers worldwide. I believe bull riders are the new rock stars.
This entry was posted in ABBI, Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: Year-End Wrap Up Before New York Event | Bullridingmarketing Blog

  2. John Halpern says:

    Your posts were in fine (in general). However “gun-toting” is unmistakable in its nature. No gun owner (or any supporter of the Second Amendment) refers another gun owner as gun-toting. It is a term used by those who oppose gun ownership. It is meant to be derogatory. As far as NASCAR goes it’s a negative stereotype much used in the entertainment industry. Just like they enjoy denigrating southerners. I’m sure we’ve all had our share of dealing with people who think they know where a flank strap is tied and that bull riding is a horrible display of animal cruelty. When you hear from these types you probably set them straight. You might not have meant anything negative but it sure read that way.


    • S. says:

      Tone is hard on the internet. My intent was to mock the possibility that Ford/whoever was behind the survey might think we should all embody all of the negative “NASCAR-type” stereotypes, not making a statement that the stereotypes are true or putting any sort of value judgment on the PBR audience in general, people who own guns, or whatever.


  3. John Halpern says:

    As a gun-toting, flag waving American I feel I have more in common with the bull riding community than those who oppose such activities. If you get a chance ask one of the bull riders what they think.


    • The actual phrase used in that post was about NASCAR flag-waving. Any American has a right to be pro or con re guns. Different people have different definitions of “patriotism.” Who has what in common with bull riders makes no difference when it comes to how much someone appreciates the sport. None of this is the subject of this blog. And in fact, “S” was being sarcastic, making fun of the fact that the PBR is stereotyping its audience, and not realizing that all different kinds of people watch bull riding. S. mentioned one of the survey questions which asked how people feel about riders from other countries competing here. The question could be interpreted as whether Americans have a problem with Brazilians.

      Please read peoples’ posts carefully before replying. The focus of this blog is bull riding, not politics. Thank you.


      • John Halpern says:

        Gun-toting and flag-waving are stereotypical tags used in a derogatory manner as I described earlier. Whether the PBR is going after those who fit that description is not the issue. It was very obvious why “S” used this terminology. I suggest you re-read “S”‘s posts. The focus of this group is supposed to be bull riding… agreed. However I don’t feel obligated to eat anyones garbage. It wasn’t me that brought up the subject… I reacted to the tone of those posts. If and when you do reread the posts you will realize it happened more than once. Of course, if you agree with this person, I know what sort of blog this is.
        P.S. what do you suggest New York does for electricity if your efforts to close Indian Point are successfull?


      • P.S. Indian Point supplies only 25-30% of NYC and Westchester County’s electricity. It’s about 22 miles from my home and it’s leaked before. I’d rather sit in the dark than glow in the dark.


    • S. says:

      Holy jumping to conclusions, Batman!

      If you’ll notice, the paragraph containing those terms is in regards to Ford and their potential marketing concerns with the fan base drifting from their market for trucks. I don’t know too many hunters who want to try to cram their gear in a Ford Focus, but my hope is that even if the results of the survey come back that there is some market drift, Ford will realize that they have a lot of other vehicles in their stable to suit these other markets and that this is an opportunity, not a problem. If the PBR lost Ford, that would be a huge, huge hit, which was my concern, but as the PBR seems to be trying to cultivate new markets, this whole issue may have to be confronted at some point.

      Also, if you will notice, there is no comma between “NASCAR” and “flag-waving,” which is, as Kris mentioned, because I was talking about people waving NASCAR flags. While I am sure there are many lovely fans of NASCAR, there is a stereotype there, and I hope that stereotype isn’t what the survey was hoping bull riding fans would be.

      I love this sport, and I’m sorry that a few words in my post apparently hit a hot button with you, but I’m not going to apologize for things that I didn’t say or mean. I have enjoyed your contributions to this discussion, and I hope we can continue to discuss and debate, because the PBR has a lot of problems and different perspectives will probably only be a good thing in approaching them.


  4. I had no idea; I don’t spend a lot of time following the PBR message boards. But I have learned the hard way!


  5. PBR fan says:

    I got all the way through the survey and then they said I was disqualified. That is when they said thanks but no thanks. What a bogus survey!


  6. PBR Fan says:

    I was sent via email a survey to take regarding the PBR. After I completed it, it said “sorry, you do not meet the criteria (or something to that affect). It sounds like to me that they were looking for a certain outsome. Did anyone else receive one? It just seems strange to receive it and then say “thanks, but no thanks”.


    • Same thing happened to me later on; I replied asking which specific answers disqualified me, and have no received no answer–what a surprise; it’s the PBR. Clearly they selected people who they knew already watch bull riding, and obviously they have a gender and geographic spread, so I don’t know what the heck they were looking for in their results. Doing a market research survey and trying to get the outcome you want is not a market research survey; you’re supposed to just accept what you get as information and then analyze it. The PBR is wasting an awful lot of money on these surveys–and wasting our time. Why should we have to answer dozens of questions before we’re qualified or disqualified? The questions should be arranged so that in a couple of minutes they’d know who they want to participate.


    • S. says:

      I was able to complete the survey, but it did sound like they disqualified people based on the first few questions, which had to do with age, gender and annual salary, and I guess whether you share your email address. It seems like a poor policy to decide you’ve heard too much from one demographic if the supposed point is to find out more about your demographic.

      But besides not getting to answer whether you’d rather watch the X-Games, Nascar or football over and over again, you didn’t miss much. My impression was that they hoped to find that we are all 18-35 males who like cage fighting. They were probably quite disappointed in my answers, if that is the case. I also have yet to hear from anyone who actually got the $25 off certificate that was promised. Par for the course.


      • John Halpern says:

        Sounds more like something Versus TV would want to know. Maybe the PBR “Spire” bean counters are looking to see if they can dump bull riding altogether.


      • You have a point there. All those questions about sports that are broadcast on Versus–do they actually think that just because someone watches one sport on Versus, they’ll also watch a bunch of others? Or that if they’re a NASCAR fan, they’ll automatically become a PBR fan? That is so simplistic! Kind of like the mindset that thinks, If a woman runs for office, automatically all women will vote for her.

        Probably if Spire Capital wanted to dump bull riding, they wouldn’t have bothered assigning the PBR a CEO. I just hope that someday the PBR could run without investors pulling the strings behind the scenes.


      • S. says:

        The “reward” that no one has gotten supposedly came from Ford. Not sure we can draw any conclusions from this, but perhaps Ford is worried the base is drifting too far from their market. Or possibly the PBR is worried that their expansion into new markets is failing…

        Some of those questions might as well have been in giant blinking red text: ARE YOU A RACIST? DO YOU LIKE TO SEE PEOPLE GET HURT FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT? Not sure if they wanted a yes or no to those questions, which is rather alarming.

        Um, no, I like musicals?


      • Interesting thoughts to ponder! If Ford is so stupid that they think they can sell their trucks only to men in checked flannel shirts who live down South or out West, they don’t deserve to have Denis Leary as their voiceover guy. I see soccer moms and Yuppies driving those giant fucking things in the ‘burbs.

        The PBR’s attempts to expand into new markets are clumsy, at best. They’re flailing around, trying to figure out who their target(s) should be, and ignoring the information right under their noses. They alienate women, who are nearly half their audience. They think teenagers watch MTV, when actually they’re watching extreme sports (and I do not mean cage fighting). They think people who drink beer/carry guns/and/or watch NASCAR automatically should be bull riding fans. It’s sad, really–and they’re spending so much money on “market research” that just spins them in circles. Instead of retaining their loyal fan base and capturing new customers, they’re pissing off the longtime fans and completely missing the mark with trying to access new fans.

        The survey questions made it obvious that they were trying to force the connection between bull riding and all other sports that involve physical injury–which clearly shows that somebody up there thinks the reason people watch bull riding is to see cowboys get hurt. Hence the fake blood spatter on the new front page photo of the PBR web site. I can just imagine the meeting where some genius came up with that idea: the good ol’ boys (and that includes the young ones) trying to come up with a “marketing strategy” to make bull riding seem even MORE exciting. As if that were possible! “Hey! I have an idea! Let’s put blood in the picture! That spells ‘macho’! And that spells ‘bull riding’! Yeah! That’ll attract the kind of fans we want!” Ugh.

        I’m curious about the racist aspect you mentioned. I usually have high-alert radar for that kind of stuff, but maybe I was whizzing through the questions too fast. Tell me more!

        Oh, I know why I might’ve been disqualified. I said I absolutely had no interest in football, don’t watch NASCAR, and like Shakespeare and rock and roll. That must mean I can’t like bull riding. DUH!!


      • I wish they’d DQ’d me after just the first few questions! They took me for the whole ride, then near the very end, told me I was out.


      • S. says:

        At one point I found some article about how some vast percentage of people who own Ford trucks watch rodeo/bull riding. Of course, Ford hopefully remembers that they sell vehicles other than trucks, so all is not lost if some non-gun-toting, non-NASCAR flag-waving individuals sneak into the PBR viewing audience.

        The PBR is totally flailing. Do they really think that the people who like “The Real World” are going to look at the 2.8 seconds of McKennon Wimberly and guys bucking off bulls sandwiched in between all the manufactured drama of who is sleeping with whom and think, “Awesome, let me figure out when and where I can watch that bull riding!” Do they think that people who like bull riding will want to watch 42.2 minutes of tacky people being drunken and, well, tacky? I understand that their base and the people they want to attract have some pretty big differences and they are going to have to figure that out, but they don’t even seem to have figured out what they do have.

        I wish I’d saved a copy of the survey. There was at least one question that went something like, “How do you feel about cowboys from other countries competing in the U.S.?” I suspect this has to do with their expansion plans, because assuming any of their expansion plans work at all, the Brazilians are just the beginning. I for one welcome our fourteen year old Chinese girl bull riding overlords.

        I think I was forced to choose football once, due to hating everything else more. I wouldn’t go to NASCAR if someone paid me. Maybe they liked me because I occasionally put that I’d watch the X-Games (and I did watch them when they first started)… probably they were confused by my desire to see theater, though.

        I really wanted there to be a feedback box. Of course, that’s where my survey would have gone in the round file.


    • S. says:

      Okay, it’s really dumb that they’d DQ people after the whole survey. I can’t think of any questions at the end that would cause that to happen, and if there were, they should have been at the beginning. Surprise, surprise, something bungled to do with the PBR?


  7. S. says:

    I think the PBR was deliberately muddying the waters as far as what Jeff Pollack was when he was hired — and it does seem like he was effectively the CEO during that time. Or, well, that’s what they wanted him to be.

    It doesn’t surprise me there is bad blood regarding the McKee release, and that McKee might not want to come back has of course always been a very real possiblity. The PBR made a huge hash of this and I’m sure they aren’t eager to discuss it at all, but it seems like there is some small window where maybe fans can get through with all this upheaval at top. Or not, who knows? But not continuing to bring it to their attention is definitely not going to do anything.


    • Yup. It’s a chess game.
      I’d say, depending on who it was that sacked McKee, he might be lured back if:
      1) that person was no longer wielding power
      2) the organization sucked it up and publicly made up, saying he was “back by popular demand”–that would make them look like they listen to fans and that they’re flexible
      3) the PBR paid him a boatload of money and let him choose which broadcasts he wants to do and who he wants as a partner.

      One thing’s for sure, clamming up now will send the message that what they’re doing is fine with us.


  8. John Halpern says:

    For what it’s worth the PBR still has Pollack listed as a board of directors member.



    • Tim Webster says:

      John, From what I was told, Pollack is no longer the Executive Chairman of the Board, but he will serve on the board, as a member, through the end of this year. He will not have any say as to the day to day operations of the PBR. Also, he rarely came into the PBR office in Pueblo and did not inspire confidence in the employees as to his vision of what he wanted the PBR to do. But, I’m sure Kris knew all about what I am telling you.

      BTW, McKee will not be back!!! It was a VERY ugly break up and unless BOTH sides get together and apologize, you will not see McKee back in the booth. You can send all the petitions you want, but it won’t make a difference, especially with only a very small number on the petitions.


      • John Halpern says:

        Tim, the link says he was elected to the “Board of Directors as Executive Chairman”. I’m not a corporate type so I don’t know the difference between that and “Chief Execute Officer”.

        Regarding McKee, he was the personality in the booth. Shorty Gorham is busy much of the time so they really cut back to two men in the booth. Craig Hummer and a cowboy. Not much chemistry. At least bring another bull rider into the act to liven things up.


      • KrisD says:

        The Facebook petition alone, which is not mine, has more than 2,000 signatures so far. This blog’s petition hasn’t been going that long, and there is another installment in the pipeline. As direct marketing people know, for every one customer who complains, there are at least 10 more (some say 100) who feel the same way but didn’t bother to communicate their opinion.
        There are also other means to make the fans’ voices heard: economic means and viewership.

        People posting to other blogs and forums including the PBR fan site, Versus, and less well known ones, are also sending email comments and letters to the PBR. In addition to voicing peoples’ opinions on the Justin MCKee issue, this blog’s petition provides demographic information on who bull riding fans are, not by name, but by location, gender, and age bracket (if available).

        Disparaging the initial number of signers will make no difference to those who post here.


  9. PBR fan says:

    So, is Jeff Pollack gone or is he still with the PBR? It does not seem very clear to me.


  10. Tim Webster says:

    Kris, Jim Haworth is not replacing Jeffrey Pollack. When Jeffrey Pollack was hired, he was not hired and has not been the CEO. He was hired as the Executive Chairman of the Board. The PBR has been without a CEO since Randy Bernard left. Also, I don’t see any credit given to me, which I am the one that broke this news of Pollack being gone last week, of which, as I stated happened several weeks before that. Futhermore, I have confirmed it with PBR people, not just some other sources that have nothing to do with the PBR. If you are going to print “breaking news” or a “bulletin”, you may want to get the facts straight first.


    • As a journalist (not merely a blogger), I do not name sources unless they specifically tell me they want to be named. You have wrongly assumed that the information came from “just some other sources that have nothing to do with the PBR.”

      Source #1 sent me the article from Cuttin’ Up Radio; as stated on their website, the PBR provides that information to Cuttin’ Up Radio. Source #2 has on-the-dirt access to PBR events, but merely told me where the press release and newsletter article were that announced the change in leadership. I’ve added those two items to the post so people don’t have to search for them on the PBR website. In your previous comment about the situation, you cited as your sources “the receptionist” at the PBR and “several other people.” Wouldn’t you apply the same standard to your own posts?

      Since Randy Bernard left, Pollack has been the de facto CEO, in charge of day-to-day operations. Common procedure in executive shuffling would be to have the COO become Acting CEO if the executive search is going on outside the organization, but instead Pollack performed CEO duties, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the PBR. In that sense, Haworth is replacing him, since he is taking over the day-to-day management of the organization.

      You also stated that there was no press release and no announcement, yet both a press release and an announcement in the PBR’s weekly newsletter appeared on Feb. 23. Therefore you didn’t “break” the news; the PBR broke its own news. Further, I didn’t claim to be “breaking news.” Using “Bulletin! Bulletin! Bulletin!” as a header means “Guess what!? Listen to this!”

      To quote Tim Webster, “You may want to get the facts straight first.”


      • In my experience, when one party resorts to insults and baiting, that party is a bully, isn’t interested in a rational exchange, and is trying to start what used to be known as a “flame war.” I was willing to have a civil discourse, but it’s clear you have an axe to grind and some overriding need to prove you are the world’s foremost expert on the PBR.

        Fine. Everything you say is totally right, everything everyone else says is totally wrong, we are all morons, and you are the smartest person in the world. Apparently you’re a better spokesperson for the PBR than everyone in the organization combined. I wonder why they haven’t hired you. Does that make you feel better?

        It’s interesting how you try to play both ends against the middle. You don’t think I can say Pollack is no longer with the PBR, but you can say it, because a receptionist told you. If I said I heard it from a receptionist, you’d say that’s not a source. You “confirmed it with a number of PBR people.” You didn’t name those sources, but you want me to name mine.

        I don’t need to “chase my tail” about the subject, because it’s not the focal point of my existence. Whether Pollack is no longer with the PBR or has been “kicked upstairs” is immaterial now, since Haworth supposedly will follow the marketing strategy already in place, and that strategy is what the backlash is about. And yes, I have met, talked with, and exchanged emails with a PBR exec.

        Since I don’t have deep pockets, and have other responsibilities in life, the events I’ve attended so far have been in the Northeast, both BFTS and Touring Pro, and all the bull riding fans here wish there were more of them. Those of us who were asked to participate in a PBR marketing survey in New York made that very clear to them.

        This’ll be my last go-round on the Pollack thing. I have bigger fish to fry, like participating in the campaign to close down the nuclear reactor at Indian Point, and helping a friend get elected to City Council.

        Up until now, I approved your posts because I thought it would be helpful for people to hear from various quarters. From now on, I will not approve your posts, because your tone isn’t the kind I want on this blog. Any type of abusive message I receive will be sent to the PBR—and I don’t mean just the receptionist.


      • John Halpern says:

        Bull Riding Marketing,
        How were you approached by the PBR for the marketing survey in NY?
        Was it at the Invasion of the Bulls at Madison Square Garden or at that late season outdoor event at Times Square?


      • I received an email from a market research firm hired by the PBR, shortly before this January’s Madison Square Garden event.


  11. S. says:

    You know, when Jeff Pollack was hired, I could swear that he was hired as CEao, but when this whole thing came up I started looking at archived news releases and apparently he was hired as the executive chairman of the board. Which I guess means that there was no CEO during that time, but they likely played it like he was to allay the “oh no, what happens without Randy Bernard” factor.

    Since the PBR comment section mysteriously was “under maintenance” when Hayworth was announced, I can only assume this was smoke and mirrors so fans couldn’t publicly speculate on what that meant for Pollack. I am not rejoicing yet, as plus a Walmart henchman and minus an executive chairman doesn’t sound great either. And one has to wonder that if Pollack is indeed gone after all the pomp and circumstance about him, did they really think that they could keep it secret indefinitely?

    Curiouser and curiouser!


  12. John Halpern says:

    Randy Bernard left some big shoes to fill. Jeffrey Pollack showed up in flip-flops and a pedicure. Hopefully the only bullsh*t Jim Haworth brings is stuck to the bottom of his Ariats.


  13. CINDY GLASER says:

    It’s a step in the right direction, hopefully! Now let’s get Justin and Leah back fulltime and get rid of the sleaze and we’ll be a family sport again.


      • PBR Fan says:

        The PBR must be hurting for people to go the The Last Cowboy Standig. I was emailed an invite to get my tickets 20% off if I use a special promo code. Now I see on the PBR website that they have brought back Justin McKee for this one performance. I hope they are paying him quite well. They (PBR) probably thinks if Justin is there people will pay the fee for PPV just to listen to him. I will not be paying under any circumstances.


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