Plan Ahead for Fall Events!

People have been gasping in despair at the Mohegan Sun event dropping off this fall’s Built Ford Tough Series schedule. It’s one of only two events in the Northeast this year (unless you count the Times Square demonstration event), and bull riding fans here are STARVING!

But all is not lost. Now the Connecticut event is at the XL Center (formerly the Civic Center) in Hartford, on the same weekend: Oct. 7-9. The question is, Why?

Sure, more than a million people live in Hartford, it’s easy to get there by public transportation, and visitors have a choice of places to stay. (There also are a lot of other sporting events available, but let’s leave out the competition for a moment.)

Here’s the “but”: at the Mohegan Sun event I attended, the 12,000 seat venue wasn’t filled on championship Sunday–and that’s with a captive casino audience. The XL Center’s capacity is between 15,500 and 16,500, depending on which sport is there. Even if you block out 4,000 seats for dirt and bull pens and chutes, that’s still a stretch. And it’s gotta happen three times in one weekend.

So I’m putting it out here: All you bull riding fans in the Northeast, start gearing up for a road trip. Let’s put butts in the seats. I’m serious: I’ll be driving up from NYC. With enough people we can rent a van. Or a bus. And get a group discount on tickets.

Fan Club tickets go on sale tomorrow, June 15–but the event’s not listed on the Center’s website yet.

Personally, I think that’s not a good sign–but what do I know? I only worked in the rock business for about a dozen years, dealing with venues and tours, guarantees and gates and break-even points. If I were somebody at the PBR, I’d have started hollering at the promoter yesterday.

And let’s talk about the Touring Pro Division: only ONE Northeast event this year (Bridgeport, Connecticut), unless you count the three Pennsylvania events. Why does Pennsylvania get three, but New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island get none? In all those states, I know where the fans are hiding, and who can become new fans (especially in Massachusetts and upstate New York).

No more Worcester date? Yeah, because the sales weren’t good. The location is perfect; the market for bull riding is surrounding that city, yet there weren’t enough people in the stands. Why?

It’s got nothing to do with how much media attention the sport gets. It’s got nothing to do with an international or national marketing strategy. It’s a local issue. “Think globally, act locally” is a slogan applied to environmental campaigns, and guess what? It works. Rivers get cleaned up, polluters get fined, supermarkets sell recyclable bags.

That same philosophy applies to bull riding. A grassroots effort would fill those seats. But for that, you need someone on the ground. Someone who knows the territory. Someone who knows what goes on in those communities. Someone who goes out and talks to people about bull riding, and who talks to the people in the seats at events.

That would be me, but who am I to toot my own horn?

Actually, I think I will. Here goes:

I know where the Brazilians in Massachusetts live and work. I know which colleges in New York could yield hundreds of bull riding fans, and which wouldn’t. I know which towns in Rhode Island are ripe for the picking. I know about under-the-radar media and organizations and local businesses that could deliver ticket buyers. I know events and clubs and bars and vacation hangouts where bull riding fans and potential fans can be recruited. I can dig into the music business to find fans. I know how to round up people and physically get them to events. I know how to reach female bull riding fans. (There are thousands of us!) And I wouldn’t need to spend thousands of dollars to hire market research outfits.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I think I’ll offer my services to the PBR.

Can I get an Amen?


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.

14 Responses to Plan Ahead for Fall Events!

  1. Sarah T says:

    Hi Kris,
    Can you contact me in a personal e-mail? Thanks!

    Sarah T


  2. PBR fan says:

    Happy 4th of July to everyone. I see that the PBR has hired another front office person. There have been so many new additions. All of that costs money. I would rather see them take some of that money and provide health insurance coverage for the riders. To me, it is obscene that the riders have to beg for money from the fans to cover their medical bill.


  3. You’re a font of information! I had just sent a message to Jane on Facebook and emailed Georgina. Jim Thompson will be next. I have a feeling there’ll be a nice big posse heading for Hartford in October.


  4. Sarah T says:

    I know! It makes me wonder how many other fans are lurking in the tri-state area. Another person you might want to reach out to is Jim Thompson who is somewhere out on Long island. (Georgina knows how to reach him) He does some work for Exclusive Genetics. I know he bought a bull (or a share of a bull?) and frequently attends PBR events to promote Exclusive Genetics. He brought a large contingency to the NYC event and is responsible for the PistonRobinson Fan club. Nice guy and has a very nice family. REally into the bulls.


  5. Thanks, Sarah– you’re a pal. I’m hoping to get some time in the next few days to contact both women. It’s pretty funny how we Bronx women are the big bull riding fans!


  6. Sarah T says:

    Yes there is! It is run by a woman named Georgina Vitarius . Here is her e-mail address: You can also find the “Bronx PBR Fan Club” on Facebook. It is new but Georgina is always looking for fun things to do that are PBR related.


  7. There’s a Bronx PBR Fan Club?? I have to connect with them! I’m not far from there. By any chance, is Bobby DelVecchio involved?


  8. Sarah T says:

    I met her at the a couple PBR events hosted by the Bronx PBR Fan Club. She’s a nice lady.


  9. Sarah T says:

    You should try and connect with a woman named Jane Jubilee. She lives in Maplewood, NJ. (She’s on Facebook) Her background is in promotions…music & minor league sports. She’s a big PBR fan & has also commented on the way the PBR markets themselves. She, like you, has some good insight.


  10. Sarah T says:

    I think you should send this post to the PBR management. If I was involved, I’d hire you on the spot!
    I’m in CT so I will probably go at least two nights. I’ve heard that the arena has a Madison Square feel to it. (I’m not a big fan of the Madison Square Garden event) Oh well. You have to give PBR credit for finding an alternative venue for the East Coast fans. Thanks for posting.



    • I agree–I just might send Jim Haworth a letter!
      I’m glad the PBR didn’t give up on Connecticut altogether. I’m going to contact the other New York bull riding fans I know, and see if we can get a road trip going. Do you know fans in Connecticut who might be interested in doing a group thing? It’d be fun to go to some of the extracurricular activities.



    Good luck with that! The PBR hasn’t listened to anything else the fans have suggested, why would they start now? We have been so disenchanted with all the bad decisions that have been made, that it is no longer somethng we look forward to watching. If it wasn’t for Chris Shivers’ resurgence, we wouldn’t watch at all. Can’t stand Hummer, losing Leah and McKee,the sex angle and the over the top promotion of an energy drink. This used to be a show we could watch with our grandkids, but no more. We used to take them and our horse club to Columbus, but no more. Once again a wholesome sporting event has been ruined by someone who doesn’t understand the roots and is all about the money. They’ve killed the golden goose!


    • Well, I’ve never been known to turn down a challenge–especially when it comes to “boys’ clubs.” I was one of the first women to attend all-male Colgate University–and it wasn’t their idea, believe me. Just think of all of us McKee fans as the water dripping on the rock, gradually wearing away the stone. Who knows what may transpire during the break?

      Speaking of the horse club, I had been meaning to ask if you might be interested in circulating the same petition among them, so the PBR is hearing this from several angles. Or maybe you could just send them all a link to the petition on this blog? I’d be forever grateful.


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