When they say “The Buck Stops Here,” in the world of the PBR, that means it stops with the man, Jim Haworth. Jason Hetland gets a few minutes to chat with Jim about the Ring of Honors past and present as well as the up and coming riders and bulls. Plus teases at the some of the new events and places for the 2013 season that were not yet released when we recorded this.
What was said:
Jason: Alright – Jason Hetland here with 4theride.com and the rodeoroundup. What a special guest that we have for a Wednesday afternoon. I’m going to let him introduce himself without me because this man needs no introduction to me but he works a lot behind the scenes and sets up everything for the World Finals for the last couple of years so I want him to introduce himself to you.
Jim: Hi, I’m Jim Haworth, the CEO of the PBR
Jason: You need no introduction to us but what a fantastic turn of events since you’ve taken over as CEO. The addition of the Heroes and Legends, the addition of the 15/15 bucking bull, the draft, a lot great changes that make the fan interaction much more enjoyable.
Jim Haworth: You know what’s great about this. We were handed a legacy here with the PBR. You get a chance to see a lot of the founders that are here today. They started something that was so special and we’ve got to continue to make sure we help that grow and when you look at what we are able to pay out from a prize money stand point and the exposure we try to get for our sponsors, these kinds of things are very important and we’re excited to continue to get to pay our almost 10 million dollars this year in prize money so we are definitely going to want to continue that in the future.
Jason: Everybody talks about Chris Shivers and retiring from the PBR. It’s got to be a legacy that’s going to be remembered for a long time and I’m sure it’s hard for you as the CEO of one of the greatest bull riding companies in the world to see such a great bull rider lost.
Jim: You know Chris is so special and what he means to PBR and what he means to the fans. You can see that today even in our world champion kind of forum we had this morning. He’s special to PBR. He’s one of those folks that comes through that he’s a superstar but he’s so humble the way he handles our fans and I don’t know if there will ever be another Chris Shivers. Ahh, when you think about the kind of rides and what he’s gone through and the number of 90 point rides he’s had through his career, that may be difficult to match. And you hope that we’ve got some of these young riders, which we’ve got some great ones coming up, that can kind of hopefully step in, and I don’t know if they will ever fill his shoes, but at least take a spot as we look at the future.
Jason: Definitely, and as we look at 2013, do we have any special things happening? Things that are new and up-in-coming for the new season that our fans can look forward to?
Jim: Hey we’re going to kick off at Madison Square Garden again this year which to me there’s a lot of special venues that we get a chance to go to but there in New York that’s a great place the go. The Cowboys Stadium, we are going to do that again this year. Should be a real exciting format again, kind of that bracket system that we do, as we think about that iron cowboy so it should be a lot of fun. We’re coming back here in May for a real special event. We’re going to do some things at the Mandalay Bay. We got some national television exposure that we’re going to do. Ahh, we will kind of fill the fans in a little more about that but a special format and a lot of prize money that we’re going to kind of build a special event. They we’re coming back here again next October. It’s our 20th year of finals in Las Vegas. This week we announced our real connection with the city of Las Vegas and renewal of that sponsorship that’s important. And next year with our 20th anniversary you got a great group here this year but we’re hoping to grow a lot more out for that 20th year special anniversary as well.
Jason: Definitely. A big change for the 2012 season is a brand new host hotel the MGM Grand. What happened and the new sponsorship at the MGM? And I tell you what, the venue they have over there right now for all the awards and the kick-off party was fantastic. It seems like it’s going to be a great, lasting relationship.
Jim: Well you know the MGM and Mandalay Bay, they’re all kind of under the same umbrella from a corporate stand point but we started at the MGM so there’s a lot of history that goes with that and they’re a great sponsor for us, continue to be a great host hotel for us. We have also expanded a lot of stuff here at the SouthPoint. They continue to give great support for what we’re doing. We are always looking for ways to expand our audience here in Vegas along with that how we get more fans and also how we get our sponsors and host hotels are looking for the same thing.
Jason: Excellent, well hey I really appreciate you taking time to be with us at 4theride.com and the rodeo roundup. Later on ladies and gentlemen, round 1 from the Thomas and Mack Center and we will be back with the recaps and highlights from tonight’s events. Thank you so much.