Haworth shines light on unique sport of Professional Bull Riding

2 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Sunday, February 21 2016 Feb 21, 2016 Sunday, February 21, 2016 6:44:00 PM CST February 21, 2016 in Sports
By: Chris Turner, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter
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KANSAS CITY - Professional Bull Riding took center stage at the Sprint Center on Saturday night, with a near-capacity crowd on hand to witness "The toughest eight seconds in sports".

The Kansas City Clash pitted the top 35 bull riders in the world against one another on the seventh stop of this year's Built Ford Tough Series. In total, Professional Bull Riding will host over 300 sanctioned events in countries like Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Australia.

"We're in over half a billion households across the world," Chairman of the PBR Jim Haworth said.

Haworth, a mid-Missouri native, took over as CEO of PBR in 2011. He would later be promoted to Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2015.

Before joining the PBR, Haworth spent over 30 years in the retail industry with Walmart and Sears in executive level positions.

"This 'Man vs. Beast' element [of PBR], it was very evident that it was doing well," said Haworth, "It was our job, my job, to build a marketing path of how did you build the business, but also how did you build the exposure."

Haworth grew up in Centertown, Missouri, a town just 15 minutes west of Jefferson City and with a population just under 278 people.

It was there his interest in the rodeo and bull riding began.

"For me, it's a passion and a lifestyle. Fortunate enough, my dad raised cattle. Had some very good friends of mine that raised horses. And so, I always wanted to be around that lifestyle," Haworth said.

PBR officially held its first full season in 1994 with eight events in small towns throughout the United States. Now, 22 years later, events are being held at venues like AT&T Stadium, Madison Square Garden and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"This was started by 20 bull riders that broke away from rodeo because they knew they had something special," Haworth said. "As its evolved, we've been able to take it to places like Madison Square Garden."

In 20 years, the PBR was able to add over two hundred sanctioned events on three different continents, and the expansion isn't over. 

"We're going to continue to look for what other countries make sense to where we grow this to, and continue to look for exposure," Haworth said.

 

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