Pro Rodeo Commissioner Pleased With Direction Of Sport; Addresses Outlook For '13
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Commissioner Karl Stressman yesterday appeared "upbeat [and] optimistic about the state of professional rodeo and where it's headed," according to Neal Reid of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. Stressman noted attendance this year "was up by 700,000." He added that "page views on ProRodeo.com are 39 percent higher than last year during the Wrangler NFR, there were 1,900 new permit holders, and 5,900 new rodeo entries, and total money at 591 PRCA rodeos was back above $39 million this year." Additionally, the association "launched a new ProRodeo application that has been downloaded nearly 14,000 times, and the PRCA has recently inked contract extensions" with Wrangler, Justin Boots and Great American Country (GAC). Stressman said, "Sponsors are saying, 'We really see the future of the PRCA as being a better opportunity for us.' They see we have the only product, professional rodeo, that can reach their consumers. The numbers are saying we're going off the charts. If we can put together some of these things, we're going to see the next two or three years as a huge growth opportunity for ProRodeo." The PRCA originally signed a TV deal with GAC in '10 and recently extended through '13. Stressman said, "We got a little push-back when we went from ESPN to GAC, and I understood it. But the responses we've gotten on GAC since then have been so positive, and it's unbelievable. I think it's a better fit, and I wouldn't have ever said for us to do it if I didn't think that." He also referred to the momentum PRCA has heading into '13 and said, "When the wave comes, you have to ride it. I guess the question is, 'How do you keep the wave rolling?' I'm not sure I have the answer, but I can tell you one thing, we're going to keep surfing down the front of it until something changes" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 12/12).