PUEBLO, CO--(Marketwired - January 17, 2014) - The PBR, the world's premier Western lifestyle sports brand, and AEG, the leading sports, entertainment and venue operator in the world, have joined forces to create an exciting new bull riding series, the PBR Velocity Tour.
Starting March 14, the PBR Velocity Tour will begin its inaugural season and make stops in 16-18 markets across the country. The Velocity Tour functions as part of PBR's overall qualification system for the elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS), as do the PBR's Touring Pro Division events and international series events in Brazil, Australia and Canada.
While the PBR's elite BFTS features the Top 35 bull riders in the world competing at 26 regular-season events and the Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, the Velocity Tour will showcase both established and up-and-coming riders, providing a great opportunity for more fans to experience exciting PBR action in cities that aren't currently serviced by the BFTS. It will bring the high-energy sound, lighting, special effects and, of course, the world's best bull riding action to the most popular venues across the United States.
The tour kicks off in Hampton Roads, Va., and will then make stops in cities such as Omaha, Neb., Salt Lake City, Utah, Los Angeles, Calif., Cincinnati, Ohio, Louisville, Ky. and Minneapolis, Minn.
Select events will be broadcast on PBR LIVE, a CBS Interactive digital broadcast platform. PBR LIVE is a partnership between the PBR and CBS Interactive, offering more than 100 digital broadcasts annually. The Velocity Tour broadcasts on PBR LIVE represent the first time that PBR fans will be able to view a regular schedule of non-BFTS events, a long-standing request from PBR's passionate fans.
"We're very excited about this new venture and the opportunity to expand our business in partnership with one of the largest sports and entertainment companies in the world," said Sean Gleason, COO of the PBR. "It's just not possible to schedule Built Ford Tough Series events in every city that PBR fans would like us to, and this partnership will bring PBR-produced bull riding to first-class venues that would otherwise be without. The Velocity Tour is an important growth initiative for PBR as we look to expand opportunities for the best bull riders in the world -- and those that want to be -- and there is no better partner than AEG to make that happen."
The point structure will be similar to the PBR's Touring Pro Division and will feed into the world standings and Built Ford Tough World Finals qualification. The PBR will solely produce all Velocity Tour events with dedicated and consistent resources across the entire tour.
"The PBR's proven track record of creating world-class events is unmatched in quality of competitors and production," said Bob Newman, President of AEG Facilities. "The Velocity Tour will immediately become one of the most acclaimed events in North America through combining our worldwide resources. We look forward to partnering with the PBR to bring their unparalleled experience to hundreds of thousands of new fans."
About AEG Facilities
AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports, entertainment and venue operator in the world. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone affiliate of AEG, owns, operates or consults with more than 100 of the industry's preeminent venues worldwide, across five continents, providing complete venue management, as well as specialized programs in operations, guest services, ticketing, booking, sales and marketing. AEG Facilities also provides resources and access to other AEG-affiliated entities, including live event producer, AEG Live, AEG Global Partnerships, AEG Development, AEG 1Earth, AEG Encore and AEG Creative to support the success of AEG venues across the globe. The Los Angeles-based organization owns, operates or provides services to the world's most elite venues, including STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, Calif.), StubHub Center (Carson, Calif.), Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE (Los Angeles, Calif.), Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.), KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, Ky.), AmericanAirlines Arena (Miami, Fla.), Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.), Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.), BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas), Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum (Oakland, Calif.), CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, Penn.), Rabobank Arena (Bakersfield, Calif.), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), The O2 Arena (London, England), O2 World (Berlin, Germany), O2 World Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), Ahoy Arena (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Itaipava Arena Pernambuco (Recife, Brazil), Allianz Parque (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Allphones Arena (Sydney, Australia), Ülker Sports Arena (Istanbul, Turkey), Ericsson Globe Arena (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center (Muscat, Oman). For more information, please visit aegworldwide.com.
About the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR)
The world's premier bull riding organization, the PBR, turns 21 in 2014. In just two decades, the dream of 20 bull riders has become a global sports phenomenon with PBR broadcasts reaching more than half a billion households in 50 nations and territories around the world, and more than 2.5 million fans attending live events each year. PBR has paid out more than $130 million in earnings to its athletes, and 25 riders have earned more than $1 million, including Justin McBride with $5.5 million -- the most of any western sports athlete in history. For more information on the PBR, go to www.pbr.com, or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PBR, Twitter at http://twitter.com/PBR, and YouTube at http://www.YouTube.com/PBR.