ELITE RODEO ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES FIVE-YEAR AGREEMENT TO HOLD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN DALLAS
American Airlines Center to Host Event to Debut in November, 2016
DALLAS – (August 26, 2015) - The Elite Rodeo Association (ERA), an innovative new rodeo corporation created by the top rodeo athletes in the world, is proud to announce the signing of a five-year partnership with the Dallas Sports Commission and the City of Dallas to bring its World Championship to Dallas.
“Professional rodeo needed an elite tour showcasing only the best talent in the world,” said Tony Garritano, CEO and President of the ERA. “We believe that a regular season format, ending in its own world championship event, will be exciting for rodeo fans to follow. Fans will benefit by watching the most competitive rodeo action that the sport has to offer. Thanks to the City of Dallas, our new tour will have a tremendous home for its world championship.”
With a mission of ensuring the integrity of the sport of rodeo and to provide additional opportunities for professional rodeo athletes and industry partners, the Elite Rodeo Association, also doing business as Elite Rodeo Athletes, plans to work in cooperation with existing rodeo venues and sports arenas across North America to create a tour that will showcase the best talent in professional rodeo.
“World championship rodeo is coming home to the state of Texas and the city of Dallas,” said Phillip J. Jones, President and CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Big things happen here in Dallas and we look forward to sharing our great city with rodeo fans from around the world.”
The ERA will only showcase the best rodeo athletes in the world. Currently comprised of past and present World Champions, they represent 118 World Champion titles collectively. While the current ownership includes existing top competitors, the model allows for aspiring elite rodeo athletes to participate and earn ownership in the ERA.
“By introducing a unique concept like the ERA, it is our hope to increase the awareness of the sport of rodeo overall” says 21-time world champion cowboy and ERA Board Member, Trevor Brazile. “Enhancing the sport of professional rodeo and helping to build something greater for the future generation rodeo cowboy and cowgirl is the goal of the ERA. We look forward to working with the entire rodeo industry.”
The ERA is very proud that its World Championship event will be hosted by the City of Dallas. Along with the Dallas Sports Commission, Dallas has agreed to a five-year, multi-million dollar agreement with the ERA. The inaugural ERA World Championship event is scheduled to take place at the American Airlines Center, November 9-13, 2016. The annual event will award a payout in excess of $3 million over a 5-day annual competition—making this first World Championship event one of the largest payouts in rodeo history.
“The American Airlines Center is honored to be hosting the ERA World Championship beginning in 2016,” said Dave Brown, Vice President and General Manager of the Center. “We believe the Center will provide a great atmosphere for rodeo fans as the top rodeo athletes in the world compete in Dallas.”
“The Dallas Sports Commission is committed to bringing great sporting events to the city of Dallas,” said Monica Paul, Executive Director of the Dallas Sports Commission. “The ERA World Championship is the type of event that will have a positive economic impact and raise the profile of Dallas as a premier sports destination.”
In 2016, the ERA will produce a 15 event regular-season tour, all broadcast on national network television on FOX Sports, culminating with its 5-day World Championship event Nov. 9-13, 2016 in Dallas. The ERA has plans to expand the number of tour stops to 26 in the future.
Early in 2015, the top 52 rodeo athletes in the world created Elite Rodeo Athletes, determined to elevate the world of professional rodeo.
They’re already well on their way.
The idea was simple – to create a stage for the best rodeo talent on Earth to compete event after event in a “League of Champions.”
It hasn’t taken long for that idea to take hold.
ERA landed a multi-year contract with Fox Sports, cementing them as a major rodeo organization. With over 42 hours of programming, the ERA will have the largest household network audience in all of professional rodeo.
The 2016 ERA tour will consist of 15 regular season events, which will culminate in its 5-day World Championship event in Dallas, Texas at the American Airlines Center, November 9-13, 2016.
“Dallas is a perfect fit to hold the ERA World Championships because it’s no stranger to hosting major sporting events. Whether it’s the Super Bowl, the first NCAA college football playoff championship game or NBA Finals, Dallas is an international city that is accustom to big events. Dallas is centrally located within the United States, has two international airports, first class hotels, fine dining and a long list of citywide attractions to create a true family-filled experience for travelers and fans of the ERA. Dallas as the host city will showcase professional rodeo at its very best,” said CEO and President of ERA Tony Garritano.
Rodeo fanatics will love the ERA experience – watching the most talented and promising stars of rodeo go head-to-head every single competition in major rodeo venues and sports arenas all across North America. In addition, fans can follow the entire season on Fox Sports 1 and 2.
The ERA will showcase world-class performers in: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. In fact, the ERA represents 118 World Championship Titles, 30 World Champions and hundreds of years of combined professional rodeo experience.
ERA puts special emphasis on the fans, allowing them to pull back the curtain on their favorite rodeo superstars with special behind-the-scenes content and special events before each competition.
Garritano explained why he believes this organization is so needed in professional rodeo.
“Professional rodeo needed an elite tour showcasing the best talent in the world. We believe that a regular season format, ending in its own world championship event, will be exciting for rodeo fans to follow. Fans will benefit by watching the most competitive rodeo action that the sport has to offer.”
Trevor Brazile, a 21-time World Champion Cowboy and ERA board member also detailed how this revolutionary new company could change rodeo forever. “By introducing a unique concept like the ERA, it’s our hope to increase the awareness of the sport on a national stage,” Brazile said. “Enhancing the sport of professional rodeo and building something greater for future generations of rodeo cowboys and cowgirls is our goal. We look forward to working with the entire industry.”
For the first time, professional rodeo has a vehicle, which will allow it to showcase the sport and its superstars most effectively, resulting in a wider reach for the sport as a whole.
It’s what the rodeo world has been waiting for.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ELITE RODEO ATHLETES ANNOUNCE FOX SPORTS DEAL
Multi-year agreement that will launch with beginning of ERA Tour, March 2016.
BOERNE, TX (August 26, 2015) – Today, Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA), makes rodeo history, officially unveiling a deal with FOX Sports that will telecast the entire ERA season and World Championship event in 2016. With more than 42 hours of programming, the ERA will have the largest household network audience in professional rodeo.
ERA, a rodeo corporation created by the top rodeo athletes in the world, signed a multi-year deal that will launch with the beginning of the ERA Tour in March 2016. The tour will consist of 15 regular-season events culminating with a 5-day World Championship event in Dallas, Texas, all broadcasted by FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports 2.
“For the first time in the history of rodeo, fans from all over the country will be able to watch the race to an ERA World Championship on FOX Sports, a national television network, that is a sports icon. FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports 2 gives us the opportunity to showcase the sport of rodeo on a national stage,” said Trevor Brazile, 21- time World Champion and ERA Athlete.
Tony Garritano, CEO and President of ERA said, “Having an industry leader in sports television such as FOX Sports will provide the ERA a national platform in which to showcase professional rodeo at its highest level. FOX Sports has shown its commitment to the sport of rodeo. Due to their various national networks that have considerable reach, ERA will now be showcased in more homes across the country than any other organization in the history of rodeo. We are excited and honored to be part of the FOX Sports family. We can’t wait to bring the athleticism and excitement of ERA rodeo to living rooms across the country.”
"We are thrilled to work with Elite Rodeo Athletes to televise these exciting and action packed rodeos," says Patrick Crakes, FOX Sports SVP of Programming, Research & Content Strategy. "The ERA fits nicely with our ever expanding portfolio of live event programming and we're confident our audience will be just as excited as we are when we launch the series in 2016.”
ABOUT FOX SPORTS
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional web sites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes
FOXSports.com, FOX Sports GO, Whatifsports.com and Yardbarker.com. Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network.
CHAMPIONSHIP RACE TO DALLAS
ON FOX SPORTS 1 & 2
The ERA will be fast paced, and the top stock will be at every rodeo. Fans will not have to wonder who ended up winning the rodeo because there will be a champion named each day.
- LUKE BRANQUINHO
Hometown - Los Alamos, CA
Weight: 235 lbs.
Years Pro: 15 years
World Titles: 5
Social Media: Facebook: Luke Branquinho
Twitter: @lukebranquinho | Instagram: @lukebranquinho
Luke Branquinho, Five-time World Champion and ERA Steer Wrestler, has competed professionally for 15 years. When asked what he is most looking forward to in regards of an ERA event he said, “The ERA will be fast paced, and the top stock will be at every rodeo. Fans will not have to wonder who ended up winning the rodeo because there will be a champion named each day.”
He calls Los Alamos, California home with his wife, Lindsay, and their two children. They are expecting a third child in September. When Luke is not out on the road, he enjoys training horses, fishing, hunting and playing golf with his boys.
One thing you might not know about Luke is that he is a Type 1 diabetic. Luke says, “The most challenging part about rodeo is being diabetic and trying to eat healthy out on the road.” While working to maintain his health, Luke continues to be strong and stay at the top of the leaderboard.
LUKE BRANQUINHO Q&A
Q: What do you want the fans to know most about ERA?
A: The ERA will be exciting for everyone, but especially for the fans. The ERA will showcase the same elite athletes at every rodeo. The events will be consistently high in quality and very entertaining. The ERA will mostly benefit the future rodeo athletes; who are just getting started.
Q: What excites you most about the sport?
A: I enjoy seeing the physical effort contestants put out to win. Also, being one with an animal, when competing, is a great feeling.
Q: What does practice look like for you?
A: I practice as if I am at a rodeo. I don’t want my horse to work good on the third one, I want him to work good on the first one and on each and every steer I run. Just like at a rodeo you only have one run to make. You don’t get a second chance, so I try to be perfect on each run.
CHAMPIONSHIP RACE TO DALLAS
ON FOX SPORTS 1 & 2
I’m proud as a native Texan to have this world class event
in Dallas, close to where I grew up.
I am excited for the many opportunities having our World Championships in Dallas will provide for fans, athletes and sponsors.
- TREVOR BRAZILE
Tie-Down Roping, Team Roping, Steer Roping
Hometown - Decatur, TX
Weight: 170 lbs.
Years Pro: 19 years
World Titles: 21
Social Media: Facebook: Trevor Brazile
Twitter: @TrevorBrazile | Twitter: @Be_relentless
Instagram: @trevor_brazile_ | Linkedin: Trevor Brazile - berelentless.com
Trevor Brazile, 21-time World Champion Cowboy and ERA Board Member, has competed professionally for 19 years. He competes in the Tie-Down Roping, Team Roping, and Steer Roping. Originally from Amarillo, Texas, Trevor now lives in Decatur, Texas with his wife, Shada, and their two children. They are expecting a little girl in September 2015.
Brazile serves as an ERA Board Member and is heavily involved in ERA’s direction. “By introducing a unique concept like the ERA, it is our hope to increase the awareness of the sport of rodeo on a national stage. Enhancing the sport of professional rodeo, and building something greater for the future generations of rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, is the goal of the ERA. We look forward to working with the entire rodeo industry.”
Brazile, and the other board members knew if they were going to take rodeo to the next level, the ERA World Championship event needed to be in a city known for its pioneering spirit, sports properties and tourism. “I’m proud as a native Texan to have this world class event in Dallas, close to where I grew up. I am excited for the many opportunities having our World Championships in Dallas will provide for fans, athletes and sponsors.”
Brazile went on to say, “With the ERA, rodeo will finally have a modern day professional sports property. We hope that this ‘league of champions’ will be a new legacy for the sport of rodeo and all its future contestants.”
When asked about the partnership with Fox Sports and what it will mean for fans, he said, “Fans will be able to consistently see their favorite cowboys and cowgirls on Fox Sports, during the regular season. They don’t just get to watch a culmination, but the entire journey.”
Trevor Brazile is considered the face of rodeo. He is the most decorated cowboy in rodeo history and has won more money than any other cowboy in the sport of rodeo. He is the first cowboy to cross the $3 million threshold in career earnings and has been inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. When asked what he loves most about his career he said, “There’s better ways to make a living, but there’s probably no better way to live.”
TREVOR BRAZILE Q&A
Q: What do you want the fans to know most about ERA?
A: We will not know what rodeo’s full potential is until we bring something to the public that gives rodeo a chance to be a real sports property. I don’t think rodeo has ever known it’s full potential, and that is what we are out there trying to do. Our goal is to make the sport thrive and not decline.
Q: Tell us about the Fox Sports television partnership and why it is important?
A: It is important for fans, sponsors and future generations of cowboys to bring rodeo to a platform that showcases the elite athlete’s talents on a national stage.
Q: What motivates you?
A: The opportunity to make a living doing what I love to do motivates me. That is what gets me up and working, because I know that I’m truly blessed to be able to make a living doing something I’m passionate about.