NEW YORK (January 6, 2023) – PBR (Professional Bull Riders) today announced the sale of the final two teams in the PBR Team Series, an elite new 8-league team featuring the world’s top bull riders competing in five-on-five bull riding games. The league’s 11-event inaugural season concluded last November with its first championship in Las Vegas.
The Oklahoma Freedom were purchased by Heath Freeman, and the Carolina Cowboys have been purchased by Richard Childress and Jeff Broin.
When the league debuted in July 2022, PBR had retained ownership of two of the eight team sanctions. As the 2023 season begins in July, all eight teams will be owned outside of the league.
“The opportunity to help continue building this amazing league that has such significant cultural meaning is very exciting, and I look forward to supporting the efforts of PBR, Endeavor and the riders whose talents make this such a popular new league with so much potential,” said Heath Freeman, managing partner of EHP Hospitality Group.
In the 2022 season, the Carolina Cowboys had been held by PBR and operated by Richard Childress Racing (RCR) with Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon as Team General Manager. RCR’s operational agreement included an option to purchase the team, which Childress personally exercised following the successful inaugural season, partnering in the deal with entrepreneur and agriculturalist Jeff Broin, the founder and CEO of bioprocessing giant POET, the world’s largest biofuel producer, and his wife Tammie. Broin and RCR have a longstanding partnership through NASCAR and worked together to upgrade the league to 15% bioethanol.
“I’ve always been a fan of the Western lifestyle, but the new teams concept kicks up the excitement and has proven in its inaugural year to be a strong step forward for the future of bull riding,” said Richard Childress. “I couldn’t be prouder to continue to build the Carolina Cowboys alongside Austin Dillon, Jeff Broin, our partners and fans.”
“Agriculture is at the core of all we do at POET and has always been my life’s passion, and I’m excited about this opportunity to be involved as an owner in a sport with deep agricultural roots,” said Broin. “PBR is a dynamic sport with tremendous potential, and I’m looking forward to growing POET’s partnership with both the Carolina Cowboys and the PBR Team Series as it evolves.”
In addition to producing farm-based, renewable biofuel at its 33 bioprocessing facilities across the Midwest, POET also produces a suite of plant-based bioproducts, including Dakota Gold high-protein animal feed.
“The inaugural PBR Team Series season exceeded our expectations: broadcasts on CBS reached more than 11.5 million viewers and the events drew more than 190,000 attendees,” said PBR CEO and Commissioner Sean Gleason. “Our incredible group of owners driving this success has now grown even stronger. We’ve already benefitted from the leadership and operational excellence Richard Childress and Austin Dillon have brought to the Carolina Cowboys, which now becomes a full ownership position in partnership with Jeff Broin, using the sport to promote American-made bioproducts. We are equally excited about Heath Freeman’s entry into team ownership, including his expertise in hospitality, media and entertainment. Both of these new owners create significant strategic opportunity for PBR Teams heading into our second season which will start in July.”
The CBS Television Network, Paramount+, CBS Sports Network or Pluto TV will carry all 112 games in the 2023 Teams regular season, as well as the three-day playoff and championship event in November from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
About the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series:
The PBR Team Series is an elite new league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing on teams in five-on-five bull riding games during an 11-event season beginning in July and culminating in a team championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas November 4-6. During the 2022 season, each of the eight teams representing teams in Austin, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Glendale, AZ; Kansas City, MO; Nashville, TN; Oklahoma City, OK; Ridgedale, MO; and Winston-Salem, NC hosted a three-day homestand with additional neutral site games in Cheyenne, WY and Anaheim, CA. To determine team rosters, the league held a rider draft on May 23 prior to start of the 2022 season among any bull riders who declared for the draft during a league eligibility window.
The PBR Team Series builds on the existing structure of professional bull riding with the same basic rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides. Events are staged in a tournament-style format with all teams competing in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day. Each game features five riders per team squaring off against another team. Full team rosters are comprised of seven riders on the core roster and three practice squad members. The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides among its riders is declared the winner of each game. The event winner is the team with the most game wins across an event.
All PBR Team Series events are carried on either the CBS Television Network, streamed live on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, or RidePass on Pluto TV.