Cooper Tire has had a partnership with Professional Bull Riders (PBR) since 2006. The company isn’t just the official tire of the PBR – they also sponsor a team of bull riders and a few of the notable figures around the arena, like seven-time Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger and the official entertainer (aka rodeo clown) of the PBR, Flint Rasmussen. Cooper Tire’s sponsorship of the PBR becomes a pretty obvious choice when you look at the commonalities between the two.
First and foremost, bull riding and tires are both all about grip. For those who don’t know much about the sport, a rider must hang on to the bull for eight seconds without touching the bull with his/her free hand. The rider can score up to 50 points by executing great technique as judged by two of the four judges, and another 50 points are available depending on whether the bull has given up a good fight as determined by the other two judges, for a total possible score of 100 points. Therefore, to be competitive, bull riders must take on the toughest challenges they can while still chasing excellence. So far, the highest-ever score has been 96.5 points, and that score has only been obtained three times. The top scorers at the event go on to the finals where they will ride again, with the highest total score winning the event. The top event of the sport is the PBR World Finals, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring the best cowboys from all over the world.
The Professional Bull Riders and Cooper Tire also have similar target audiences. PBR events feature over 1,200 cowboys from all over the world, and three million fans of the sport attend events ever year. Rodeo and PBR events are considered to be at the epicenter of the cowboy lifestyle, which many of these fans adhere to. This means that many bull riding fans live and work on ranches across the country. Many of these fans own vehicles that can tow large trailers off of main roads, and enjoy outdoor hobbies like hunting and fishing – activities that they pursue in a variety of weather and road conditions, including frozen ground, deep mud, and rocky trails.
Naturally, this requires tires that offer dependable traction in a variety of conditions, on and off road, and Cooper puts a special focus on building tires that ensure powerful grip in less-than-ideal conditions. While Cooper makes tires for all kinds of vehicles, they’re particularly well-known for their off-road and truck applications. The Cooper Discoverer A/T3 tire won the Editor’s Choice and Value Awards from Overland Journal for its excellent on-road and off-road traction. And just like bull riders, Cooper Tires are incredibly tough; in fact, Overland Journal didn’t experience a single puncture across 10,000 miles of extensive testing and overland driving in the Australian Outback, Canada, and even military applications. If bull riding is the “Toughest Sport on Dirt,” then it makes sense that the PBR would partner with a tire that’s up to the task.
So the next time a PBR Event comes to your area, be sure to check it out. It’s an entertaining spectacle to say the least, and you’ll quickly understand the sport’s wide appeal.