PBR, Kid Rock team up to honor classic rock

Revolutionary rodeo set to transform Western sports.


PUEBLO, Colo. – Along with the bull riding itself, some of the best moments at any given PBR event involve some tunes.

The Western world has always loved a driving force, and what better encapsulates the story of a cowboy than a couple of well-scripted lyrics sung with passion and heart?

From the now retired (from the dirt, at least) Flint Rasmussen serenading the crowd with a good ballad to his lengthy air guitar riffs throughout a collection of rock favorites, music makes the PBR experience unlike any other sport.

We’re talking about Brinson James getting the crowd clapping in sync to the catchiest of songs. Getting people out of their chairs and dancing. Celebrating big rides. Enjoying themselves!

Even Unleash the Beast’s Cowboy Karaoke continues to be a hit, with randomly selected fans being asked to belt out some one-liners in musical fashion over the tracks we’ve all grown to love.

Not to mention, no event in North America even begins without a rendition of our nation’s greatest song in the National Anthem.

Music plays an important role in life overall, but specifically within the entertainment industry, it brings an event to life.

So when PBR CEO and Commissioner Sean Gleason began chatting up a friend about a new business venture, quite the musical performer in his own right, it was only a matter of time before the lights, camera and action!

“The concept for team-based rodeo was something that, after the success and launch of PBR Teams, I started thinking about how we could introduce the team concept into rodeo,” Gleason shared.

“At one point, Kid Rock was potentially interested in buying one of the PBR Teams organizations.”

But as the two great minds got to talking, Gleason learned that while the musician was a confirmed bull riding fan, his passion for Western sports didn’t start or stop there.

“He shared that he’s all about bull riding, but he’s also a huge fan of rodeo. He likes all of the disciplines involved in rodeo,” he added.

“He ultimately came out to the PBR World Finals in May (2023) and that started some good conversations about rodeo and where we ended up at now.”

“He and I were sitting around BSing one night and before we knew it we had agreed to launch Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo as a mashup of curated entertainment from him integrated into the team rodeo concept,” Gleason offered.

An established entertainment figure like Kid Rock has the ability to get a meeting with just about anybody at this point in his career.

So, outside of the rankness of the sport itself, what actually caught the star’s attention after all of these years?

“Values,” Gleason said.

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“He’s said it a few times now: ‘PBR is the last great American sport’,” Gleason added.

With PBR announcing its new creative marketing campaign alongside “Yellowstone” star Cole Hauser Thursday morning after hosting Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo Party Wednesday night in Las Vegas to celebrate the game-changing initiative, it sure seems like a good time to get in on the fun.

All of this, of course, leading into the announcement of the revolutionary rodeo’s official coaches and team names for the inaugural showcase.

RELATED: Legendary rodeo coaches announced for million-dollar Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo

Rodeo legends like Trevor Brazile, Charmayne James, Bobby Mote and beyond will be tasked with building their respective teams via a looming draft early into the 2024 calendar year.

The six squad names, including Convoy, Free Riders, Jokers, Low Riders, Misty Mountain Hop and Sledge Hammers, have been rolled out in epic fashion.

(PBR Instagram debuting logo video/post)

But it’s the interesting team names, logos and design elements that have the industry wondering:

Where in the world did they come up with these names? And what was the inspiration?

“We were just brainstorming, sitting on his porch talking about team names one day and then he suggested we should name them after cool rock songs,” Gleason said.

So they cranked up some jams and got to thinking.

“I put a list together, he put a list together, we combined them and then ultimately he chose five of the six team names. I let him choose – he’s the creative side of the story.”

As for the sixth song that PBR’s top boss selected? It’s set to not only get the crowd rocking but provide a comical moment in five short months when the event debuts May 17, 2024 inside AT&T Stadium.

For a long time, rodeos around the world have followed up their traditional disciplines with a “night show” of sorts, typically featuring a star musician or two as the encore performance.

That’s far from what fans can expect during the new head-to-head format.

“In the past, they basically have made it so that the rodeo opens for the headliner. The rodeo kicks things off and then out comes George Strait or whoever is booked at that rodeo,” Gleason offered.

“From our standpoint, music is a huge part of our brand overall at every event, but we’ve never let our sport open for a headliner. We are the headliner. So, when we use music, we’ve always used music to open for us.”

With fans set to enjoy three different musical sets from the man himself, they’ll be treated to a hybrid rodeo-concert event that the entertainment industry has yet to experience.

“What Bob (Kid Rock) and I talked about is that this is going to be a true mashup of music and rodeo. Kid Rock will open, play in the middle and then close the show, so it’s a mashup of entertainment. It’s not a rodeo and then a concert, and I think that formula is going to serve us well,” Gleason said.

“It’s not that Kid Rock is less important to the entertainment experience than the rodeo is and it’s the same vice versa. We want them to be equal parts enjoyed by all fans, whether they’re there for Kid Rock or there for a rodeo.”

With great risk often comes great reward. That’s part of being a pioneer. Part of being a cowboy.

But rodeo fans are going witness the most exhilarating form of competition in history.

And by the end of a long Unleash The Beast season, set to conclude in the lively neighborhoods of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which will be full-swing into live music season by then, it’s not hard to believe that this could go down as one of the most influential events in the sport’s history.

“We’ve always been the tip of the spear in bringing Western sports back to mainstream America, places that it disappeared from decades ago,” he concluded.

“We think that there are a lot of places we can take this team format rodeo, and this is our way of helping to evolve the sport and bring it back to mainstream markets.”

For rodeo participants, it’s additive – a new way to make money that doesn’t compete with any other event. For fans, Kid Rock’s rodeo should offer a rodeo experience unlike any other.

Fans can stay tuned to and PBR social media channels throughout the 2024 premier series campaign as additional details surrounding the Kid Rock N Rodeo are announced.

Feeling groovy? Check out the officially Kid Rock N Rodeo Spotify playlist, streaming now! (waiting on link)

Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media