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Top 40 Bull Riders in the world to be joined by NFL’s Ochocinco for the Lucas Oil Invitational
Professional Bull Riders invade Gwinnett Center
DULUTH, Ga. (May 12, 2011) - The Professional Bull Riders are returning to the Atlanta area for the first time since 2009, for two heart-pounding days of bull riding. This time around, the Top 40 bull riders in the world will stop in Duluth, Ga., for the elite Built Ford Tough Series Lucas Oil Invitational presented by Cooper Tires on May 13-14. Tickets for the Lucas Oil Invitational presented by Cooper Tires are on sale now, starting at $15, and can be purchased by going to www.Ticketmaster.com, in person at the Gwinnett Center box office or by calling (800) 745-3000.
The Lucas Oil Invitational presented by Cooper Tires will feature Summerville, Ga., native and PBR veteran Sean Willingham, who finished second at the unique Last Cowboy Standing event in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, barely missing out on a $200,000 paycheck – the second largest one-day payout in PBR history. Also anticipated to compete in Georgia are North Carolina fan favorite J.B. Mauney and two-time World Champion and Des Moines (Iowa) Invitational winner Chris Shivers, who is looking to add to his list of PBR benchmarks as the first person to make ninety 90-point rides during his career. Fans can also expect to see the current No. 8 in the world, the dancing Australian Ben Jones, along with 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, and current world standings leader Valdiron de Oliveira.
Earlier this week, PBR Chief Operating Officer Sean Gleason issued a formal challenge to pro football star Chad Ochocinco via Twitter, and Cincinnati’s No. 85 accepted the challenge: show up at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, get on a bull and the PBR will give you $10,000. If Ochocinco successfully rides that bull for the required 8 seconds, the PBR and Ford Trucks will give Ochocinco a brand new Ford F-150 with EcoBoost® Engine, and allow him to permanently rename the bull as he chooses. “Ochocinco has been tweeting about riding a bull at the PBR event in Georgia for the last week,” Gleason said. “The Ford F-150 we’re offering will be there, we hope he is too. He’s a gifted athlete, but bull riding is a much different sport and climbing on the back of a bull in the chutes takes a little more than Twitter confidence, let alone calling for the gate. We admire Ochocinco’s interest in the sport. If he actually gets on and nods his head, he’ll find out that two-a-days in the summer heat are nothing compared to the eight seconds faced by PBR bull riders week in and week out.”The PBR will of course make its Dickies Durabullfighters on-hand to ensure Ochocinco’s safety during his special exhibition.
Ochocinco will attend the event on Friday to work with a personal coach arranged by the PBR, none other than nine-time World Champion and PBR co-founder Ty Murray, who will provide a crash course on bull riding to prepare him for his attempt on Saturday.
Each of the 40 PBR riders will ride on Friday and Saturday. Following Round 1 on Friday, the riders with the 10 highest scores will each compete with one more bull. Following Round 2 on Saturday, the riders with the 10 highest cumulative scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round where they will compete with one more bull. The overall event winner will be the rider with the highest combined score.
“Lucas Oil has a rich heritage in sports marketing, primarily in motorsports. We look forward to our participation in the Professional Bull Riders series as a new arena to promote Lucas Oil products. It is evident that the PBR is a dynamic and exciting series to watch," says Lucas Oil Chief Administrative Officer Tom Fredrickson. "We look forward to a successful 2011 season as we become the official oil and additives sponsor of the series as well as a new advertising partner of the PBR Built Ford Tough Series."
“The PBR is excited to announce a new national partnership with such an established brand as Lucas Oil Products,” said Jim Haworth, CEO of the PBR. “We look forward to working with Lucas Oil to promote their superb line of automotive oil and problem-solving additive products to our growing PBR fan base while allowing the PBR brand to be introduced to a new consumer audience.”
The action from Georgia will be televised in HD on VERSUS at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Play-by-play broadcaster Craig Hummer will be joined by PBR Ring of Honor member J.W. Hart, who will provide color commentary, and Leah Garcia, who will be doing dirt-level interviews. Built Ford Tough Series telecasts are produced for the PBR by David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 30-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer and creative lead.
Duluth is the 17th of 29 stops on the 2011 BFTS schedule, which began at world-famous Madison Square Garden on Jan. 7-9. The season concludes Oct. 26-30 in Las Vegas with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, and the crowning of the 2011 PBR World Champion. The World Finals is the richest bull riding event on the planet, with the winner receiving the World Championship PBR Buckle and a $1 million bonus.
For more information about the Lucas Oil Invitational presented by Cooper Tires and the PBR, please visit www.pbr.com.
About Lucas Oil Products
Founded in 1989 by Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, Lucas Oil Products, Inc. has established itself as one of the fastest growing lubrication product lines in the consumer automotive aftermarket, featuring a line of engine oils, greases, gear lubes, problem-solving additives and car-care products. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as a worldwide leader in the lubrication industry. Motorsports has always been part of the Lucas Oil culture and the cornerstone of the company’s marketing strategy.
Such passion for motorsports has inspired Lucas Oil to sponsor many race teams, events and series at all levels, including, NHRA, IRL, ASCS, NASCAR, IHRA and many more. Lucas Oil has also taken ownership and operational control of a number of high profile racing properties, such as: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Lucas Oil Modified Series, Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri and the Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway in Blythe, California. In 2007 Lucas Oil founded its own production house, Lucas Oil Studios, dedicated to high action motorsports. Currently Lucas Oil Studios produces over 300 hours of original programming for networks such as CBS, NBC, SPEED, Versus, Outdoor Channel and MAVTV. More information on Lucas Oil Products can be found by visiting www.LucasOil.com.
About the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR)
The PBR is the world’s premier bull riding organization. More than 100 million viewers annually watch over 400 hours of primetime PBR programming on VERSUS, NBC, CBS and networks around the world. The PBR has awarded over $100 million in prize money and 20 riders have earned over $1 million, including Justin McBride with $5.5 million ¬– the most of any western-sports athlete in history. The PBR was nominated as 2010 Sports League of the Year at the Sports Business Journal Sports Business Awards, alongside the National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Nearly 2 million fans attend Built Ford Tough Series and Touring Pro Division events each year. For more information on the PBR, go to www.pbr.com, or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamPBR and @TEAMPBR.