April 6, 2018
Talent and media agency WME/IMG acquired the bull riding circuit Professional Bull Riders, which features more than 300 events worldwide each year.
Headquartered in Colorado, PBR reaches more than 550 million households in more than 40 countries, and is led by chairman and chief executive officer Jim Haworth.
“We’ve worked closely with the PBR for the last several years and share their passion for expanding the sport of bull riding globally," says Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, co-chief executive officers, WME/IMG. "The resources across WME/IMG make the partnership a perfect match, combining top-quality event production and broadcast rights.”
Among the organization's global events are the PBR Built Ford Tough Series, the BlueDEF Velocity Tour, the Touring Pro Division and PBR international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.
The deal is meant to strengthen WME/IMG's foothold in the live events space. The company also owns Formula Drift Racing, the Miami Open, the Rio Open and the U.S. Open of Surfing.
Details of the acquisition from the brand's controlling shareholder, the private equity firm Spire Capital Partners, among other shareholders, were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to join the WME/IMG family,” says Haworth. “The acquisition will allow our organization to continue its expansion worldwide, and bring our top-quality events to the masses. I look forward to broadening our reach and continuing as America’s fastest growing sport.”
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