In May 2018, the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) was announced with the promise of providing a much-needed upgrade to the rodeo industry.
President Bobby Mote said that rodeo competitors deserved new, high-payout marquee events in new markets that would provide rodeo athletes greater earnings opportunities.
Since then, WCRA has paid out more than $5.7 million in new money to rodeo athletes. Rodeo has been given that promised upgrade.
And new money is not the only change in the rodeo world that came from the promised upgrade.
Just as Netflix helped lead the way for how streaming services and disrupted how we consume television, movies, and sports, the WCRA is disrupting the western sports world and rodeo world. The organization, which is a partner of the PBR, has brought two rodeos to CBS sports the past summer from Green Bay and Salt Lake City, reaching more than 1.8 million viewers. That’s amazing exposure for rodeo.
And the WCRA will bring competitors and fans four $1 million rodeos in 2020.
The WCRA is not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.
“At the conclusion of the 2020 WCRA Major Event Series since launch, WCRA will have paid out $12 million in new money to rodeo athletes,” WCRA President Bobby Mote wrote to Pro Sports Extra. “Through our broadcast television partnership with PBR, we will have exposed rodeo to more than an estimated four million households.”
Breakaway roping, for example, used to relegated to youth, high-school and college rodeos only. That was until WCRA opted to include the event in their rodeos, allowing the event to be highlighted and forcing other rodeo associations to add the event such as The American along with having the event added to the Cheyenne Frontier Days as well.
Then, on November, 21 it was announced that the Youth Division would be created with contestants competing in the division able to gain a chance to compete in a $1,000,000 rodeo. A partnership with the National High School Rodeo Association helped to create this division opening six disciplines – girl’s breakaway roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping – that will give competitors a chance to compete for their chance at life-changing money.
This announcement did not go unnoticed by the rodeo world. There was a response by the PRCA, who had created the Junior American last year, and now announced the creation of a JR. NFR.
It appears that the creation of the youth division in the WCRA forced the hands of other rodeo associations to move on youth divisions and that was announced a few days ago by the PRCA. But, it was after the WCRA announcement was released and allowed them to set another trend in the rodeo world.
Another disruption for 2020 is the creation of the Triple Crown of Rodeo – a $1 million bonus to any athlete or collection of athletes who win at any three consecutive WCRA $1 million major rodeos. It’s the richest incentive bonus in the history of rodeo.
What the WCRA has done for competitors and fans in a short period of time is nothing short of incredible. Hopefully, they will be able to continually force the world of rodeo to take notice of the changes.
The WCRA says it is “All for Rodeo.” Their goal is to only improve things for all rodeo athletes. And that is a good thing for the entire rodeo industry.