FORT WORTH, Texas ― As the PBR continues to celebrate its 20th anniversary and continues to experience phenomenal growth throughout the world, Forbes.com proclaimed the organization as "America's Fastest Growing Sport."
In an article posted online last week, financial expert Mike Ozanian reported that the initial $1,000 investment made by the original 20 bull riders would be worth more than $4 million dollars today, which, according to his story, "works out to a 48 percent compound annual return. The return (excluding dividends) of the S&P 500 over that period is 8 percent."
"As best as I can tell, no U.S. sport has produced a return close to PBR over a similar period," Ozanian wrote.
Ozanian compared the PBR to the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners, which have shown 11 percent and 10 percent annual growth numbers respectively, as well as the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls.
The Heat have won the past two NBA titles and have shown a 13 percent annual growth compared to the Bulls, who won six world titles in the 1990s and had a 17 percent increase.
Ozanian wrote that the Bulls are "immensely profitable" and the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been "incredibly successful."
However, while the UFC did show greater numbers, Ozanian said the PBR benefits from having sustained its trajectory for two decades as opposed to nine years. Not to mention, according to Orzanian's article, the "UFC's growth has reportedly ceased."
As for future projections, Ozanian concluded, the "PBR's revenue is still growing rapidly ― to a record $70 million this year."
A 10-minute interview with PBR Chairman and CEO Jim Haworth accompanied the post and was also broadcast on the YES Network as "Sports Money Profile."
Haworth agreed with Ozanian's assessment that the sport was built on a series of "gutsy moves."
Haworth said the risk from a business perspective is intuitive to the risk the riders face in what is undoubtedly the most dangerous sport in the world.
"The PBR has always been built on risk," said Haworth, when illustrating its growth from hosting events in Del Rio, Texas, to selling out Madison Square Garden in New York for three consecutive nights.
Haworth and Ozanian talked about everything from social media and YouTube ― viewers spend 29 minutes viewing PBR videos versus three-minute average elsewhere ― to international growth and live events. Haworth mentioned Europe and Asia ― specifically China ― as well as a significant popularity among Hispanics.
In addition to the popularity of Bushwacker, who was recently said to have the "baddest body in sports" by ESPN The Magazine, Haworth talked about the September release of Nicholas Sparks' much anticipated novel "The Longest Ride," which is a romantic story about an aging PBR bull rider that has already been green lit for a movie slated to be released in 2015.
Haworth also talked about other possibilities involving shoulder programming.
At the conclusion of the interview, Ozanian said, "What I love about PBR is that it's the most capitalistic of any sport we've covered and by that, I mean, the people that raise the bulls, they partake in part of the winnings.
"There's a lot of incentive there and, I think, that explains a lot of the success."
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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