Herd on the Streets: Ford and Professional Bull Riders Invade New York City
By: Mike Levine, Ford Motor Company Press Release Posted: 01-04-08 01:06 PT
© 2008 PickupTruck.com

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While Ford recently ended its famous sponsorship of the Bigfoot Monster Truck after 23 years, it's going strong backing the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) for the fifth straight year.

Yesterday, Ford and the PBR invaded downtown Manhattan with a herd of some of the biggest and nastiest bulls and heavy duty pickups in the country to kick-off the latest season of pro cattle driving.

Ford's Press Release:

Ford Trucks, the toughest bull riders and the rankest bull athletes of the PBR invaded the streets of New York to the surprise of some of the nation’s toughest morning commuters. 

125 tons of dirt, over 10 tons of Riders and angry Bulls were all brought to the intersection of 33rd St. and 8th Ave. by 14 Built Ford Tough F-Series trucks. The pack of 1,700 pound horned beasts ran down 33rd St. to kick off the "Built Ford Tough Trucks and PBR Invasion of the Bulls" event.   Some of the worlds top bull riders later took on the toughest bucking bulls in a free exhibition in the bull arena built outside of Madison Square Gardens.

The "Built Ford Tough Trucks and PBR Invasion of the Bulls" is a unique marketing campaign that for a third straight year, gives fans a chance to win part ownership for one year of the Built Ford Tough Series bull - Super Duty.

Fans can visit www.invasionofthebulls.com to register.  Five finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the second weekend of the Built Ford Tough PBR World Finals in Las Vegas, Nov. 6-9, 2008 where the grand-prize winner will be determined. In addition to tickets to the Built Ford Tough PBR World Finals, finalists will have lunch with 15 of PBR’s top riders including Justin McBride, Adriano Moraes, Sean Willingham, Matt Bohon, Mike Lee and JB Mauney, and receive VIP access – a once in a lifetime experience.

"The 'Invasion of the Bulls' promotion epitomizes how Ford works to bring fans closer to the sports and trucks they love through a truly unique experience only Ford Trucks and the PBR could provide," says Todd Eckert, Ford Truck and SUV Communications Manager.

The lucky promotion winner will walk away with the grand prize: a bull appropriately named "Super Duty".  "Super Duty" is colossal at 1,450 pounds with a bucking rate of 86.5 percent. The grand prize winner will become part stock contractor for "Super Duty" for a year and his/her name will be announced on national television each time Super Duty competes, they will also win a Ford Super Duty F-450 pickup.

Toughest Trucks for "Toughest Sport on Dirt"

More than fifty percent of PBR event attendees own and drive full-size pickup trucks.  The connection, however, is much deeper as the sport is rooted in the same ranching traditions as Ford Trucks.  Ford's most modern trucks today still recognize this heritage, including specific cues such as the Chapparal leather seats of the new F-Series Super Duty King Ranch model. 

"Ford Trucks are intertwined with the bull riding culture," says Eckert.  "That gives us more freedom to connect with these consumers in unique, more personal ways through promotions like Invasion of the Bulls."

The Professional Bull Riders have become known as the "toughest sport on dirt" as they broke away from traditional rodeo circles in 1992 to exclusively feature bull riding – the main draw at most rodeos.  Ford’s "Built Ford Tough" Truck sponsorship naturally ties to PBR's guiding principles and can be uniquely leveraged since so many fans personally relate to trucks.

Ford has partnered with PBR since 2001, the first two years Ford acted as a presenting sponsor.  In 2003, Ford Truck increased their involvement to become the title sponsor of the Built Ford Tough Series, the '‘major leagues' of bull riding, garnering more than 100 million viewers on NBC, FOX and Versus and more than one million event attendees. 

The Professional Bull Riders "Built Ford Tough" series is a 33-city tour that shows off some of the toughest athletes in the country. More than one million fans will attend and 32 million viewers will tune in to watch some of the best riders from the United States, Canada, Brazil and Australia.

Ford is in its fifth year as title sponsor of the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series as well as the exclusive automotive sponsor of the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Challenger Tour Series. The F-Series is America's best selling truck for over 30 years running.

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