Big Sky PBR awarded fourth consecutive Event of the Year title

By Ersin Ozer Outlaw Partners Media and Events Director

Seven years ago, Big Sky PBR producers met in a rocky, sagebrush field and imagined how they could transform the vacant grounds into the perfect bull-riding venue.

Their vision was to bring the toughest sport on dirt to Big Sky without a bad seat in the house.

“You will buy a ticket for the whole seat, but really, you’ll only need the edge,” Andy Watson told our flagship publication, Mountain Outlaw magazine, in a 2011 interview. He and his wife Jacey Watson own Freestone Productions, co-producers of the Big Sky PBR with Outlaw Partners and Continental Construction.

On Nov. 4, Big Sky PBR producers met once again, this time on stage in Las Vegas, Nevada, in front of 20,000 fans during the 2016 PBR World Finals to accept their fourth consecutive award for Event of the Year.

The PBR bull riders themselves select the recipient of this esteemed honor. Big Sky has held its title four years running among hundreds of other reputable and established PBR events around the country.

This honor is largely thanks to you, the cheering fans who fill the seats with excitement and encourage the riders second by second, stomping your feet and laughing with entertainer Flint Rasmussen’s jokes—it’s you, the Big Sky community.

“You give [the riders] a great experience from the hospitality standpoint … you’re putting on an experience, not just for the fans but for the athletes too,” said Casey Lane, senior vice president of partnership marketing at PBR. “And look, you guys are cheating a little bit because you’re in the prettiest place on the earth.”

Thanks to the support of loyal sponsors, Big Sky PBR has grown from the sagebrush up, into a multi-day community event. It now brings thousands of people into town and attracts global attention from fans and athletes, who share Big Sky with the world when they return home and through social media.

“[The 2016] Big Sky PBR was a top-notch event and one of, if not our best of the year,” said Cory Wiese, ranch and rodeo marketing manager for Yeti Coolers, a Big Sky PBR sponsor. “It was fantastic for us to be able to partner up with a group of folks who are also on top of their game and be a part of the excitement. We’ve been looking forward to 2017 ever since this one ended.”

Our mountain community is turning heads on the PBR tour and the Outlaw Partners office has already been buzzing with phone calls from PBR fans—many of whom have never been to Big Sky before—asking about next year’s tickets.

“Awesome bull riding, great set of bulls, best riders, high level of event production … [Big Sky PBR has] all the things that it needs to be successful,” Lane said.

This is a win for all of Big Sky, Montana.

Dates have been announced for the 2017 Big Sky PBR on July 28 and 29. Big Sky’s Biggest Week will commence with a music festival in PBR Arena featuring a top-billing headliner the weekend of July 22. Tickets go on sale June 1 at bigskypbr.com.