WME | IMG has acquired the Professional Bull Riders, Inc (PBR), the leading bull-riding series, as part of its efforts in 'furthering the company's foothold in live event productions'.
A WME | IMG release on Wednesday said that PBR is the fastest-growing sport in the United States, comprising 300 events annually, attended by over three million people. It added that PBR would be joining a live events portfolio which includes events such as the Miami Open tennis tournament, New York Fashion Week and the US Open of Surfing.
No financial details were revealed, with the acquisition expected to formally close next month. WME | IMG has acquired PBR from previous controlling shareholder Spire Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.
“We are thrilled to join the WME | IMG family,” said Jim Haworth, PBR's chairman and chief executive.
“The acquisition will allow our organisation 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.”
WME | IMG co-chief executives Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell were quoted as saying: "We’ve worked closely with the PBR for the last several years and share their passion for expanding the sport of bull riding globally. The resources across WME | IMG make the partnership a perfect match, combining top-quality event production and broadcast rights.”