Professional Bull Riders (PBR) is signing Hollywood star Cole Hauser to be the face of a new branding campaign, Front Office Sports has learned.
Hauser, who stars as “Rip Wheeler” on the Kevin Costner TV drama “Yellowstone,” has agreed to a multi-year “strategic partnership” with the pro bull riding tour owned by Endeavor.
The 47-year-old Hauser will collaborate with PBR executives to create new ads across traditional and social media, PBR programming on CBS Sports and the CBS Sports Network, and Pluto TV.
The new ads for the “toughest sport on dirt” will premier during the PBR World Finals coverage in Fort Worth, Texas from May 12-May 21.
The veteran Hollywood actor has become a pop culture sensation due to his performance as the two-fisted ranch foreman on America’s No. 1 TV drama.
Hauser rode bucking bulls to prepare for the 1998 western drama “The Hi-Lo Country.” He recently appeared on the cover of “Gold Buckle:” a new Western lifestyle magazine launched by PBR and a360 media.
“At its core, PBR is an inviting sport showcasing courageous cowboy athletes doing the seemingly unthinkable. But beneath the rush of an 8-second bull ride, these athletes share a simple, pure humanity and live a life centered on values that are more important today than ever,” Hauser said in a statement.
“What makes this partnership exciting to me is the opportunity to work with PBR to tell stories revealing the humanity of a group of extraordinary bull-riding cowboys that pulls back the curtain in an uplifting way that celebrates family, loyalty, love, honor, determination, and friendship representing the best of Americana.”
PBR Commissioner Sean Gleason called Hauser the most famous cowboy since silver screen icon John Wayne. It’s the first time in 30 years his tour has recruited an outside storyteller to frame its core message.
“We are going to collaborate not only on numerous branding and marketing initiatives to celebrate core Western values but across all of our lines of business, including giving back to the men and women who have served our country in the military,” said Gleason in a statement. “There’s no one better suited to shine a light on our cowboy values than one of the toughest and most iconic cowboy characters since John Wayne.”
The Pueblo, Colorado-based PBR has been on a roll business-wise.
CBS averaged over 1 million TV viewers for PBR events in Eugene, Oregon, and Tulsa. Its two top tours sold out 16 events in January-February, drawing over 300,000 fans. The former WME / IMG acquired PBR for over $100 million in 2015.
Meanwhile, Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone,” starring Costner, Hauser, and Kelly Reilly, has become the No. 1 drama on TV.
The series’ Season 4 finale attracted 13.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched TV show for all of 2022 outside of pro/college football, the Olympics, and the Oscars.
And Hauser has become a sex symbol and heartthrob. There’s even a women’s T-shirt for sale reading, “Every Girl Needs a Little Rip In Her Jeans.”
“To see the show and the growth of it, and the growth of the character and how it has kind of struck a chord in America is pretty amazing,” Hauser told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s pretty amazing to watch people dress up as Rip and Beth for Halloween. Ultimately, it has been a wild kind of ride. But very cool to see.”
In real life, Hauser’s a big supporter of organizations helping military veterans and first responders, such as the Special Operation Warrior Foundation and the Tunnel Towers Foundation. PBR will create programs to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation as part of its deal.