Spin to Win Rodeo - - At The Barrier -

The Pro­fes­sional Rodeo Cow­boys As­so­ci­a­tion has named Ge­orge Tay­lor its Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer.

Tay­lor is a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive with Cater­pil­lar, where he was most re­cently a com­pany of­fi­cer and vice pres­i­dent with re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Mar­ket­ing & Dig­i­tal Divi­sion. Tay­lor takes over for Karl Stress­man, who re­tired as PRCA Com­mis­sioner af­ter nine years at the helm. Tay­lor be­gan his job as PRCA’s CEO on Jan. 22.

“I’m hon­ored and hum­bled to have the op­por­tu­nity to lead an or­ga­ni­za­tion with the his­tory and the brand recog­ni­tion of the PRCA,” Tay­lor said. “It’s a dream for me to be in­volved and I couldn’t be more ex­cited about the fu­ture po­ten­tial for our membership and the PRCA team.”

Over his 19 years with Cater­pil­lar, Tay­lor, 56, also served as Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer and Pres­i­dent of Cater­pil­lar Ven­ture Cap­i­tal, where he and his team drove en­ter­prise brand, in­no­va­tion and dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tions for the in­dus­trylead­ing For­tune 50 Com­pany.

“If he’s that suc­cess­ful, like with Cater­pil­lar, if he can bring mar­ket­ing to our sport, and mar­ket our sport bet­ter, so to say, and bring more money to the table— we’re ex­cited,” team rop­ing event rep­re­sen­ta­tive Manny Egusquiza said. “Time moves, and we have to make dif­fer­ent de­ci­sions, I’m in­ter­ested to see what’s in store for the next few years.”

Be­fore work­ing for Cater­pil­lar, Tay­lor had ex­ten­sive ex­ec­u­tive ex­pe­ri­ence with IBM. He holds an M.B.A. from the Univer­sity of Illi­nois and a B.S. in Com­puter Sci­ence from Illi­nois State Univer­sity.

“I have had the op­por­tu­nity to work for two iconic global com­pa­nies dur­ing my ca­reer and I be­lieve the PRCA is yet

an­other ex­am­ple of an iconic or­ga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing the best in the sports and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try,” Tay­lor said.

The board se­lected Tay­lor out of a pool of three fi­nal ap­pli­cants af­ter in­ter­view­ing them in Den­ver this De­cem­ber, out­go­ing board mem­ber Bret Tonozzi said.

“I got to sit down with three of them,” Tonozzi said. “They had a small com­mit­tee that went through a big long process, and then they brought us in to Den­ver to lis­ten to the last three. I liked him the best. He’s not ar­ro­gant, but he’s con­fi­dent. He’s just a good per­son. You can tell he’s a good fam­ily per­son. If some­thing comes up about com­mit­tees, there’s a coun­cil for it. If it comes up about bull rid­ing, they have di­rec­tors and event reps. Same way in every event. There are peo­ple set in place to help him with rodeo.”

Among his early goals, Tay­lor wants to hear from PRCA mem­bers.

“First of all, I am go­ing to spend time lis­ten­ing to the membership of the PRCA and the staff to pri­or­i­tize ini­tia­tives that will move us for­ward,” Tay­lor said. “Sec­ondly, I think that we need to phys­i­cally and dig­i­tally in­no­vate both the cus­tomer and mem­ber ex­pe­ri­ences. We have to keep ad­vanc­ing our sport to drive fan and membership en­gage­ment. Lever­ag­ing dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies and rodeo con­tent will be an im­por­tant as­pect of that. Lastly, PRCA needs to con­tinue to ex­pand rodeo’s reach to in­crease our fan base and de­liver the Western life­style ex­pe­ri­ence around the globe. In the end, it’s about con­tin­u­ing to grow rev­enue and the PRCA ProRodeo brand for the ben­e­fit of its mem­bers.”

Tonozzi hopes Tay­lor spends his time lis­ten­ing to cow­boys at all lev­els and em- pha­sized that Tay­lor needs to make help­ing to tier rodeo an early pri­or­ity.

“I want him to try to help the cir­cuit guys,” Tonozzi said. “Right now they’ve gone away from the cir­cuit cow­boys, and right now there are some things they could change to make it bet­ter for the cir­cuit guys if they will. They bet­ter, or they’ll lose membership. A lot of things they’ve put in place are run­ning the cir­cuit guys off. The All-Amer­i­can Fi­nals in Waco has the top 30 guys in the as­so­ci­a­tion go­ing to 30 rodeos adding less than $5,000. That doesn’t make sense, but they’re do­ing it to get to the All-Amer­i­can to make it count. They have a way to fix it. Now you have these guys go­ing to 30 rodeos they don’t usu­ally go to and they’re run­ning guys off. Now it’s no fun for the cir­cuit guys any­more. The PRCA is help­ing the am­a­teur rodeo as­so­ci­a­tions, push­ing guys to them.”


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