Bullriding fantasy game introduced for spring 2011
After experiencing success over the last three years with their RodeoTeam fantasy rodeo game during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), in early 2011 Jason and Natasha Vohs branched out into the PBR and started hosting games with BuckinFantasy.
In only a month of playing, Jason says they’re impressed with the response they’ve gotten. The fantasy season games began Feb. 4 with the Portland Invitational PBR and will continue through April 9 with the PBR in Tampa, Fla.
“Everyone that’s playing absolutely loves it, and continues to play,” he says. “It’s a good format, the people are great and they love the game.”
Jason says some people at the WNFR had suggested they start a game for the PBR, and that his dad also mentioned it.
“My wife and I talked about it, and thought that, if it worked, we could have a job year round, instead of once a year,” says Jason. “I love rodeo, and I love to watch bull riding, so we created the game.”
Jason says something like BuckingFantasy brings a lot more excitement to the sport of bull riding, and that they have a wide range of people participate in the games.
“We have people from A to Z, and what’s neat about PBR fans is they know the bull breeders, the heritage of the bulls and everything. They know what kind of feed the bull’s eating, where the riders are from and how old they are and how much they weigh. It’s amazing how much they know about the sport,” he notes.
“We’ve had a lot of people play the game that know what they’re doing, and others who barely know how to spell ‘bullriding,’” he continues. “They’re the ones who pick the riders because they like their names, and they do win that way. On any given day, any of these guys can win. No matter what team you pick, you’ve got a chance. They’re the best in the world, and that’s why they’re there.”
In the last five games Jason says they’ve had about 400 people participate.
“Advertising is key, and we’ll start working harder with a media group to advise us on where we should put our money to promote our game in the best spots,” he says. “Word of mouth has been our biggest promotion so far. That and Facebook have been our biggest advertising.”
Of the original fantasy game venture, RodeoTeam, Jason says it grows by 50 percent every year.
“We have a lot of great sponsors – Cinch and Ariat came on board this last year, and we gave away boots every round, as well as Cinch jackets and jeans,” he explains, adding that they also host a live game every year at the Monte Carlo. “People can come in, pick a team and watch the NFR live. It’s free, and we give away prizes at the end of the night, and people really enjoyed that.”
Jason says they’re planning another party for the 2011 WNFR.
On BuckinFantasy the prizes include $500 cash for first place, and the game pays down through 15th.
“The payoff is listed, and there’s a guaranteed prize line, no matter if we get one player or 50,” explains Jason, noting that they always give away Bob Berg belt buckles for the season winner. “People only have to participate in six games, or take their best six out of nine games, and that’s been pretty fun.”
Of starting their own business, Jason says, “I thought it would be a whole lot easier than it is. I thought we’d jump in and have thousands of people playing, but it turns out starting a new business is a lot tougher than I anticipated. The people who start out with their own business and continue on and become rich – I’m not jealous of them anymore, because they deserve it.”
“I rodeo and love the sport, and that’s why I do it,” he says. “My idea is to bring more spotlight to the cowboy – to get people one-on-one with the cowboys and highlight them, because they’re the centerpiece of rodeo. If we could do that, our sport would do nothing but grow.”
Currently BuckinFantasy is running a promotion where if members sign someone else up they’re given a free team.