A national television commercial by the Pueblo-based Professional Bull Riders gives a big shout out to Pueblo, the state of Colorado and the new PBR Sports Performance Center set to open in coming weeks.

The 30-second commercial is airing during PBR telecasts on the CBS broadcast channel and CBS Sports cable channel.

PBR telecasts on CBS average more than 1 million viewers.

The commercial also is getting shown in arenas as PBR's top tour makes its way across the country. Over the next few weekends, the tour will visit Billings, Montana., Columbus, Ohio, and Albuquerque, N.M., drawing tens of thousands of fans at each stop.

"It is a very high-quality commercial and not quite half of it is devoted to Pueblo.... That's absolutely tremendous," Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce director Rod Slyhoff said of the promotional spot.

"It's fantastic," Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority director Jerry Pacheco said of the commercial.

"It really emphasizes how important Pueblo is to PBR and how important PBR is to us. It puts a really positive message out there that those of us who live here know that Pueblo is a great place to work, live and play. It is great. It is so refreshing to have great national exposure."

The commercial also provides an early return on investment for the state tourism grant awarded Pueblo to help fund the improvements at the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, including the new PBR training center, local leaders say.

The tourism grants are designed to help fund projects to promote Colorado to out-of-state visitors.

Pueblo's proposal for a package of Riverwalk additions was a unanimous selection but later drew criticism from some in Denver who doubted the merits of the overall expansion project, the PBR training center and PBR's commitment to the training center piece. Pueblo pushed back and, after months of review, the state reaffirmed the city's selection.

The training center, built as part of the Pueblo Convention Center expansion, seeks to draw bull riders and other Western sports athletes from across the U.S. and globe, including other nations where bull riding is popular such as Brazil and Canada. The center also will be open to amateur and pro athletes from other sports.

A subsequent addition was the PBR Fan Zone that will share space with a new Pueblo visitors center adjacent to the training center.

The two projects build on PBR's growth since coming to Pueblo in 2006.

Today, the organization's work extends to producing and marketing rodeos and other Western sports and organizing community festivals. It offers health and wellness programs for Western sports athletes. It has launched the online streaming channel RidePass devoted to Western sports. Its brand is on restaurants in nearly a dozen major cities.

The organization also knows how to produce audience-grabbing commercials like the current one.

"This is exactly why we put PBR and the sport training facility into the (Regional Tourism Act) plan,' Slyhoff said. "We needed to have that unique aspect that no one else has to draw out-of-state visitors to Colorado and Pueblo. PBR has a huge fan base in the millions. They have a huge fan base that follows the sport very, very closely."

PBR plans to produce and air a second commercial once the performance center is open, Slyhoff said.

The chamber also is working with PBR on a chamber-funded national commercial that will promote the Pueblo area, Slyhoff said.

The commercial now airing opens with a series of picturesque photos showing trees changing to fall colors in Colorado's foothills, the Medal of Honor Memorial at the convention center and bull riding action. Other scenes from Pueblo include the Home of Heroes highway signs, Lake Pueblo, the PBR headquarters building along the Riverwalk and an artist's drawing of the finished training center.

"Coming soon," an announcer declares at the outset, "from the beautiful state of Colorado — home to natural beauty, home of heroes and home to the Professional Bull Riders — and in spring 2019 Pueblo, Colorado, will become home to a new generation of heroes, the dreamers of today and the champions of tomorrow: the PBR Sport Performance Center in Pueblo." The commercial ends with a preview of the activities planned for the center such as physical training and weight rooms, wet rooms for water therapy, video rooms and a rehab center. pbr.spcd.com

The commercial is available for viewing at chieftain.com.

Since coming to the city, PBR has routinely mentioned Pueblo in its marketing initiatives, including TV broadcasts and arena signage.


Twitter: @PuebloBusiness