Mechanical bull riding competitions are a common request for the Mechanical Bull Association and are a blast whether run at a backyard BBQ or a bar. You just need to do a little prep work to make sure they run smoothly and are a success.
If you are renting a mechanical bull at a bar for a special promotion, then it is critical to promote your event prior to the big day. Even though you are paying for the rental with a mechanical bull company, you can always charge for rides at your establishment. You can create a bull ride/appetizer special (free ride with purchase), or some other draw that works at your location. Or, you may want to offer bull rides to patrons for free, but make sure that you push your event through social media and other forms of advertising in advance, so you can entice new customers as well as regulars to your event. Allowing girls to ride for free is a common promotion that draws women on a “girls night out” to come to your bar, and will attract guys to boot. You can also let people free ride for a certain amount of time, but then start the mechanical bull riding competition at a specific hour and charge an entry fee.
Just make sure you lay-out a marketing strategy that builds up to the big day, so you get the most bang for your buck. A mechanical bull rental on its own should not be seen as a money-maker, instead it is the promotion that you build around the mechanical bull rental that can create a huge pay-out. Use your mechanical bull rental to the fullest.
Regarding the actual running of the mechanical bull riding contest, most mechanical bull operators will have experience in this area. A majority of mechanical bull riding competitions revolve around who can stay on the longest. In this case, a timer is the only supply needed.
However, you can also have mechanical bull riding contests for “sexiest rider,” “the person who rides the most like a pro rodeo bull rider,” “best costumed rider,” etc. If you do a creative contest, then you may just need the audience to vote by screaming for their favorite, or have a panel of judges announce the winner.
Some mechanical bull riding contests give each rider a number to make voting and announcing winners easier and more fun. Have tape and large numbers printed prior to the event, so they can be placed on the contestants’ backs prior to them getting on the mechanical bull. DO NOT use safety pins. The last thing you want is for someone to fall off the mechanical bull and get pricked by an open safety pin.
The final item to consider is THE PRIZE. If you are a bar or restaurant, then be sure to speak to other companies about sponsoring the mechanical bull riding competition. This is another great way you can actually make some additional money on the mechanical bull rental too. If you create a package to sell for the mechanical bull riding contest, then you can charge a liquor distributor or some other local company a fee to promote their product. For instance you can hang the banner for COMPANY X, call the contest the “COMPANY X Mechanical Bull Riding Competition” and advertise it across social media and other traditional marketing avenues (e.g., weekly event calendars in newspapers) prior to the event. The prize for winning the mechanical bull riding contest can then be associated with this company’s product. A mechanical bull rental is a great way for others to market and promote products and services, just put some thought into the package prior to pitching it for money or product.
If you are just looking for a fun gag prize for a backyard BBQ, then you can always get the winner a huge foam cowboy hat. Remember to have fun and be safe!
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