Nashville, TN – RFD-TV today announced that DISH saddled up as presenting sponsor of the world’s richest one-day rodeo, The American. On February 25 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., athletes who advance through a U.S. Open-style gauntlet of qualifiers will compete against the best cowboys and cowgirls for their share of a $1 million “American Dream” cash prize, part of the overall $2.5 million purse. Additionally, DISH is introducing two new prizes to The American: an “Up-and-Comer” $5K scholarship earned by a young competitor who shows the most promise, and a “Back in the Saddle” $5K check awarded to the contestant who’s displayed the most resilience.
“DISH is a founder-led company that started from humble beginnings more than 30 years ago,” said Jay Roth, CMO of DISH. “We built our business on the principle of bringing TV to the millions of Americans living in places without access to cable. Rural America has always been the backbone of our company, and we jumped at the opportunity to reconnect with this incredible community in recognizing its fearless athletes with some amazing prizes.”
Going into its fifth year, The American brings the best cowboys and cowgirls together for one day of heart stopping, dirt flying, rodeo action. Qualifying athletes who advance to the Semi-Finals (February 21-24 at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas) take on top ranked cowboys and cowgirls from the PBR, PRCA and WPRA in seven different events: team roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding. Anyone can qualify for the Semi-Finals, and anyone who advances to the Finals and out-rides or out-ropes the sport’s elite stars wins $100,000, and their share of the “American Dream” $1 million purse.
“We’ve enjoyed a longstanding relationship with DISH, which was the first major TV provider to offer customers RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel many years ago,” said Patrick Gottsch, Founder and President of Rural Media Group. “DISH helped us deliver rural and western lifestyle programming to all corners of America. From the beginning, they have understood and shared our values of hard work, grit and resilience, and it’s great to have such a fitting partner onboard as presenting sponsor of The American.”
The American will be televised on RFD-TV (DISH ch. 231) and The Cowboy Channel (DISH ch. 232) on February 25 at 3 p.m. ET.
In 2017, three “underdogs” rose from the Semi-Finals to split the $1 million side pot: saddle bronc rider Cody Demoss, barrel racer Hailey Kinsel and bull riding champion Sage Kimzey. Each took home $433,333 – $100,000 for winning their respective event and an additional $333,333 each after splitting the $1 million side pot three ways.