“Annually the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sanctions about 600 of the most elite multiple-event rodeos on the continent, in 39 states and in three Canadian provinces.” -PRCA Media Guide. The PRCA membership includes more than 5,000 cowboys. With a multitude of rodeos and rodeo cowboys how does the PRCA stay organized? How does a rodeo cowboy enter a rodeo?
The area of the PRCA that ensures a rodeo has contestants and that a contestant gets entered to compete is PROCOM. PROCOM started in 1976 and continues to be the central entry system for PRCA rodeos. With a staff of 33 during the busy season, they operate daily here at the PRCA headquarters and sometimes on the weekends to ensure cowboys get to compete in this great sport of professional rodeo. This isn’t your average call center. “PROCOM is an essential part of the PRCA because everything in terms of putting on a rodeo pretty much begins here.” –Taryn Cass. PROCOM staff members answer phone calls from some of rodeos biggest legends and have to ensure they are entered in the correct rodeo and the correct event. Rodeo is a way of life for these cowboys and their next paycheck; PROCOM is the gateway to this lifestyle.
Chris Horton, Justin Anderson, and Taryn Cass make up the leadership team for PROCOM. Their combined experience and love for the sport of rodeo ensures its success.
PROCOM’S structure consist of the following:
20 operators: They are responsible for contestant entries and relaying contestant positions after a rodeo has closed and been set up. They are also in charge of taking turn-out and doctor release notifications and then relaying this information to the rodeo secretaries.
10 Keyers: Keyers are responsible for a GREAT number of things, but they get their title from their primary task which is “keying” rodeos. They are the ones who follow a lengthy check-list to set up a rodeo after entries have closed. These employees answer the PROCOM Local Line. They have a variety of resources at their fingertips such as the official rulebook, PSN, and various other tools that enable them to assist just about any caller.
2 Rodeo Coordinators: The coordinators deal primarily with stock contractors. These individuals talk to the contractors to determine the set-up of each rodeo. They are also responsible, among many other things, for the stock draw.
1 Manager/ 1 Asst. Manager.
When we asked PRCA employee, Taryn Cass, about the busy rodeo season coming up and how they keep things organized she said “summer in PROCOM is a VERY busy season, as should be expected. Once upon a time entries were taken by hand. You can imagine what a mess this could be with over 600 PRCA sanctioned rodeos a year. Luckily, we have technology and this technology plays a huge part in our organization. When I started in PROCOM (back in 2004) most of the things we sent to the secretary and other contract personnel was sent by snail mail. Since then email and the online secretary system have pretty much made that form of delivery non-existent. PROCOM is always changing and the progress is evident.”
PROCOM Assistant Manager, Justin Anderson, has been with PROCOM for 9 years. Both he and Taryn started as operators and understand the ins and outs of the entry system. “When a cowboy calls the entry line they are greeted with “Entry office, can I have your card number, please?” From there the cowboy will specify what exactly he needs (which rodeo he is trying to enter and in which event; does he have any buddies; what are his preferences, etc.). Generally it is the cowboys who have the questions and the PROCOM staff are the ones who assist them.” –Taryn Cass
Chris Horton has been involved in rodeo his entire life competing in the sport, then as a judge for 20 years. He has now been with the PRCA in rodeo administration for 7 years and says “I love my job, I love this world.”