Coors Man in the Can program thriving | TSLN.com

Coors Man in the Can program thriving

ProRodeo Sports News Editor Neal Reid

One of the most popular and entertaining characters in the arena at PRCA rodeos across the country is the barrelman. He helps entertain the crowd during breaks and lulls in action, often verbally jousts with announcers – in a playful manner, of course – and helps protect bull riders from the massive beasts they are trying to ride for eight seconds.

They have been a fixture at rodeos for decades, an important part of the rodeo landscape from the start. In 1984, the Coors Brewing Company – now Molson-Coors Brewing Company – recognized the importance of the barrelmen and the chance to have its logo in the arena at hundreds of PRCA rodeos, sponsoring the Coors Man in the Can program.

The program provides barrelmen with stability, support and guidelines for performance in the arena and has outreach at more than 700 performances at more than 300 PRCA rodeos each year. Coors dedicates more than $100,000 to the program each year, $10,000 of which goes to the barrelman who is selected as the Coors Man in the Can at the PRCA Awards Banquet in Las Vegas each December.

This year’s winner was Keith Isley of Goldston, NC. It was his second consecutive win and third overall. He also won the award in 2006.

“I take great pride in the Coors Man in the Can program,” said Pete Coors, chairman, Molson-Coors Brewing Company. “A tradition since 1984, it’s one of the longest-running rodeo programs in the brand’s history. You’ll never meet a more loyal group of guys, and I truly appreciate everything they do for the sport of rodeo and the Banquet brand.”

Each barrelman who participates in the program receives $60 per performance in which he rolls a barrel into the arena sporting the Coors logo, and each of the five finalists for Coors Man in the Can receive a bonus at the end of the year.

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This year’s finalists along with Isley were, Troy Lerwill, Robbie Hodges, Mark Swingler and John Harrison.

The financial commitment by Coors, the PRCA’s official beer since 1987, makes it easier for barrelmen to get down the road each year and make a living.

“I think it’s a great program,” Isley said. “I think it’s the best program in rodeo, as far as the barrelmen go. It gives you more of an incentive for keeping your barrel looking good, and it makes you be more of a professional since you are going to be judged at some point.”

Barrelmen are judged in three categories – barrel appearance, appearance and presentation in the arena and assistance in bull riding and timing – by a panel consisting of the top 100 bull riders in the PRCA World Standings; all PRCA judges and Pro Officials; all PRCA announcers and timers; and all PRCA bullfighters who are not also in the Coors Man in the Can program as barrelmen.

The barrelmen run the program, meeting in Las Vegas every December to review policies, discuss changes and upgrades and reflect on the year that was. Tweaks are made to the program every year in order to improve it and help it evolve with the times.

In addition to the whopping $10,000 check, the Coors Man in the Can award winner receives a Montana Silversmiths buckle, a Tony Chytka replica bronze of a Coors barrelman and his name on the list of award winners in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, CO. Not a bad haul at all.

“I said on the awards stage that, since the award pays $10,000, Pete Coors and I were now about even,” Isley quipped. “I had been nominated in the top five for quite a few years, and to win that $10,000 is quite an honor. It makes you appreciate the program and makes you feel like you’re doing something right.

“To get $10,000 in December when there aren’t a lot of rodeos going on, it sure does come in handy. I’m just glad they can’t cash the check for us in Vegas!”

The program was created when a group of men that included former PRCA Chairman of the Board Tom Feller approached Coors in 1983 to talk about the beer company sponsoring barrelmen. Coors agreed that there was a need for the program and agreed to be its title sponsor, and the rest is history.

“The idea was born out of the Wrangler Bullfights, and until that point, a barrelman was just a clown out there,” said Feller, who won the first Coors Man in the Can award in 1984 and then again in 1987. “With the introduction of the Wrangler Bullfights, it took on a whole new dimension. Coors wanted more visibility in rodeo, and the barrelmen wanted more visibility. So, it just kind of evolved.

“It’s definitely been a good visibility and marketing tool for Coors through the years, and it’s also helped the barrelmen add some extra income. It’s obviously proven to be a very strong marketing program, because they’ve stuck with it for 26 years.”

Barrelmen who participate in the program take pride in it and enjoy having the support from Coors.

“I’m honored to be part of the Coors Man in the Can program,” said Hodges, who worked the barrel at his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo earlier this month. “If I was ever voted as the Coors Man in the Can, that would be the honor of a lifetime, because you’re being rewarded for doing what you’re supposed to do.

“Being nominated for the Coors Man in the Can is the best honor a barrelman can receive, because that’s voted on by the people you work with closest all year. It’s a great program.”

Nowadays, the Coors logo can be found in the arena on gold barrels at PRCA rodeos across the country, and the program has never been stronger.

“While I have never been a beer drinker, I was always proud to be part of the program and proud to have my barrel looking good,” Feller said. “It’s by far the best thing that’s ever happened to the barrelmen.”

One of the most popular and entertaining characters in the arena at PRCA rodeos across the country is the barrelman. He helps entertain the crowd during breaks and lulls in action, often verbally jousts with announcers – in a playful manner, of course – and helps protect bull riders from the massive beasts they are trying to ride for eight seconds.

They have been a fixture at rodeos for decades, an important part of the rodeo landscape from the start. In 1984, the Coors Brewing Company – now Molson-Coors Brewing Company – recognized the importance of the barrelmen and the chance to have its logo in the arena at hundreds of PRCA rodeos, sponsoring the Coors Man in the Can program.

The program provides barrelmen with stability, support and guidelines for performance in the arena and has outreach at more than 700 performances at more than 300 PRCA rodeos each year. Coors dedicates more than $100,000 to the program each year, $10,000 of which goes to the barrelman who is selected as the Coors Man in the Can at the PRCA Awards Banquet in Las Vegas each December.

This year’s winner was Keith Isley of Goldston, NC. It was his second consecutive win and third overall. He also won the award in 2006.

“I take great pride in the Coors Man in the Can program,” said Pete Coors, chairman, Molson-Coors Brewing Company. “A tradition since 1984, it’s one of the longest-running rodeo programs in the brand’s history. You’ll never meet a more loyal group of guys, and I truly appreciate everything they do for the sport of rodeo and the Banquet brand.”

Each barrelman who participates in the program receives $60 per performance in which he rolls a barrel into the arena sporting the Coors logo, and each of the five finalists for Coors Man in the Can receive a bonus at the end of the year.

This year’s finalists along with Isley were, Troy Lerwill, Robbie Hodges, Mark Swingler and John Harrison.

The financial commitment by Coors, the PRCA’s official beer since 1987, makes it easier for barrelmen to get down the road each year and make a living.

“I think it’s a great program,” Isley said. “I think it’s the best program in rodeo, as far as the barrelmen go. It gives you more of an incentive for keeping your barrel looking good, and it makes you be more of a professional since you are going to be judged at some point.”

Barrelmen are judged in three categories – barrel appearance, appearance and presentation in the arena and assistance in bull riding and timing – by a panel consisting of the top 100 bull riders in the PRCA World Standings; all PRCA judges and Pro Officials; all PRCA announcers and timers; and all PRCA bullfighters who are not also in the Coors Man in the Can program as barrelmen.

The barrelmen run the program, meeting in Las Vegas every December to review policies, discuss changes and upgrades and reflect on the year that was. Tweaks are made to the program every year in order to improve it and help it evolve with the times.

In addition to the whopping $10,000 check, the Coors Man in the Can award winner receives a Montana Silversmiths buckle, a Tony Chytka replica bronze of a Coors barrelman and his name on the list of award winners in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, CO. Not a bad haul at all.

“I said on the awards stage that, since the award pays $10,000, Pete Coors and I were now about even,” Isley quipped. “I had been nominated in the top five for quite a few years, and to win that $10,000 is quite an honor. It makes you appreciate the program and makes you feel like you’re doing something right.

“To get $10,000 in December when there aren’t a lot of rodeos going on, it sure does come in handy. I’m just glad they can’t cash the check for us in Vegas!”

The program was created when a group of men that included former PRCA Chairman of the Board Tom Feller approached Coors in 1983 to talk about the beer company sponsoring barrelmen. Coors agreed that there was a need for the program and agreed to be its title sponsor, and the rest is history.

“The idea was born out of the Wrangler Bullfights, and until that point, a barrelman was just a clown out there,” said Feller, who won the first Coors Man in the Can award in 1984 and then again in 1987. “With the introduction of the Wrangler Bullfights, it took on a whole new dimension. Coors wanted more visibility in rodeo, and the barrelmen wanted more visibility. So, it just kind of evolved.

“It’s definitely been a good visibility and marketing tool for Coors through the years, and it’s also helped the barrelmen add some extra income. It’s obviously proven to be a very strong marketing program, because they’ve stuck with it for 26 years.”

Barrelmen who participate in the program take pride in it and enjoy having the support from Coors.

“I’m honored to be part of the Coors Man in the Can program,” said Hodges, who worked the barrel at his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo earlier this month. “If I was ever voted as the Coors Man in the Can, that would be the honor of a lifetime, because you’re being rewarded for doing what you’re supposed to do.

“Being nominated for the Coors Man in the Can is the best honor a barrelman can receive, because that’s voted on by the people you work with closest all year. It’s a great program.”

Nowadays, the Coors logo can be found in the arena on gold barrels at PRCA rodeos across the country, and the program has never been stronger.

“While I have never been a beer drinker, I was always proud to be part of the program and proud to have my barrel looking good,” Feller said. “It’s by far the best thing that’s ever happened to the barrelmen.”

One of the most popular and entertaining characters in the arena at PRCA rodeos across the country is the barrelman. He helps entertain the crowd during breaks and lulls in action, often verbally jousts with announcers – in a playful manner, of course – and helps protect bull riders from the massive beasts they are trying to ride for eight seconds.

They have been a fixture at rodeos for decades, an important part of the rodeo landscape from the start. In 1984, the Coors Brewing Company – now Molson-Coors Brewing Company – recognized the importance of the barrelmen and the chance to have its logo in the arena at hundreds of PRCA rodeos, sponsoring the Coors Man in the Can program.

The program provides barrelmen with stability, support and guidelines for performance in the arena and has outreach at more than 700 performances at more than 300 PRCA rodeos each year. Coors dedicates more than $100,000 to the program each year, $10,000 of which goes to the barrelman who is selected as the Coors Man in the Can at the PRCA Awards Banquet in Las Vegas each December.

This year’s winner was Keith Isley of Goldston, NC. It was his second consecutive win and third overall. He also won the award in 2006.

“I take great pride in the Coors Man in the Can program,” said Pete Coors, chairman, Molson-Coors Brewing Company. “A tradition since 1984, it’s one of the longest-running rodeo programs in the brand’s history. You’ll never meet a more loyal group of guys, and I truly appreciate everything they do for the sport of rodeo and the Banquet brand.”

Each barrelman who participates in the program receives $60 per performance in which he rolls a barrel into the arena sporting the Coors logo, and each of the five finalists for Coors Man in the Can receive a bonus at the end of the year.

This year’s finalists along with Isley were, Troy Lerwill, Robbie Hodges, Mark Swingler and John Harrison.

The financial commitment by Coors, the PRCA’s official beer since 1987, makes it easier for barrelmen to get down the road each year and make a living.

“I think it’s a great program,” Isley said. “I think it’s the best program in rodeo, as far as the barrelmen go. It gives you more of an incentive for keeping your barrel looking good, and it makes you be more of a professional since you are going to be judged at some point.”

Barrelmen are judged in three categories – barrel appearance, appearance and presentation in the arena and assistance in bull riding and timing – by a panel consisting of the top 100 bull riders in the PRCA World Standings; all PRCA judges and Pro Officials; all PRCA announcers and timers; and all PRCA bullfighters who are not also in the Coors Man in the Can program as barrelmen.

The barrelmen run the program, meeting in Las Vegas every December to review policies, discuss changes and upgrades and reflect on the year that was. Tweaks are made to the program every year in order to improve it and help it evolve with the times.

In addition to the whopping $10,000 check, the Coors Man in the Can award winner receives a Montana Silversmiths buckle, a Tony Chytka replica bronze of a Coors barrelman and his name on the list of award winners in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, CO. Not a bad haul at all.

“I said on the awards stage that, since the award pays $10,000, Pete Coors and I were now about even,” Isley quipped. “I had been nominated in the top five for quite a few years, and to win that $10,000 is quite an honor. It makes you appreciate the program and makes you feel like you’re doing something right.

“To get $10,000 in December when there aren’t a lot of rodeos going on, it sure does come in handy. I’m just glad they can’t cash the check for us in Vegas!”

The program was created when a group of men that included former PRCA Chairman of the Board Tom Feller approached Coors in 1983 to talk about the beer company sponsoring barrelmen. Coors agreed that there was a need for the program and agreed to be its title sponsor, and the rest is history.

“The idea was born out of the Wrangler Bullfights, and until that point, a barrelman was just a clown out there,” said Feller, who won the first Coors Man in the Can award in 1984 and then again in 1987. “With the introduction of the Wrangler Bullfights, it took on a whole new dimension. Coors wanted more visibility in rodeo, and the barrelmen wanted more visibility. So, it just kind of evolved.

“It’s definitely been a good visibility and marketing tool for Coors through the years, and it’s also helped the barrelmen add some extra income. It’s obviously proven to be a very strong marketing program, because they’ve stuck with it for 26 years.”

Barrelmen who participate in the program take pride in it and enjoy having the support from Coors.

“I’m honored to be part of the Coors Man in the Can program,” said Hodges, who worked the barrel at his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo earlier this month. “If I was ever voted as the Coors Man in the Can, that would be the honor of a lifetime, because you’re being rewarded for doing what you’re supposed to do.

“Being nominated for the Coors Man in the Can is the best honor a barrelman can receive, because that’s voted on by the people you work with closest all year. It’s a great program.”

Nowadays, the Coors logo can be found in the arena on gold barrels at PRCA rodeos across the country, and the program has never been stronger.

“While I have never been a beer drinker, I was always proud to be part of the program and proud to have my barrel looking good,” Feller said. “It’s by far the best thing that’s ever happened to the barrelmen.”

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