Mitch James is best known in the local business community as the CEO of Paradise Outdoor Advertising (POA), and as a long term sponsor of the PBR Australia, he has turned his passion into a business opportunity with MJ Bucking Bulls and is contributing to the growth of the sport through his bull breeding program and corporate opportunities.
“I used to go to the events with my family when I was young, POA has always been a big supporter of the sport – even back when it was Ride the Rage,” explains Mitch, who says business and sales has been in his blood since his father started the family business in 1983.
“In mid 2018 I approached Glen Young [General Manager, PBR Australia] and said I really wanted to buy a bull.
“When he realised I was serious, he helped put me in touch with the right people, I got into my first partnership with the Brandenburg family with Slam n Jam, my first bull.”
It was here that Mitch identified an opportunity to turn his hobby into a business and establish MJ Bucking Bulls, which later saw him partner with Oklahoma based McCoy Ranch in the USA to breed stock and import genetics to Australia from some of the country’s best bucking stock.
“As live exports are not allowed into Australia, we began importing the semen and embryos so we can breed bucking bulls in Australia with some of the best genetics that the USA has to offer,” continues Mitch.
“My family and I are really passionate about breeding and genetics, and hope that in the future this will help fastrack and improve the industry.
“Recently my wife and I have purchased a property in the Whitsundays where I keep stock and our breeding program will continue to evolve. I also have around 20 head of cattle in the US with Cord McCoy and BJ Tolman.”
Mitch’s business background has undoubtedly played a large role in the professionalism of MJ Bucking Bulls, and Mitch’s ability to identify opportunities in the industry. This includes the establishment of the online auction platform Beast Mode Bucking Sales, which Mitch created as an avenue for breeders to buy and sell premium bucking genetics online.
“We created a platform called Beast Mode where people can sell genetics and live animals in an online auction and we’ve had nearly $100K in sales in less than a year,” says Mitch.
“These timed auctions give the closest online experience to the ‘real thing’ and means you’ll receive the best possible price for your stock.”
Mitch and his family are proud to partner with Brandenburg and Keliher Bucking Bulls, showcasing partnerships at the industry’s most significant events over the past few years and will continue to do so at the upcoming Monster Energy PBR Australia Grand Finals this weekend, where Mitch will have eight bulls competing.
As the PBR season enters the homestretch, many are keen to witness history-making events this weekend as current No.1 and three-time PBR Championship winner, Aaron Kleier attempts his fourth consecutive title. If successful, the 23-year-old would tie David Kennedy for most Australian national titles won by one rider in league history and would be the first to do so consecutively, an accomplishment never attained before by any rider in PBR’s international divisions.
“It is great to have the Grand Finals in our hometown. Townsville is a great location, and it brings people in from everywhere,” continues Mitch.
“From high end corporates who don’t know anything about the sport to cowboys and everyone in between, everyone who comes loves it.”
By Georgie Desailly.
The Monster Energy PBR Australia Grand Finals will be held at the Townsville Entertainment Centre on Friday 26 November and Saturday 27 November. Limited tickets still available for Friday night. Click here.