It started as a concept, then became a topic of discussion and then an actual cattle shown. Twenty-four years later, the Simmental/Simbrah Superbowl is an event, first and foremost, that benefits youth who show Simgenetics and secondly provides an enhanced marketing and promotional avenue for participating breeders.
The Superbowl started as a joint idea of Tim Smith, Smith Genetics, Giddings, Texas, Carlos Guerra, La Muneca Cattle Co., Linn, Texas and Billy Wentz, Wentz Cattle Co., Olmito, Texas. It soon became a reality with this trio spearheading all the efforts, coordinating the all volunteer staff and selling the idea to breeders.
"The concept is very simple. Breeders pay $1,000 to be a sponsor for one year. This entitles their junior customers to then compete for prize monies, awards and scholarships. The fee includes all animals they have bred or have been purchased from other breeders and resold to junior exhibitors in Texas,” describes Smith.
In the beginning the show was held in conjunction with the Belt Buckle Bonanza in Austin and then Waco, Texas. This is the largest all breed show in Texas in the summer and attracts several thousands of exhibitors of steers, heifers, lambs, hogs and goats--and many kids show more than one specie. By combining with this established and very visible event, the Simmental and Simbrah breeds were automatically exposed to a wider audience.
The show, from the beginning has allotted all the sponsor money back to the exhibitors in the form of buckles, premiums and scholarships. This year more than $40,000 was awarded in Simmental, Simbrah, Simbravieh and Percentage Simbrah Shows.
“It didn't take long for the event to catch on with the kids. When you are announcing over a microphone that the grand champion will receive $1,500 and a buckle and the reserve grand $1,000 and a buckle, you get their attention,” says Smith adding that these interested kids would then seek out the sponsors or inquire if breeders were a sponsor.
Plus the Superbowl has a feature that appeals to everyone, regardless of the quality of their heifer, how much they paid for it or if they stand last in class. The Superbowl scholarships are one of the most attractive features of the program. For each heifer a kid shows, their name is put into a drawing. At the conclusion of the event, all the kids are called into the show arena and approximately 40 names, depending on number of sponsors per year, are drawn and each winner receives a $250 scholarship.
Each kid is only allowed to win once in that year, but can win the scholarships year after year. As each name is drawn, the kids and the crowd add to the anticipation and excitement with cheering and clapping. In addition, showmanship is richly rewarded. There are six divisions with both breeds competing together. The divisions are, based on ages 9-18. Exhibitors are recognized ten deep in the contest, with the top two in each, also receiving buckles. Then an overall grand and reserve grand showman is picked and this year received $1,000 and $750 respectively.
In 1997, the event changed locations and became part of the lineup at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo Junior Breeding Beef Heifer Show. This show provides $10,000 scholarships to each breed champion and draws heifers from across the state to vie for the educational support.
”We felt this move would provide a larger number of kids to compete as almost everyone enters San Antonio. We have many kids who show multiple breeds and state and nationals shows were sometimes a conflict with the summer event. The folks at S.A.L.E have been very good to work with and we have our competitions a day or two before their Simmental and Simbrah shows with a different judge of course,” explains Smith.
Many of the sponsors have been with the event from the beginning and see it as a huge marketing tool. Their customers want to know if they are going to be a sponsor, so that they have a chance to compete for generous monies. It can be the difference in a sale or the prospective customer going somewhere else. “The Superbowl provides a strong marketing avenue for breeders. Its a real bonus for our junior customers that they can enter this show and compete for these honors,” adds Carlos Guerra.
"The support of breeders has made this event really work. We appreciate how year after year Simmental and Simbrah breeders step up and sponsor. We have been able to give out over $500,000 and we have touched a lot of lives,” says Smith.
Sponsors for the 2017 Superbowl are currently being accepted and interested breeders can contact Smith or Guerra for additional information.
To date over $700,000 has been awarded to SimGenetic exhibitors through the Superbowl and over 1,500 exhibitors have participated.
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