AUSTIN, Texas—The Austin Gamblers, the professional bull riding team set to compete in the inaugural PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series, today announced the team has officially signed Jose Vitor Leme, the No. 1 overall draft pick and two-time PBR World Champion, to one of the largest athlete agreements in PBR history. While PBR does not disclose financial terms, the four-year endorsement deal is the maximum length that a rider can be signed to a PBR Team Series team, keeping Leme in Austin through the 2025 season at a minimum.
Additionally, the Gamblers announced they have signed all of their 11 riders ahead of the season opener on July 25 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
“Today is another historic day for the Gamblers and fans throughout Central Texas as we have all 11 of our riders signed, including one of the best bull riders in the history of the sport,” JJ Gottsch, CEO of the Austin Gamblers, said. “Jose is now cemented as a cornerstone and leader of the Gamblers for years to come, and we could not be more excited to have him and all of our riders make their debut and bring home a championship.”
The 25-year-old Brazil native is one of the most decorated athletes in PBR history. Leme was taken with the first overall pick in the inaugural PBR Team Series Draft in May after winning world titles in 2020 and 2021, becoming just the second rider in the league’s history to win consecutive titles.
In 2021, he put together one of the greatest single seasons in league history, setting five major records in the process, including most round wins in a season (21), most 90-point rides in a season (24), first perfect 50-point rider score, highest-marked qualified ride of all time (98.75 points) and most event wins a season (8, tied). Leme was also named team captain by his teammates.
“There is no greater honor than being recognized by your teammates and coaches as team captain, Michael Gaffney, head coach of the Gamblers, said. “Jose is a once-in-a-generation talent who also has all the qualities it takes to be a team leader, and I know he will do a great job guiding our riders through the inaugural season.”
The Gamblers will begin their season next week when the PBR Team Series launches on July 25 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Austin will play the Arizona Ridge Riders in a game carried on CBS Sports Network. The live coverage begins at 9 p.m. CT. The Gamblers will play a 28-game regular season schedule, and all games will be broadcast on either CBS, CBS Sports Network or Pluto TV, a free streaming network.
Austin will play all seven other teams in the league four times each, across 10 different venues, with each team hosting a weekend homestand, along with two neutral-site venues. The event will showcase traditional 8-second bull rides structured in a tournament-style format, with all teams competing in head-to-head matchups against a different opponent each day.
To purchase tickets to Gambler Days, a three-day weekend homestand in which all eight teams compete against each other at the brand new Moody Center from August 26-28, fans can visit PBR.com, Ticketmaster.com, MoodyCenterATX.com or by calling PBR Customer Service at 1-800-732-1727.