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This is YETI Exclusive with PBR Veteran, Reese Cates

Welcome to another YETI Exclusive Interview! Today, we are excited to catch a few minutes with Professional Bull Riding Veteran, Reese Cates! In this exclusive YETI interview, Reese dives into how he grew up, how that played a role in his bull riding career, and what YETI has done to help him get to where he is today. Let’s dig in!

Reese Cates is from El Dorado, Arkansas. As far as bull riding goes, it has been a part of his for as long as he can remember. Both his dad and grandpa rode bulls, so in his words, it was “a generational curse” that got passed down to him as well. Reese’s professional bull riding career started in 2007 when he started competing in the Velocity Tour events and competed through 2019 when he decided to take a step back to focus on his family and other ventures.

CLN: What your childhood like growing up in a rodeo family?

Reese: For me, growing up was all about rodeo. My mom was a barrel racer and my dad was a bull rider. They met through college rodeo so it only made sense to raise me as a cowboy. I was fortunate enough to always have the support of my family but also the assurance that I didn’t “have to” ride bulls if I wasn’t interested.

CLN: How did bull riding help shape who you are today?

Reese: Growing up in south Arkansas you don’t have the opportunity to get super cultured as a young man. Bull riding was my escape, it gave me the opportunity to travel the world, meet tons of interesting people and realize that there is more to life than working a “normal” job. It has taught me to always dream big and never fear failure in any pursuit.

Reese Cates attempts to ride Owens/Wyatt’s Chute Boss during the second round of the Little Rock Built Ford Tough series PBR. Photo by Andy Watson

CLN: You’ve created a lifestyle brand called “Unpaved American”, can you tell us a little more about that and what it means to you?

Reese: Unpaved American is something that my wife and I came up with together. It all started as an expression of who we are and what we enjoy in life. We both love the outdoors, fitness, and doing things that most people would consider either extreme or maybe even a little weird. We are both really big believers in the fact that people are, for the most part, good-hearted. The brand is nothing more than an extension of our vision of the world. We want people to be reunited through the individualism that makes us all unique. I know that sounds very conflicting, individualism and unity, but it’s really the only way we can create a better future in my opinion.

CLN: What is your proudest accomplishment to date?

Reese: My proudest accomplishment to date is my family. 10 years ago my answer would be something materialistic such as an accolade acquired in the sport of bull riding but since I’ve grown as a man I’ve realized that life surrounded by the people you love the most is truly the greatest accomplishment any man could ask for.

CLN: What do your goals look like heading into the second half of 2022?

Reese: My goals for the second half of 2022 are to continue to become better in every aspect of life each day. I’m constantly challenging myself to grow and reach new levels of mental, physical, and spiritual strength. After bull riding, it’s easy to slip into a state of depression where you don’t know who you are. For anyone who has made the sport a career you tend to have your identity wrapped up in being a bull rider, when that comes to an end you are then on a constant search to find out who you are, what your passions consist of, and which direction you prefer to take your life.

CLN: What has it meant to be a part of the YETI Ambassador team?

Reese: I remember the day I got the news that YETI was coming into the sport and they had chosen JB Mauney, Chase Outlaw, and myself to be the first three guys on their team. To say I was elated is an understatement! One of, if not THE greatest outdoor brand of all time wanted me on their team! I have had so many awesome memories with YETI since our first PBR finals in 2015 when we joined forces. I’d be here all day bragging about the company. Still to this day, YETI is the only company that I have ever felt like I was more than just a sponsor, they are part of my family. Usually, with a sponsor, it’s all about what could I do for them but with YETI it’s always been different. They’ve always been there for me through the ups and downs as well as supported me just for who I am. That’s rare and priceless in the cutthroat world of competition.

Reese’s Closing Thoughts

YETI could have just as easily named their company “Integrity”. They are a company that’s more than a business, they’re family. I tell people all the time that if they knew the things about YETI that I knew, they would never even consider using another brand to keep their drinks cold. It may seem petty but I’m almost offended when someone says “this works just as well as a YETI”. Those people have no idea what they’re talking about, I’ve been to the headquarters, I have met the men and women who make up the company and I’m here to tell you NOTHING WORKS LIKE YETI!” – Reese Cates

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at Learn more about me at Looking forward to hearing from you!

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