Marty Campbell started his career in rodeo like many others in the sport. Riding calves and steers as a youngster naturally turned into riding bigger critters as a teen. He began riding bucking horses early in high school. He qualified for the National High School Finals three years in a row, winning the state championship in Oregon in the saddle bronc riding his junior year. Following high school, he attended both Blue Mountain Community College and Walla Walla Community College on rodeo scholarships, qualifying for the College National Finals Rodeo twice. During that time Campbell purchased his PRCA permit and began to win money as a professional. That, however, proved to be short-lived.
At the PRCA rodeo in Vancouver, Washington, Campbell bucked off a saddle bronc horse and landed directly on his head. Campbell’s neck was both broken and dislocated, an injury that not only required extensive surgery but also ended his career. Fortunately, Campbell had been elected as the student director for the Northwest Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, and that opened doors for him to learn the business side of the sport. He worked closely with NIRA Commissioner Tim Corfield and NFR General Manager Shawn Davis in producing the CNFR, and after his second year on the board, Shawn Davis offered him a job. That stint allowed Campbell to not only work as a production secretary at the National Finals Rodeo, but it also allowed him to produce rodeos as far away as Alaska and learn a great deal about production. Campbell would eventually serve as the Openings Production Manager at the CNFR for ten years. In addition, he worked as on-air talent for the ESPN broadcast of the CNFR.
Campbell also began announcing a few rodeos to fill in the time. It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. “I was up there in the booth, and all of my buddies and my wife (a breakaway roper, herself) were down there on the ground. I felt like I should be down there, too.” After a few years of announcing, Campbell decided to throw in the towel. That, however, was not to last. “I realized I had always really wanted to do something in and for rodeo; I knew I had the speaking ability, the production experience, and the knowledge, so Mandi (Campbell’s wife) and I had a heart to heart talk.” Mandi told him that it had been 14 years since he’d been on a bucking horse, so it was probably okay to become a rodeo announcer. He has announced the Northwest Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals, the Oregon High School Rodeo Association State Finals, and the North American Stock Saddle Bronc Championship, College National Finals Rodeo, Crooked River Roundup and Elgin Stampede. He did television interviews for Las Vegas events during the 2012 and 2013 WNFR and announced the WNFR benny Binion Bucking Stock Sale twice. In addition, his broadcasting skills have been called to work at the Xtreme Bulls Finale and at the Pendleton Round-Up. Add to that a little bit of steer roping throughout the Columbia River Circuit, and his schedule is full. “It seems to just be rolling right along,” says Campbell. “This is my way of giving back to the sport that has given so much to me.”