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American entertainment has been rolling all over the world for decades. Now, another American phenomenon is rumbling and its popularity has crossed into other countries. It's monster trucks.
"We're monster-trucking the world," said Kenneth Feld. He is in charge of Feld Entertainment. It's the company that owns the giant vehicles and the trademark Monster Jam events. "We're building the business globally. It's got a lot of traction."
Monster Jam shows feature ginormous trucks. They race and are really loud. They crush old cars and leap into the air.
The trucks have different themes. The black-and-neon green "Grave Digger" is probably the most popular. The "Zombie" is frightening. And the "Monster Mutt Rottweiler," a dog-themed truck, is actually kind of cute.
The tires are often 66 inches tall and the trucks stand about 12 feet high. That's about the size of two grown men.
Monster Jam had its first international show in 2004. By 2012, it was featured in one large, international tour. In 2013, the company offered two international tours. In 2014, there were three.
About 55,000 people packed one stadium in Sydney, Australia, in October. The trucks have visited in places around the world.
Florida-based Feld Entertainment also owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It bought the Monster Jam brand in 2008. In 2015, the company will embark on a 10-city Monster Jam tour in Brazil. It will have a three-city tour in Spain. There are plans for Asia and South America.
The U.S. is where the sport started and where it's still very popular.
In the spring of 2014, Monster Mania was held in Moscow. More than 15,000 fans flocked to the show.
"Absolutely everybody gets monster trucks. It is just big, loud and abusive." So says Tony Dixon, who drives a truck called "Swamp Thing."
Critical thinking challenge: What does the Monster Truck brand have in common with other businesses owned by Feld Entertainment?