Cyber Report #955

E-dition No. 955 • Thursday, June 8, 2017
Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Exclusive: Dykstra Discusses New Role at Brunswick Bowling

Brent Perrier had been talking about retirement for about five years, but when Brunswick Corporation decided to get out of the bowling business in 2014, those plans were put on hold. Perrier was named Chief Executive Officer of a newly independent company called Brunswick Bowling.

Now, after leading Brunswick Bowling through that transition, Perrier has decided that the time has come. On July 25, he officially will hand over the CEO reins to Corey Dykstra, Brunswick Bowling’s CFO and Vice President of Consumer and Aftermarket Products, while staying on board as a consultant to Dykstra and the company’s board of directors.

“I’m excited to take the leadership role for the best group of teammates I could imagine working with,” Dykstra told the BJI Cyber Report this morning. “These people love bowling, and that passion shows through every day. It’s exciting to work with people who love their jobs and their careers.”

Dykstra joined Brunswick in 2004 after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University, then working as senior auditor at BDO Seidman, LLP for four years. In late 2011, while serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Brunswick Corporation’s Bowling Products Division, he was promoted to Vice President of After-Market and Consumer Products for that division.

At the time, Perrier called the promotion “a great move” for the company and the division.

“Brent has become a good friend to me,” Dykstra said. “He also has been a mentor, and I will continue to treat him as such.”

Dykstra added that he is upbeat about the future of bowling, calling it “an evolving business that’s shifting to the entertainment side and changing constantly. We see the challenges as opportunities, and we will continue to support both the sport and entertainment sides of bowling,” adding that no changes are planned regarding Brunswick Bowling’s commitment to the PBA or USBC.

For Perrier, there likely is a lot of “green” in his future as he is an avid golfer. His retirement marks the end of a 37-year career in bowling.

“It has been a great run at Brunswick,” Perrier said, “and I’m really proud to be leaving the company in the best financial position, and with the highest quality product line we’ve enjoyed in a long time. Furthermore, I’m happy the current management team will remain in place and will continue to drive Brunswick Bowling Products forward in developing innovative products and services for our customers.”

Added Perrier: “I would like to sincerely thank all the friends, customers and colleagues who I’ve known over the years in the bowling industry, and I hope to remain in contact with everyone in the future. I would especially like to thank the company’s current ownership and board of directors for allowing me to lead the start of the new chapter of Brunswick Bowling Products.”

Said Joe Licata, the company’s Chairman of the Board: “On behalf of the entire Brunswick Bowling Products organization, the board of directors would like to thank Brent for his many contributions to the company over the years, and welcome Corey into his new role. We see great potential in the strategic direction of the company, and are excited to have access to Corey’s talent and experience to bring Brunswick Bowling Products to the next level of performance.”

(Editor’s Note: The news of Perrier’s retirement and Dykstra’s promotion was first reported early Wednesday on bowlersjournal.com and bcmmag.com, as well as on the Facebook pages of Bowlers Journal International and Bowling Center Management. Be sure to “Like” those Facebook pages so you’ll receive alerts on and links to breaking bowling business news.)

Atairos Group Invests in Bowlmor AMF

Bowlmor AMF and Atairos Group, Inc., a strategic investment firm focused on supporting growth-oriented businesses, announced Tuesday that Atairos will acquire a substantial ownership position in Bowlmor from a group of previous investors led by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

As part of the transaction, Bowlmor Chief Executive Officer Tom Shannon will maintain his significant investment in Bowlmor, and the management team will continue to lead the company in their current roles. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We’ve had an incredibly successful partnership with Cerberus, growing Bowlmor from six centers in 2013 to over 300 today,” said Shannon. “We acquired and revitalized the AMF Bowling and Brunswick Bowling chains through extensive operational improvements and by introducing Bowlmor’s innovative sporting and entertainment experience to a national audience.

“Atairos is the ideal partner for Bowlmor as we embark on the next phase of our growth and development,” Shannon added. “Bowlmor has long been a great success story by providing a quality sporting and entertainment experience to our customers across our growing portfolio of bowling centers. Together with Atairos, we will build on our success by continuing to promote the unique social and sporting aspects of bowling to every consumer demographic across North America.”

Michael J. Angelakis, Chairman and CEO of Atairos, said, “This is an exciting opportunity for Atairos to invest in the growing out-of-home entertainment market by partnering with a proven entrepreneur in Tom Shannon, who has built the leading bowling franchise in North America, with terrific brands and unmatched scale.

“At a time when consumers are seeking unique and authentic experiences, Bowlmor’s highly differentiated and compelling offering has been enormously successful. With a proven, scalable platform and a highly talented management team, we believe there’s great potential for continuing growth through execution of the business plan as well as related acquisitions.”

Atairos is an independent, private company focused on supporting growth-oriented businesses across a wide range of industries. It provides a unique combination of active strategic partnership and patient long-term capital to high-potential companies and their management teams. Atairos was launched in 2016 with more than $4 billion in committed capital, and has offices in New York and Bryn Mawr, Pa.

J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse have provided fully committed financing for the transaction. Credit Suisse served as financial advisor to Bowlmor and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisor to Atairos.

GoBowling.com Site Gets a Makeover

GoBowling.com has been updated to serve as the gateway for consumers interested in learning more about the sport of bowling and promotions taking place around the country.

The revamped site was launched prior to the Go Bowling 400 NASCAR race that was broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 1 and MRN radio on May 13. In the weeks leading up to that high-profile event, Go Bowling activated a number of promotional marketing activities, including a national sweepstakes, designed to generate awareness of the GoBowling.com website.

“Through all of our digital and on-site activations around the race, we were able to drive thousands of new visitors to GoBowling.com,” said Nancy Schenk, President of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America. “Over 67 million people bowl annually, and our intent is to remind these consumers about how much fun bowling is, connect them to a nearby bowling center, and then get them out onto the lanes.”

To meet these needs, featured areas of content on the site now include:

* The “Learn” section, which is constantly being updated with new stories and videos to assist anyone from beginners to avid bowlers. Tips range from selecting the right house ball to warm-up drills to how to bowl more strikes.

* The “News” section, which features the latest and greatest news from the Go Bowling team, including tips, updates on promotions and more.

* The “Connect” section, which provides feeds from and links to Go Bowling’s social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

* The “Promos” section, which showcases current offers from participating bowling centers and industry partners such as Sixlets and Musselman’s.

On the “Find a Center” tab, consumers can enter their Zip Code to find nearby bowling centers. They also can check filters to find centers that serve specific needs, such as birthday parties, full-service bars, restaurants and more.

“GoBowling.com was always a great resource for consumers, and now it’s even better,” said John Harbuck, President of Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm of the bowling industry. “We’ve updated the graphics and provided much more in-depth content for those who are interested in not only learning more about bowling, but also in getting to the next level. The new site really highlights that we are a fun, family-friendly sport for all ages and all skill levels.”

IBPSIA Unveils Award Recipients for 2017

The International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association has announced the recipients of its annual awards for 2017. The honorees are:

* Business Excellence Award —
Michelle Rakow, Bowlers Advantage Pro Shop, Smyrna, Tenn.

* Friends of IBPSIA Award — Brunswick Bowling Products, Muskegon, Mich.

* Bill Bunetta Lighthouse Award
— Jim Lewis, Sports Plus/Carmen Don Pro Shop, Alexandria, Va.

* President’s Award
— Rod Ross, Team USA and USBC Gold-certified coach, Arlington, Texas.

All honorees will be presented with their awards on Tuesday, June 20 at the Pinnacle Down Under in Clarksville, Tenn., during the week of Bowl Expo in Nashville.

Read more about the awards here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/ibpsia-to-honor-rakow-ross-lewis-and-brunswick-bowling-products/.

Ryan Ciminelli Signs With Motiv Bowling Staff

Motiv Bowling has announced the addition of Ryan Ciminelli to the company’s PBA Tour Staff. A seven-time PBA national Tour champion and U.S. Open winner, Ciminelli is the winningest left-hander on the PBA Tour this decade.

“I am very excited about joining the Motiv team,” Ciminelli said. “I think that it’ll be a fantastic partnership, and the opportunity for myself and my family given by Motiv was one we are grateful for. I will do everything I can to make the best of it for us and for Motiv.”

Brett Spangler, Motiv’s PBA Tour Staff Manager, said, “Adding Ryan to our team is one of the biggest acquisitions in the history of the Motiv brand. Ryan is an incredible competitor who has proven over the last seven years that he can succeed in many environments and on the grandest stages our sport offers. We look forward to sharing in Ryan’s success moving forward, along with having his influence with our young and talented staff.”

Kegel Introduces a New Slogan

Kegel has announced the launch of a new slogan for the Lake Wales, Fla.-based company — “Kegel: Built For Bowling.”

This follows a change to Kegel’s mission statement, which occurred earlier this year. Kegel updated its mission statement to, “Kegel: Enhancing and Improving the Bowling Experience.”

Erin Wall, Kegel’s Marketing Coordinator, said, “With our new mission statement and slogan, we aim to capture that Kegel maintains a strong focus on bowling. We are a bowling company, we love what we do, and our purpose is to make the sport more enjoyable for everyone. Our company was built for bowling, our products are built for bowling, and our customers are built for bowling, too.”

Kegel will be transitioning to the use of this updated logo/slogan on all marketing materials, shirts, product packaging, websites, etc. It replaces the slogan, “Your Lanes, Our Passion.”

To view one of the company’s updated logos, click here: https://bcmmag.com/2017/06/06/kegel-unveils-a-new-company-slogan/.

Rally in the Alley to Benefit Richmond Charities

The Barton Malow Foundation, Richmond Flying Squirrels Charities, and RIR Cares are partnering for the third annual event to support RVA Field of Dreams Fest. This year’s event will be Rally in the Alley, a pro-celebrity bowling tournament taking place at Richmond International Raceway’s historic Old Dominion Building at the Richmond Raceway Complex on Sept. 7.

Rally in the Alley will feature eight teams bowling two rounds, with 15-minute breaks in-between. Each team will have a NASCAR celebrity, Flying Squirrel or local Richmond, Va., personality, a PWBA bowler, and two other members. Team members will bowl two frames each to see if they have what it takes to get a strike. Pro-celebrity participants will be announced at a later date.

“Barton Malow’s culture is driven by our core purpose of building people, projects and communities, and we firmly believe our success is measured by our impact in these areas,” said Mike VanSickel, Director of Business Development with Barton Malow. “The Barton Malow Foundation is committed to continuing our work with RIR Cares and Flying Squirrels Charities to build better communities through RVA Field of Dreams Fest.”

VIP tickets for Rally in the Alley, with access to the VIP lounge, meet and greet with pro-celebrity attendees, hors d’oeuvres and premium drink tickets, are priced at $100. General admission tickets will go on sale at a later date. VIP tickets are available at the Richmond box office, via phone at 866-455-7223 and online at rir.com.

Rally in the Alley will conclude a week of bowling, as the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship will take place Sept. 3-6. QubicaAMF, which is headquartered in Richmond, will build four state-of-the-art lanes inside the Old Dominion Building at the Richmond Raceway Complex for the event.

Tickets for the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship cost $25 for three days of access Sept. 4-6. Individual tickets for Sept. 6 are $20, while sessions one and two on Sept. 4-5 are $10 per event. Tickets are available at the Richmond box office, via phone at 866-455-7223 and online at rir.com.

Richmond’s 2017 NASCAR season will conclude with two nights of racing “under the lights” on Sept. 8-9. The fall race weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will see history on display as Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his final career, two-race appearance at Richmond.

For more, go to: https://bcmmag.com/2017/06/06/rally-in-the-alley-to-benefit-richmond-charities/.

Bowling Business Briefs…

* Tavern+Bowl, which already operated four locations in California’s San Diego and Orange counties, has expanded into Arizona. A public grand opening was held on May 18 for the new Tavern+Bowl at the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, Ariz. The concept calls for offering sophisticated food and beverages, along with numerous forms of entertainment, “without breaking the bank,” as a company spokesperson put it. The new Tavern+Bowl includes 12 lanes and other bowling capital equipment provided by QubicaAMF.

* Dates have been set for the 2018 edition for F2FEC — the Face 2 Face Entertainment Conference, open to owners and operators of family entertainment centers who are willing to share their experiences to help grow the FEC industry. The event will take place Feb. 20-22 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. For details, go to f2conference.com.

* More on The Broadmoor: Among the dining options at the resort is a venue called Play at The Broadmoor, which offers an array of leisure activities — including bowling — in addition to “whimsical plates that combine retro Americana favorites with elements of global cuisine.” Check it out here: https://www.broadmoor.com/dining/play-at-the-broadmoor/. And while you’re on that page, bowling center owners might be interested in this advisory: “All bowling lane reservations must be made separately… For your convenience, a 20% service charge has been added to your check for your bowling experience.”

* Marvin Sontz had worked at Del Lanes in Delmar, N.Y., since 1972, and became a co-owner of the center in 2013. But he no longer is involved in the business after pleading guilty to possessing and disseminating child pornography. His former business partner, Bill Cornell, told News 10: “We’re disappointed, obviously, in the way it turned out.” Cornell added that even though Sontz no longer has ownership in the center, what happened has impacted business. “It puts a stigma on a place,” he said, and then stressed, “It’s the same safe, fun place it has always been.” Read more here: http://news10.com/2017/06/07/local-bowling-alley-moving-forward-after-former-co-owner-pleads-guilty-to-child-porn-charges/.

* Dave & Buster’s broke its quarterly net income record during the first quarter of 2017, bringing in $42.8 million. Total revenue increased to $304.1 million, thanks in part to the opening of four new locations.

Other News You Can Use…

* The Junior Gold program had another record year for membership, and will see its largest field yet for the 2017 Junior Gold Championships Presented by the Brands of Ebonite International next month in Cleveland. The opening ceremony will take place on July 16, and you can read more about the event here: https://bcmmag.com/2017/06/06/junior-gold-set-to-break-records-again-next-month/.

* As the top seed for the finals at the 2017 Super Senior Classic, Ron Mohr found himself one win away from redemption and his first national victory in nearly five years — and he refused to be denied either Sunday at the Sam’s Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas. In a rematch of the 2016 title tilt at the same venue, Mohr was able to best defending champion, Junichi Yajima, 230-188, to record the win and claim the $7,000 top prize. More on Mohr: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/ron-mohr-wins-2017-super-senior-classic/.

* In a tournament that put a premium on spare shooting, Francois Lavoie threw an error-free game to upset top qualifier Ryan Ciminelli, 224-152, to win the PBA Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro (Ark.) Open at Jonesboro Bowling Center. Full report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/canadas-francois-lavoie-wins-pba-xtra-frame-greater-jonesboro-open/.

* Ochbayar Munkhgerel became the first bowler from Mongolia to bowl in a PBA Tour event when he entered the Xtra Frame Wilmington Open. Mongolia was one of seven countries represented in Wilmington, including England, Venezuela, Japan, Canada, Indonesia and the U.S. Munkhgerel, who prefers to be called “Och,” finished 91st in the field of 96.

* The Pepsi PWBA Lincoln Open kicks off today at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb., the center owned by 2017 BPAA Proprietor of the Year, John Losito. Be sure to check out the June issue of BCM for a cover story on this accomplished proprietor.

* Left-hander Jakob Butturff will return to South Plains Lanes this weekend to defend his PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock (Texas) Sports Open title. All of the action will be streamed live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. In addition to monthly and annual subscription packages, a three-day subscription is available for $3.99 (visit xtraframe.tv to sign up).

* Last call: Applications for the PBA’s 2017 PBA Billy Welu Scholarship, recognizing exemplary qualities in male or female college students who compete in bowling, are due by June 15. Candidates must be currently attending college and maintaining at least a 2.5/4.0 GPA or equivalent. The two-part application can be retrieved using this link: http://www.pba.com/Corporate/Scholarships.

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Randy Stoughton, coach of the Webber International women’s bowling team and head coach at the Kegel Training Center. To listen to the conversation, go to: https://www.kegel.net/phantomblog/2017/6/7/randy-stoughton-phantom-radio.

* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at bjibob@aol.com. For breaking business news, visit bcmmag.com or bowlersjournal.com. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at bcmmag.com.

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