Cyber Report #960

E-dition No. 960 • Thursday, July 13, 2017

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

 

Long-time Brunswick Executive Milt Rudo Dies

 

Milt Rudo of Chicago, a United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame member, died July 4. He was 98.

 

Rudo, who worked for more than four decades with Brunswick Corporation, was elected to the USBC Hall of Fame in 1984 for Meritorious Service for his efforts in the promotion and development of the sport.

 

Born Jan. 17, 1919, Rudo got his start in bowling in 1939 when he worked as a laborer constructing bowling lanes. That was between his sophomore and junior years at Johns Hopkins University. His father was a branch manager for Brunswick at the time, and Rudo was hired by the company after his graduation.

 

Starting as a salesman in 1940, he eventually would become the Bowling and Billiard Merchandise Manager. During that time, he helped in the redesign of the bowler’s service equipment, taking the chalk and hand towel out of the approach area in order to speed up play.

 

He became Eastern Regional Sales Manager in 1955 and played a role in the site selection for the first Brunswick Automatic Pinsetter location. He returned to Chicago in 1958 to become General Sales Manager of the Bowling Division and was heavily involved in the promotion of the sport and was named Marketing Vice President in 1960.

 

Rudo was involved with having the American Bowling Congress accept the use of laminated pins in its tournament, and in changing the settee areas from spectator-style seating to a table arrangement.

 

He was named President of the Bowling Division in 1962 and then selected to head the new Bowling Center Operations Division in 1965.

 

In 1967, Brunswick introduced its automatic scorer with the first fully automated bowling center. Though in development for many years, Rudo’s interest in pioneering the development of the automatic scorer brought a new dimension to bowling.

 

He later was involved in getting the American Junior Bowling Congress under the administration of ABC and the Women’s International Bowling Congress, and the expansion of the sport in Japan.

 

Rudo was honored by the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America with the BBIA Industry Service Award in 1973. In 1979, he was made an honorary member of the Professional Bowlers Association, becoming the first bowling manufacturer representative to receive the honor.

 

Rudo served six terms as President of the National Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum, overseeing the development and opening of the original facility in St. Louis in 1984.

 

 

QubicaAMF Named ‘Dedicated Partner’ by Ardent Leisure

 

QubicaAMF Worldwide and Ardent Leisure, one of Australia’s most successful leisure and entertainment groups, have partnered to take bowling to the next level throughout Australia.

 

Beginning in August 2015, the two began working on modernization projects and new-center development in Australia, along with major installations with Main Event Entertainment, which is owned by Ardent Leisure and operated in the United States.

 

Building upon that success, QubicaAMF has been selected as a dedicated partner for Ardent’s Bowling & Entertainment Division, with plans to replace older pinsetter machines with new TMS String Pinspotters and to upgrade 82-70XL Pinspotters with XLi technology.

 

In addition, QubicaAMF will be the exclusive scoring provider for Ardent, supplying BES X and Conqueror Pro to all new Kingpin facilities. Highway66 technology has also been incorporated in new Playtime Arcades.

 

Ardent Leisure’s businesses occupy dominant positions in affordable, family-friendly, leisure and entertainment categories including theme parks, attractions and indoor entertainment. Under its Bowling & Entertainment umbrella, Ardent Leisure owns AMF Bowling, Kingpin Bowling, Playtime Arcades and Main Event Entertainment.

 

In March 2016, Main Event officially selected QubicaAMF as its exclusive provider of bowling technology, installing the BES X Bowler Entertainment System in all of its centers throughout the United States. Growth has continued to develop worldwide, and Ardent Leisure has chosen to partner with QubicaAMF during the expansion of its Kingpin and Playtime brands throughout Australia and New Zealand.

 

Keeping bowling as a core component, the Bowling & Entertainment Division will continue to execute its transformation strategy to multifaceted entertainment. Ardent Leisure chose to first focus on upgrades of its Kingpin facilities (Darwin, Harbourside, Townsville, Crown and North Strathfield) to the BES X system, Conqueror Pro Management and replacing Micros POS with Conqueror POS. In addition, Ardent has replaced old pinsetters at the Castle Hill, North Strathfield and Kingpin Crown locations with the new TMS String Pinspotters.

 

“It is clear that Ardent Leisure is committed to the growth of their brands and have highlighted their Bowling & Entertainment Division as an opportunity to expand upon their strategy of creating a multifaceted entertainment experience,” said Jay Buhl, Senior Vice President and General Manager of QubicaAMF Worldwide. “We share a similar philosophy and passion for innovation, and enjoy our partnership to deliver a better guest experience for their customers.”

 

As a group, Ardent Leisure attracts more than 3 million customers annually, and has developed extensive communication opportunities to interact and transact with them, setting a path to become Australia’s leading international entertainment company. Across Australia and New Zealand, AMF and Kingpin account for 44 centers, 2,400-plus arcade games, 30,000-plus birthday parties and 2,500-plus corporate and adult events annually.

 

 

3 PBA Stars Go Bowling at the White House

 

Thanks to more than a little help from a PBA member with government insider connections, PBA stars E.J. Tackett, Sean Rash and Wes Malott got a chance to bowl at the Harry S. Truman Bowling Alley within the White House complex recently.

 

PBA member Chris Holmes, who works for the U.S. Department of the Interior, was asked by another government friend if Holmes would show his staff what “real bowling” looks like, so Holmes figured that would be a great chance to get some “real bowlers” to lend a hand.

 

After getting appropriate approvals, Holmes invited Tackett through Motiv, Rash and PBA Tour rep Chuck Gardner through Brunswick, and Malott through Roto Grip to visit the White House lanes.

 

Under the condition that the players’ visit would remain confidential until after the fact, the players got a chance to bowl and discuss the sport with a few members of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, while Holmes shot some video and recorded some interviews.

 

Some of Holmes’s content aired on WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. Each of the players also will have access to some of the content for their own social media outlets.

 

 

A Fourth ‘Best Bowler’ ESPY Award for Belmonte

 

Australia’s Jason Belmonte received his third consecutive Best Bowler ESPY Award Wednesday evening during the 2017 ESPY Awards ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

 

Belmonte, who now owns four ESPY awards, became the second player to earn three consecutive ESPYs, joining PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke who won three consecutively in 2007, ’08 and ’09.

 

Belmonte, a three-time PBA Player of the Year, was among winners in a variety of sports and special-moment categories that were determined by fan voting on espn.com, with the winners announced during ABC-TV’s live ESPY Awards telecast.

 

In 2017, Belmonte won the USBC Masters for a record fourth time and brought his PBA major title total to eight by winning the Barbasol PBA Players Championship.

 

Since last summer, he has compiled eight other top-10 finishes, including seventh in the 2017 FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions and fourth in the 2016 PBA World Championship. Most recently, he finished second in the inaugural Main Event PBA Tour Finals and third in the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open.

 

“I’m absolutely stoked about winning this year’s ESPY award,” said Belmonte, who won his first ESPY in 2011. “I can’t thank the fans enough for voting for me. The support and passion I receive from people all around the world is a huge motivation to keep pushing myself to raise the bar.

 

“To show my fans the appreciation I have for them, I will continue to work hard on and off the lanes and be as interactive as possible with them through social media and appearances. In addition to the fans, I’d also like to thank ESPN for establishing an award that honors outstanding achievement in our sport.”

 

Also nominated in the Best Bowler category were 2016 PBA Player of the Year E.J. Tackett and 2016 PBA Rookie of the Year Francois Lavoie.

 

Belmonte now is tied with Duke and PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber for second with four Best Bowler ESPY awards, trailing PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. who tops the list with seven.

 

 

2017 Junior Gold Is Ready to Roll in Cleveland

 

The 2017 Junior Gold Championships, presented by the Brands of Ebonite International, will have a record field of approximately 3,500 youth bowlers when the 20th edition of the premier event begins competition Monday in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

The Junior Gold Championships features the top youth bowlers in the country seeking national titles, spots on Junior Team USA and part of a $320,000 scholarship fund — also a record. The tournament has 20-and-under, 15-and-under and 12-and-under divisions for both boys and girls, for six total divisions.

 

Junior Gold will take place in seven centers across the greater Cleveland area: Freeway Lanes of Parma, Wickliffe Lanes, Yorktown Lanes, AMF Brookgate Lanes, Game of Mentor, Roseland Lanes and Game of Wickliffe.

 

The finals in each division will be taped Saturday, July 22, for broadcast on CBS Sports Network. The U12 finals will air July 25 at 8 p.m. Eastern, the U15 finals will air Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern, and the U20 finals will air Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. Eastern. BowlTV will provide livestream coverage of the Championships, starting with the advancers round in each division, until the TV finalists are determined.

 

Read more here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/junior-gold-championships-to-get-underway-in-cleveland-with-record-setting-field/.

 

 

Main Event Lands PrestonPlayz for Meet-and-Greets

 

Fans of the YouTube gaming sensation PrestonPlayz, also known as TBNRfrags, are in luck — presuming they live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

 

Main Event Entertainment, the nation’s fastest-growing bowling-anchored dining and entertainment destination, is hosting meet-and-greet events with the viral gaming phenomenon at all six of its centers across DFW beginning July 22.

 

PrestonPlayz is best known for his high-energy Minecraft videos. His YouTube channel has amassed more than 4.6 million subscribers, and the numbers continue to climb on a daily basis.

 

“We are really looking forward to hosting PrestonPlayz during his first-ever tour,” said Becky Johnson, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer of Main Event Entertainment. “If you’ve never seen his videos before, you don’t know what you’re missing. They’re both high-energy and instructional. He has an incredibly large and loyal following, so we are thrilled to offer his legions of fans the opportunity to meet him in person, and maybe even to play some fun games alongside him.”

 

The first meet-and-greet will be held on Saturday, July 22, from 6-8 p.m., at the newly remodeled Main Event in Lewisville, Texas. The remaining five locations, dates and times will be announced on Main Event’s website and Facebook page.
 

Lots of Live Streaming Coming Up on Xtra Frame

 

Xtra Frame’s exclusive video streaming action continues this week with the Nationwide PWBA Rochester (N.Y.) Open, Friday and Saturday, and then the PBA50 Tour begins the final leg of its 2017 season with the South Shore Open from Hammond, Ind., July 25-27.

 

The XF Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles from Copperfield Bowl in Houston, Texas, which will award PBA and PWBA Tour titles, will be covered July 28-30. Then it’s the PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic from Anderson, Ind., July 30-Aug. 1.

 

The PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup will become August’s focal point when the final three events in the 2017 series are on the calendar: the Xtra Frame Chesapeake Open from AMF Western Branch in Chesapeake, Va., Aug. 12-13; the Xtra Frame Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic from Mid-County Bowling and Entertainment in Middletown, Del., Aug. 19-20, and the series finale, the Xtra Frame Lefeld Implement Central Classic from Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, Aug. 26-27.

 

For streaming times and other details, check under the “schedules” tab on pba.com. Xtra Frame subscription packages are available for three days, 30 days and a full year. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv.

 

PBA fans also can follow real-time results for PBA50, PBA Xtra Frame Tour and all PBA Regional events by visiting the “live scoring” feature on pba.com. PWBA live scoring is available on pwba.com.

 

 

PBA Regional Manager McCordic: He Can Still Bowl

 

All of the PBA Regional managers have demonstrated some bowling skills over the years, but they all have set their PBA aspirations aside and no longer compete in PBA competition to avoid any conflicts of interest.

 

But when opportunities outside of the PBA are available, some of them still like to lace up their shoes and get their competitive juices flowing, like PBA Southwest Region Director Pete McCordic did in the Bowlers Journal Championships Presented by USBC earlier this week.

 

McCordic, a two-time PBA Tour titlist who bowled a nationally-televised 300 game during his peak playing days, returned to South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas Monday, and claimed the lead in Senior Singles Tuesday with an 812 series. The 63-year-old right-hander rolled games of 279, 290 and 243 to take the lead from Bo Goergen, who previously led with a 769 effort.

 

McCordic and partner Les Shirwindt missed taking the Senior Doubles lead by a single pin. McCordic had a 745 series and Shirwindt 670 for a 1415 total, one pin shy of the 1416 rolled earlier by Robert Brown and Billy Langford.

 

The “BJ” and the USBC Open Championships end Saturday.

 

 

Briefly…

 

* This week on Phantom Radio, Len Nicholson talks about two special award presentations in which he took part at Bowl Expo. To listen to the program, go to: http://www.kegel.net/phantomblog/2017/7/12/len-nicholson-phantom-radio-1.

 

* 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, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at bcmmag.com.

 

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