Cyber Report #974

E-dition No. 974 • Thursday, October 19, 2017

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

 

 

Indy Proprietor Mitchell Elected to PBA Hall of Fame

 

The late Don Mitchell, a renowned bowling center owner and PBA host; 18-time PBA Tour champion Chris Barnes, and two-time PBA50 Player of the Year Ron Mohr have been elected to the PBA Hall of Fame.

 

They will be inducted on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Marriott North in Indianapolis as part of the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration.

 

Mitchell, who succumbed to cancer in 2012 at the age of 80, went from managing a small bowling center in Indianapolis to developing the Royal Pin Leisure Centers chain, which has hosted dozens of showcase events at all levels of bowling. Its centerpiece, Woodland Bowl on Indianapolis’s north side, has hosted every major championship the PBA has offered, and in 2018 will again be the focal point of the Tour when it hosts the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic, Feb. 13-18.

 

”Oh my gosh, what a great honor,” said Mitchell’s daughter, Donna Leimgruber, on behalf of her brothers, David and Craig Mitchell. “He would have been thrilled. He was such a good guy. I cannot express to you what this honor would mean to him.

 

“He always wanted to stay in the background. He might have been embarrassed with the recognition, but I can tell you he would be glowing with pride if he was still here. Bowling was my dad’s life and he lived it to the fullest.”

 

One of Mitchell’s closest admirers was his close friend, PBA Hall of Famer Mike Aulby, who Mitchell sponsored on tour for most of Aulby’s career.

 

“Don was one of the great bowling people,” said Aulby. “He loved the industry and the people in it. Don knew the importance of the Tour and its promotional value for the sport as a whole — he was very innovative.”

 

Mitchell’s bowling center empire grew from one center in 1974 to multiple centers with more than 300 lanes and five pro shops. He was a vocal advocate for the PBA as the sport’s most prominent promotional vehicle, and put his money behind his passions. He was equally enthusiastic as a bowler, competing in 50 USBC Open Championships.

 

Mitchell, who becomes the first bowling proprietor elected to the PBA Hall of Fame exclusively because of his role as a bowling center owner, had previously been inducted into the Indianapolis and Indiana Bowling Halls of Fame. Upon his death, the Indiana Bowling Centers Association created the Don Mitchell Meritorious Medal Award in his honor.

 

Barnes, 47, is one of five players to win both PBA Rookie and Player of the Year honors. He is one of six players to complete the PBA Triple Crown (2005 U.S. Open, 2006 PBA Tournament of Champions and 2011 PBA World Championship), and he ranked among the top 10 in PBA earnings for 16 consecutive seasons. He surpassed the $1 million milestone in career earnings in 170 events (2005), at the time the fewest events any player needed to achieve that milestone, and he won $200,000 “winner-take-all” prizes in Motel 6 Roll to Riches special events in 2005 and 2006.

 

Mohr has ranked among the top 10 in every key statistical category every year he has competed as a “senior” player. His breakout season was 2009, when he won three of his nine career titles en route to his first Player of the Year award. He has never had a season averaging below 220. In the 103 PBA50 Tour events he has entered, Mohr has cashed an impressive 97 times (a 94.1 percent success rate) and finished in the top five 34 times — one in every three tournaments entered.

 

 

Brunswick Acquires Assets of Ultimate Bowling Products

 

Brunswick Bowling Products announced today that it has acquired the assets of Ultimate Bowling Products, manufacturer of bowling ball inserts and accessory products. The purchase signifies Brunswick’s continued investment in the growth of its consumer offerings and product lines.

 

“Ultimate has built out a very nice product offering and reputable brand through its support of competitive bowling,” said Corey Dykstra, Chief Executive Officer of Brunswick Bowling Products. “We want to carry that tradition forward. The Brunswick and Ultimate brands together will make a formidable combination in the bowling industry.”

 

Brunswick announced that it will continue to market products under the Ultimate brand and will honor all warranties on existing products. Products included in the procurement include all finger inserts, thumb solids, interchangeable thumbs, polishes, cleaners, and ball plugs.

 

“The Ultimate acquisition allows us to leverage all of our consumer products resources to continue investing in the development of new products,” said Brian Graham, Brunswick’s Vice President of Consumer and Aftermarket Products.

 

Roger Brunette, Ultimate’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “In the history of the bowling industry, Brunswick has done more to support competitive bowling and bowlers than any company in the industry. We’re confident that we’re leaving Ultimate in great hands.”

 

 

Jack Siefert Joins QubicaAMF in FEC Capacity

 

QubicaAMF Worldwide has hired Jack Siefert as its new FEC Amusement Sales Executive. His primary role will be to grow the FEC segment of the company’s business.

 

Siefert will support the amusement division by selling the company’s full bowling product mix into the FEC market and managing relationships with amusement distributors in the United States. Bowling remains the leading participatory sport in the world, and now is commonly paired with FECs, resorts, water parks, trampoline parks and go kart facilities.

 

Siefert has more than 30 years of experience in the amusement industry, beginning as President of his own consulting firm in 1985. He has consulted and managed operations for a myriad of attractions, including Walt Disney World, ESPN and Sega GameWorks.

 

He joins Business Development Manager, Tony Tallarico, in supporting QubicaAMF’s growth and serving as a representative for all operators looking to expand their business by adding bowling as an attraction. “Bringing in an industry veteran like Jack, who has experience with both bowling and operational management of fun centers, provides an immense resource to our team,” Tallarico said.

 

“More family entertainment centers are looking to bowling as a potential anchor or supporting attraction for their business models,” said Jay Buhl, Senior Vice President and General Manager of QubicaAMF Worldwide. “We couldn’t be more excited to support entertainment businesses looking to improve their customer experience.”

 

Added Wendy Smith, Director of Business Development: “Bowling is a stable, predictable, cash-based enterprise that offers compelling ROI. Our product portfolio — including the BES X Bowler Entertainment System, Highway66 Mini Bowling, The Suite Spot and full-size bowling — puts us in a unique position to help our clients integrate the optimal bowling solution for their specific business model. This is an exciting time for bowling.”

 

 

Other News You Can Use…

 

* Matt O’Grady of Matawan, N.J., representing the PBA East Region, and Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., representing the South Region, have earned return trips to the PBA Regional Challenge in Reno, where O’Grady is the defending champion and Allen was runner-up in 2016. The PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour Challenge events will kick off the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Properties, at the National Bowling Stadium, on Tuesday, Nov. 7. WSOB IX marks the beginning of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour series for 2017-18. Read more here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/defending-champ-ogrady-returning-to-pba-regional-challenge/.

 

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Ric Hamlin of Steve Cook’s Bowling Supply. To listen to the interview, click here: http://www.kegel.net/phantomblog/2017/10/18/ric-hamlin-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, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at bcmmag.com.

 

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