Cyber Report #981

E-dition No. 981 • Friday, December 15, 2017

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

 

Strike Spirits to Offer Top-Shelf Sprits in ‘Pin Bottles’

Strike Ten Entertainment has announced a sponsorship agreement with Strike Spirits, a company specializing in the development, sales and distribution of top-shelf, private-label and unique-branded spirits.

 

Strike Spirits will launch a complete line of spirits in a uniquely designed “bowling pin” bottle. The spirits line will include Dark Rum, Light Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, Tequila and Gin, sourced from some of the highest quality distilleries in the U.S., in January.

 

“Strike Spirits is exactly the type of partner we are looking for, as they are all in on their support and promotion of bowling,” said John Harbuck, President of Strike Ten Entertainment. “The quality of their products is incredible. This, combined with packaging that is unmistakably bowling, creates a unique product that will be attractive to both bowling centers and to national retailers.”

 

Effective Jan. 1, the sponsorship provides Strike Spirits the opportunity to place its line in bowling centers across the U.S., potentially reaching the more than 45 million consumers, who are 21 years or older, that bowl annually. In addition, the company will focus on distribution to non-bowling spirits retailers such as Costco, Total Wine, Walmart and others. To support its line, Strike Spirits will produce specialized point-of-sale materials.

 

“By combining some of the highest quality spirits products available with our custom-designed bowling pin bottles, we are paying tribute to the sport of bowling,” said, Josh King, CEO of Strike Spirits. “We are thrilled to partner with Strike Ten Entertainment and introduce our brand to bowlers across the country. We are confident that our specialty focus on the bowling industry will be a key factor in our successful entry and longevity in the marketplace.

 

“Our aim is to have Strike Spirits in millions of households across the U.S. as a constant reminder to celebrate bowling with friends and family,” added King.

 

The Strike Spirits line of premium liquors will be available in early 2018.

 

 

PepsiCo Expert to Discuss Cross-Cultural Marketing

 

Carlos Saavedra is Senior Director of Culture Marketing for PepsiCo and founder and leader of “Creator,” a cultural innovation lab within North America Beverages.

 

In this role, Saavedra prepares PepsiCo’s brand portfolio for the ever-changing cultural landscape, challenged with massive demographic shifts, sweeping innovations in technology, and emerging creator platforms.

 

At next month’s BPAA Bowling Summit, Saavedra will talk about how PepsiCo’s North America Beverages marketing team is tackling the opportunities created by the rapidly changing consumer landscape, particularly the increasing importance of Hispanic consumers.

 

Attendees will walk away with actionable insights on creating cross-cultural consumer experiences to keep today’s bowling centers both culturally and locally relevant.

 

The Bowling Summit is a strategic mid-winter conference for bowling center proprietors, managers and bowling industry leaders, providing a venue for networking with peers and learning from top business professionals. It will be held Jan. 14-18 in Tempe, Ariz. To learn more, visit www.bpaa.com/bowlingsummit.

 

 

Tickets Now Available for PBA 60th Anniversary Dinner

 

Tickets are now on sale for the PBA’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner, including the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Marriott North in Indianapolis.

 

Tickets, which include a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and open bar, are available for $125 (plus service fee) through the “Tickets” link on pba.com (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).

 

In addition to a special PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration and the inductions of Chris Barnes, Ron Mohr and the late Indianapolis proprietor, Don Mitchell, into the PBA Hall of Fame, the PBA will recognize the 2017 GEICO PBA Chris Schenkel Player of the Year, Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year, Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner and the Tony Reyes Memorial Community Service Award recipient.

 

The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour and “red carpet” reception, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited.

 

 

Owner to Re-open Center; Tenants Get Boot for Violating Liquor Law

 

Mountain Lanes in Wausau, Wis., will be reopening in January, giving the owner of the building, Connie Nowicki, an opportunity to sell items left behind by the former tenants, who had been leasing the space and operating the center since 2016.

 

Last year, the center was shut down when Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue discovered that those operators, Kaileah Koehler and Kham Rattanasack, had been filling top-shelf liquor bottles with bottom-shelf liquor, which is a crime. Koehler is facing a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

 

Last June, the Department of Revenue seized 30 bottles of liquor from the bowling center, and found that bottles of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum had been re-filled with Ron Diaz-brand rum, which costs less than half as much. Wisconsin alcohol beverage laws prohibit the dilution or refilling of intoxicating liquor bottles, and also require that all alcohol sold at retail be obtained from permitted liquor or beer wholesalers.

 

When Koehler and Rattanasack took over the business in 2016, they added “bounce houses” to the operation. Koehler had been operating the Jump On It bounce house business at the Wausau Center mall, which was said to be doing well and primed for expansion.

 

At the time they took over the center, Koehler and Rattanasack said they hoped to buy it one day.

 

 

CBS Sports Network to Air 10 Hours of PBA Tour Finals

 

Eight elite stars who have dominated the PBA’s earnings chart over a span of more than two years will compete in the historic Thunderbowl Lanes arena in Allen Park, Mich., May 5-6, in the second edition of the PBA Tour Finals.

 

The special event marks the PBA’s return to CBS Sports Network for a series of five two-hour, prime-time telecasts as part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.

 

The 2018 PBA Tour Finals field will be based on total earnings for 2016, 2017 and early 2018, concluding with the PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout, April 17-18 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

 

Other events from late 2017 and early 2018 that will impact the earnings list include all GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX events, the DHC PBA Japan Invitational, PBA Tournament of Champions, Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic, Barbasol PBA Players Championship, Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship Presented by BowlerX, USBC Masters and PBA League Elias Cup Championship.

 

Details regarding the PBA Tour Finals format will be announced. At stake will be a $30,000 first prize and a PBA Tour title

 

The Finals will be taped for television by CBS Sports Network. Telecast dates and times will be announced later. The 10 hours of nationally-televised coverage will conclude the Go Bowling! PBA Tour series which began with the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties, in December.

 

 

Business Briefs…

 

* Hollywood Bowl, the largest bowling center operator in the United Kingdom, is reporting an 8.8 percent increase in total revenues for the year. During 2017, the company refurbished six centers, rebranded four Bowlplex centers and opened three new centers. The company now operates 58 centers under the Hollywood Bowl, AMF and Bowlplex names, and said that more than 13 million games were bowled at those facilities during fiscal 2017.

 

* Even though it operates a number of facilities in regions that were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Dave & Buster’s reported significant year-to-year improvement for the third quarter of 2017. Revenue increased 9.3 percent to $250 million, attributable primarily to new store openings. “Our team pulled through remarkably well in the face of unprecedented weather-related challenges in the quarter and difficult comparisons to last year,” said CEO Steve King. “We continue to believe that the primary growth driver for the business is opening new stores with great returns.”

 

 

Other News You Can Use…

 

* The Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule for 2017 continues with doubleheader action Sunday on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. It features the PBA Chameleon Championship Presented by Reno Tahoe, followed by the PBA Shark Championship Presented by Xtra Frame. These are the first two animal pattern events of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties. Don’t forget to have at least a few of your center’s monitors tuned in.

 

* In 2017, Shannon O’Keefe achieved things no college bowling coach had done before. She won her first major after surviving a sudden-death rolloff against arguably the greatest woman pro bowler alive, got to go to the White House and spend a little time with President Trump, enjoyed a long profile in the Wall Street Journal, and won a gold medal at the World Bowling Championships despite being doubled over with debilitating pain associated with a kidney stone. So… how was your 2017?  O’Keefe’s, as you can see, was a little crazy. Well, okay, more than a little crazy. On the latest BJI Podcast with BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione, O’Keefe looked back on a year full of experiences she will not soon forget. You can listen to it here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/bji-podcast-shannon-okeefe-looks-back-on-her-crazy-2017/.

 

* This week on Phantom Radio, The Phantom talks about his new book, which features personal remembrances of PBA Hall of Fame members. To listen to the show, and learn how you can order the book, click here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2017/12/13/len-nicholson-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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