Cyber report #1039

E-dition No. 1,039 • Friday, January 18, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (

U.S. Open, Masters Set for FOX for 3 Years

The Professional Bowlers Association, United States Bowling Congress and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America announced a multi-year agreement to include the USBC Masters and U.S. Open as major events on the Go Bowling! PBA Tour television package on FOX Sports.

The announcement was made by PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark, BPAA Executive Director Frank DeSocio and USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy at the BPAA Bowling Summit in New Orleans.

FOX Sports will televise the U.S. Open live on FOX from 2020 through 2022, and the USBC Masters live on FS1 from 2019 through 2022.

The PBA is thrilled to have these two major professional events as part of the PBA Tour television package on FOX Sports for years to come,” Clark said. “It is terrific for the bowling industry to rally behind the PBA Tour on FOX Sports and collaborate on a long-term commitment for these major events.”

As a result of the agreement, the 2020 U.S. Open will move up in the calendar with the televised finals set for Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. The current U.S. Open format will continue, with a host venue for the 2020 event to be announced later.

The USBC Masters will continue to be conducted in its traditional time window in conjunction with the USBC Open Championships.



FOX NFL Sunday’ Named to NAB Hall of Fame

If you follow football, you probably saw that nice “pop” that the PBA’s move to FOX Sports was given on Dec. 23 on “FOX NFL Sunday.” If you didn’t. you can view it here:

This week, it was announced that the landmark pre-game show will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the 2019 NAB Show. The induction will occur during the Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner on Monday, April 8 at the Encore in Las Vegas.

FOX NFL Sunday” has ranked as America’s most-watched NFL pre-game show for the past 25 seasons. Since its inception in 1994, the program has served as the signature studio show for FOX Sports and revolutionized the sports television industry. The program includes an audio simulcast on FOX Sports Radio. In total, “FOX NFL Sunday” has received 16 Emmy Awards, with its on-air personalities garnering an additional seven trophies.

The program features co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, with analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson, and reports from NFL insider Jay Glazer.

Every week, millions of viewers across the country tune in to ‘FOX NFL Sunday’ not just for the latest information about ‘America’s Game,’ but also for the analysis and antics of the show’s larger-than-life personalities. The show resonates with football diehards and casual fans alike, and we look forward to enshrining it in our Hall of Fame,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith.

NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame television inductees include “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy,” María Elena Salinas, Chuck Lorre, Shonda Rhimes, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “American Idol,” Betty White, Garry Marshall, “Meet The Press” and Bob Newhart, among others.


Cathy DeSocio to Receive BPAA’s Lerner Award

Complete coverage of the BPAA Bowling Summit, which took place earlier this week in New Orleans, will appear in the March issues of Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International.

For now, we’ll simply share the names of the proprietors selected for BPAA’s industry service awards — headlined by the selection of Cathy DeSocio for the Victor Lerner Award, symbolic of induction into the BPAA Hall of Fame. DeSocio, a BPAA past president, served as the association’s de facto executive director when that position was vacant.

Others to be honored at International Bowl Expo this June in Las Vegas:

* V.A. Wapensky Award — Jim Stubler.

* Ruben Dankoff Award — Steve Wiemer

* Dick Weber Ambassador Award — John Janawicz

* Special Projects Award — Mandy Haws

* Media Award — Mookie Betts

* BPAA USBC Association Award — Columbus, Ohio USBC (to be presented at the USBC Convention this spring in Las Vegas)


Switch Teams Up With Warehouse of Games in GCC

Switch International, a leading manufacturer of modern, stylish and quality bowling equipment, has announced the appointment of Warehouse of Games as its new distributor for the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) territory.

Headquartered in Dubai, Warehouse of Games is one of the top suppliers of amusement equipment, arcade games and family entertainment centers in the Middle East. Warehouse of Games’ CEO and founder, Nabil Kassim said, “We are delighted to be distributors of Switch Bowling in the Middle East and North Africa. Together we have the expertise and funding needed to unlock a vast number of markets and enlarge our footprint. This acquisition marks another important step for Warehouse of Games, as we expand our global portfolio in the amusement industry.”

In a media release, Switch said it is delighted to have WOG on board and looks forward to many exciting projects together. Alain Winterhalter, CEO of Switch International, commented, “The Middle East has always been one of the most valued and important markets for Switch. This new collaboration between our companies means a reinforced presence for Switch in the area and will surely bring about unique and sensational entertainment and bowling projects. We wish Warehouse of Games every success.”


Bowlero Debuts Unique, Big-Money Elite Series

The first event of the Bowlero Elite Series will be a fast-paced, invitational tournament with a single-elimination, bracket format and a guaranteed first-place prize of more than $270,000, a second-place prize of $80,000, and a total prize fund in excess of $500,000.

In an email to BJI, Bowlero said the tournament would take place on April 2 at Bowlero Romeoville, outside Chicago.

The tournament is open to Bowlero Corp. league bowlers exclusively, and 16 elite bowlers will be chosen to compete based on two factors: skill and personality.

Bowlers will be able to show their skill and personality for a chance to be selected by submitting an application and a 60- to 90-second video. Applications are officially open and available online at They will be open until Feb. 11.


O’Grady to Lead Dexter Footwork of the Pros Clinics

Dexter has announced that 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions winner Matt O’Grady will be the lead instructor for the upcoming Dexter Footwork of the Pros Clinics.

Launching in 2019 at bowling centers throughout the country, the Dexter Footwear of the Pros Clinics will help bowlers fine-tune a key part of the game — their footwork.

O’Grady, known for his charismatic personality, love of the game and passion for helping to promote the sport of bowling, will focus on improving slide, traction and leverage points for each participant at these specialized clinics.

Special appearances at some of these events also will be made by Team Dexter members Jason Belmonte, E.J. Tackett, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Wes Malott, Anthony Simonsen, Tom Daugherty, Dom Barrett, Jason Couch, Josh Blanchard and Marshall Kent — just a few of the Team Dexter bowlers competing on this year’s PBA Tour.

Dexter also announced that Product Specialists Elysia Current and Ronnie Russell will be expanding their territories as they focus on supporting pro shops at the grassroots level. Current will now cover the Northeast and East Coast, excluding Georgia and Florida, which Russell will cover Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Both will continue bowling on their respective pro tour.


Creating the Difference Is PBA Product Registered

Creating the Difference, an educational company offering products and services for the bowling industry, has announced that it has become product registered with the PBA as an accessory company for the 2019-20 season.

Creating the Difference offers ball cleaning products and ball restoration products, and recently introduced sanding pads to its product mix.

We have always been committed to growing bowling,” said CEO Ronald Hickland Jr. “As a certified coach, ball rep and former PBA Xtra Frame commentator, I have seen first hand the ability to help bowlers become better through education. Because of these things, the decision to join as a sponsor just made sense. We look forward to helping the players and fans by offering support wherever we can.”

Creating the Difference has experienced tremendous growth since it was founded in 2015. The company stresses the importance of growing bowling through education and encourages others to do the same. Creating the Difference offers staff positions to help educate bowlers who also are passionate about growing bowling. For more information, visit


Business Briefs…

* Bob Thomas, who spent 21-and-a-half years in various capacities at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, has been named Executive Director of the Northern California Bowling Proprietors Association. Look for a full report in the February issue of Bowing Center Management (BCM).

* Online reviews can make or break a bowling center or bowling entertainment center — if they’re not properly managed. According to Josh Liebman, speaking at the BPAA Bowling Summit, 90% of prospective visitors are heavily influenced by reviews on yelp, Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook.


Other News You Can Use…

* Jakob Butturff finally closed the deal by winning the PBA Oklahoma Open as the stepladder finals’ top qualifier Sunday at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla. After losing last week’s season-opening PBA Hall of Fame Classic and the 2018 season-ending U.S. Open title matches as top qualifier, the 24-year-old left-hander finally broke the “slump” by defeating left-handed two-hander Jesper Svensson, 267-201, in the title match of the second stop of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season televised live by FS1. Report:

* The PBA and the European Bowling Tour are at loggerheads over the EBT’s use of handicap pins for women in its tournaments. Moving forward, the PBA has decided that it no longer will offer a PBA title in any event that makes the handicap available. Report:

* Jonathan Wilbur rolled the first 900 series in Vermont bowling history on Monday evening while competing in the Commercial men’s league at Rutland Bowlerama in Rutland. Report:

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Kevin Hong, who is helping to chronicle the history of bowling by photographing vintage bowing centers before they meet the wrecking ball. To listen to the interview, go to:

* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at

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