Cyber Report #1052

E-dition No. 1,052 • Friday, April 11, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

PBA Viewership Leaves 2018 Numbers in the Dust

The PBA Tour’s historic television package with FOX Sports and its social media impact, boosted by its new relationship with FloSports, continue to show impressive gains in 2019.

 During the PBA World Series of Bowling X, highlighted by live or first-run WSOB events on FS1 for five consecutive nights in late March plus multiple re-airs throughout the week, PBA competition was watched by 3,106,000 viewers on FS1 or FS2.

 To date, 15,583,000 viewers have tuned in to watch the PBA on FOX, FS1 or FS2 in 2019, including repeats. That’s 43 percent more than the total audience for PBA telecasts during the entire 2018 season (10,907,000).

 In addition to FOX coverage, FloBowling streamed more than 50 hours of WSOB X coverage, including elimination match play rounds during a week FloSports said had the most bowling fan viewership traffic to date.

 At the same time, PBA’s social media and website traffic continues to set records, rolling along at a pace that approached 70 million impressions across its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts during the first three months of the year.

The inaugural FOX Sports season has now moved into the PBA Playoffs, which will include eight consecutive Monday night prime-time telecasts on FS1 through May 27, leading into the live FOX semifinal and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2.

Advancing to the Round of 16 after one-game matches in the first half of the Round of 24 were Andres Gomez; Rhino Page, Kyle Troup and Kris Prather. Report: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/gomez-page-troup-prather-advance-to-round-of-16-in-pba-playoffs/.

 

Corporate Raider Irwin Jacobs Dies in Murder/Suicide

Irwin Jacobs, who acquired AMF Inc. in 1985 in a hostile takeover, has died along with his wife, Alexandra, in what is being described a murder-suicide. Both were 77.

The couple was found at its home in Minnetonka, Minn., on Wednesday. In recent years, Alexandra reportedly had been suffering from dementia, and often was seen in a wheelchair.

Known as “Irv the Liquidator,” Jacobs acquired AMF shortly after the company had reported a $7.3 million loss for its most recent six-month reporting period. He immediately implemented aggressive cost-cutting measures, trimming the headquarters staff from 200 to 60.

Although he said he intended to retain a sizable chunk of the company — specifically the sports and marine products divisions that made Hatteras yachts, Head skis and tennis equipment, AMF bowling equipment and Ben Hogan golf gear — he quickly put units that accounted for 53 percent of AMF’s 1984 revenues of $1.1 billion on the market.

Reports at the time described the AMF staff as “devastated” by the cutbacks. One employee who was let go said the atmosphere had gone from that of a morgue to that of a cemetery.

Later that same year, a group of private investors in Richmond, Va., acquired AMF’s bowling centers and bowling products division to form AMF Bowling Companies. The reported purchase price was $225 million.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that a long-time friend of the family said that Jacobs killed his wife and then killed himself. Local police said their bodies were found in their bed, along with a gun.

 

Live Music Capital Embraces ‘Social Bowling’

It’s virtually impossible for visitors to avoid hearing live music in Texas’s capital city of Austin, and it often begins as they walk through the terminal at Bergstrom International Airport after deplaning.

Live music in many forms can be encountered in concert halls, bars, clubs, coffee houses and even grocery stores. Several big music festivals call Austin home, and the Austin City Limits festival provides programming for the series of the same name on PBS.

In recent years, Austin also has become a capital of “social bowling,” home to several entertainment venues that offer bowling as part of a business model that stresses a social environment featuring multiple activities and an elevated food-and-beverage program.

High 5 and Punch Bowl Social already operate locations in the metropolitan area, as do a number of other companies that have venues just as diverse but more family oriented. Joining the lineup late this year will be Pinstack, to be located at Austin’s Tech Ridge Center.

The North Texas-based company has announced that its Austin venue will include bowling, laser tag, rock climbing walls, bumper cars, virtual-reality attractions, a 20-ft.-high ropes course, video games and a “giant Foosball table” that will accommodate 16 players.

Among the menu items being planned are mac-and-cheese pops and a pancake tower to complement more traditional offerings such as pizza and burgers. Wine on tap, craft beers and creative cocktails also will be available.

 

Debbie Rosendahl Earns Promotion at ZOT

Debbie Rosendahl has been promoted to Executive Vice President/CFO of ZOT Pinsetter Parts, it has been announced by ZOT’s President and owner, PJ Rosendahl.

She formerly was the company’s Customer Relations Manager and Systems Analyst.

Debbie’s 15-year career in banking, plus 11 years in retail sales, mostly in the golf industry, make her the ideal choice for this new position,” said Rosendahl. “She brings essential experiences and skills to the company.”

Debbie also runs a route business with ZOT GlossBoss Ball Conditioners placed in bowling centers in Colorado. She was a bowler of note and is a former member of the PWBA.

 

IBMA Will Have New President After Annual Meeting

The International Bowling Media Association has announced that there will be seven Board of Directors positions to be filled and voted upon at the IBMA Annual Meeting, to be held on June 24 during International Bowl Expo in Las Vegas. Each board term is for two years and will begin on Aug. 1, 2019.

After the meeting, the existing and new board members will vote on a new president, as current President Keith Hamilton has announced that he will not seek reelection.

During his four-year tenure, Hamilton helped to revitalize the organization by increasing the value of the IBMA Chuck Pezzano Media Scholarship from $3,000 to $5,000. To help fund the increase, he secured the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America as a presenting sponsor. Hamilton also created the Corporate Membership program, which not only helped in the payment and promotion of the scholarship, but also enabled IBMA to hire an operations manager to oversee committees and general operations.

It has been my honor to lead this historic organization through the past four years,” Hamilton said. “I encourage members to volunteer by serving on a committee or as a board member.”

 

Bowlingball.com Joins Cancer Fight in Florida

In preparation for the 2019 regular season at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, the Daytona Tortugas announced a season-long “strikeout cancer” campaign in conjunction with partner Bowlingball.com.

For every strikeout recorded by Tortugas’ pitchers at “The Jack” this season, Bowlingball.com and the Tortugas Care Foundation will make a $10 donation to “BOLD,” a local 501c3 dedicated to the betterment of life in Volusia County. Donations will be distributed to BOLD partners fighting cancer inside the greater Daytona Beach area.

In addition to the Strikeout Cancer campaign, Bowlingball.com will be the presenting sponsor of “Daytona Shore Night” and the “Daytona Shore” bobble-fist giveaway. The souvenir will be distributed to the first 1,000 fans through the gates on Saturday, May 25, when the Tortugas take on the Fort Myers Miracle, High-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

 

Business Briefs…

* Lakeside Lanes in Manchester has been named “Best Bowling Alley” in WMUR-TV’s 2019 Viewers Choice Awards. Runners-up were Exeter Bowling Lanes in Exeter, Yankee Lanes in Keene, Dover Bowl in Dover, and Leda Lanes in Nashua. Se pictures of the centers here: https://www.wmur.com/article/viewers-choice-2019-best-bowling-alley/27045374.

* TrainerTainment will host a Business Training Conference April 24-25 at Redemption Plus in Lenexa, Kan. For a full description of the event or to register, click here: https://trainertainment.net/product/april-business-growth-conference/

* New Round 1 Bowling and Entertainment centers are coming to the Deptford Mall in Deptford, N.J., and the new Philadelphia Fashion District, which is replacing the former Gallery at Market End shopping mall. The Philly location will span 60,000 square feet, and share a building with an AMC Theatres cinema.

* Also in Pennsylvania, a new entertainment venue featuring duckpin bowling has been announced for the North Shore neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Shorty’s Pins x Pints will have 10,000 square feet of indoor space and another 5,000 square feet wrapped outside the building. Pinball, bocce, beer pong and Jenga will be among the other attractions, while craft brews and international street foods will highlight the food-and-beverage program.

* Bowlero Corp. has opened its fifth Bowlero-branded facility in Florida after remodeling the 64-lane AMF Bradenton Lanes. The 59,000-sq.-ft. venue now includes all of the usual Bowlero accouterments, including blacklight bowling, high-definition video screens, vintage light fixtures, rich Herringbone-patterned floors and dramatic wall graphics.

* The building that formerly housed Oak Lanes in Dumas, Texas, was destroyed in a fire earlier this week. The building had been vacant for several years and there had been discussions about demolishing it to make way for more parking for the downtown area. The bowling center held sentimental value for many in the community, some of whom stopped by the site to procure a souvenir brick from the ruins.

* Bowling received a good deal of exposure in recent issues of the Las Vegas Review Journal, with features on the Brooklyn Bowl concert venue, the 40th anniversary of the Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall (which added its bowling center during year two of operation), and Dennis Mathews, the Director of Bowling Operations at the Red Rock Bowling Center.

* A soft opening is planned on May 4 for a new entertainment venue at the Bannerman Crossing development in Tallahassee, Fla. Plans call for Hangar 38 to offer eight lanes of boutique bowling, a full restaurant and bar, and more than 70 arcade games. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the venue’s name pays homage to the private helicopter hangar that is owned by the shopping center’s owner.

* Zeppoz already had a lot to offer the residents of Pullman, Wash., and students attending Washington State University. In addition to its bowling lanes, the facility includes a full bar, an arcade with numerous redemption games, and even a small casino called Mr. Z’s. Now, it also has an upgraded restaurant that offers food service daily until 2 a.m. Coming next: a revised food menu to keep existing customers engaged and attract new ones.

 

Other News You Can Use…

* Winner Luis Gonzales called it “life-changing.” Runner-up Kyle Troup called it “the toughest loss of my career so far.” One thing everyone can call it is “historic.” The $270,000 awarded to Gonzales for his 237-226 victory over Troup in the single-game championship match of the inaugural Bowlero Elite Series, which aired on NBC Sports Network on Tuesday after being taped at Bowlero Romeoville (Ill.) on April 2, amounts to the largest single prize check awarded in the history of competitive bowling. Report: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/amateur-luis-gonzalez-wins-270000-in-inaugural-bowlero-elite-series/.

* The Lindenwood Lions women’s team and McKendree Bearcats men’s team will seek to defend their national team titles, while 48 bowlers will compete for individual honors at the 2019 Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships next week in Dayton, Ohio. Poelking Lanes South is the host center for the pinnacle events of the college bowling season. Details: https://bowl.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?id=23622332743.

* The 2019 PBA50 Tour season gets underway April 14-17 when a full field of 160 players in the Johnny Petraglia BVL Open Presented by Lucas Magazine and Brunswick at Maple Countryside Lanes in Clearwater, Fla., followed by the season’s first major championship, the PBA50 National Championship at Spanish Springs Lanes in The Villages, Fla. Details: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/johnny-petraglia-bvl-open-pba50-national-championship-set-to-kick-off-pba50-tour-season/.

* The 10th anniversary PBA World Series of Bowling at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., featured a field of 135 players bowling in three animal pattern championships plus the PBA World Championship. Out of the 135, 52 players (38.5 percent) earned at least one check.

* Less than a 10-minute drive from Thunderbowl, the Lincoln Park Historical Society and Museum recently hosted a presentation devoted to Clemente’s Bar, Restaurant and Bowling Alley, which closed in 2010 after an 85-year run. Speaker Ed Clemente told those in attendance that although the building has been demolished, its bar lives on at Belmar Lanes in Lincoln Park. Read more about the gone-but-not-forgotten six-laner here: http://www.thenewsherald.com/downriver_life/clemente-s-bar-restaurant-and-bowling-alley-was-a-cherished/article_3ddf93b4-5703-11e9-8146-5f17b72f1136.html.

* The “early bird” registration deadline for the next Wisconsin Vintage Alleys Tour, conducted by the Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin, is just days away. Those registering by April 15 pay just $99, while those registering after the 15th will pay $119. The tour will begin and end in Green Bay, with stops at four centers — Mally’s Spare Time in Greenleaf, Algoma Pizza Bowl in Algoma, Sister Bay Bowl in Sister Bay, and Cherry Lanes in Sturgeon Bay — that have a total of just 20 lanes. Full details are available here: http://www.bowlwi.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/april2019-vintagetour.pdf.

* Kris Prather was the first of 17 PBA members drafted Monday at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, as the eight PBA League teams filled out their rosters for the 2019 PBA League Elias Cup competition, which returns to Bayside Bowl in July. Full draft results: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/kris-prather-selected-as-no-1-pick-in-2019-pba-league-draft/.

* Fifty-three-year-old PBA Regional champion David Williams Jr. says it made him “happy” to have advanced into the WSOB X field after finishing third in the event’s pre-tournament qualifier on March 10. Less than a year earlier, he was happy just to be alive. Read BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione’s inspiring story here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/meet-the-double-lung-transplant-recipient-who-advanced-into-the-wsob-x-field/.

* Veteran bowling journalist and regular BJI and BCM contributor Johnny Campos returns to Phantom Radio this week for another entertaining and informative conversation. To hear the interview, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2019/4/9/johnny-campos-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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