Cyber Report #1068

E-dition No. 1,068 • Friday, July 26, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

New European Roles for Mack, Somoff at Storm

Tim Mack has been named European Sales Manager by Storm Bowling. The company also announced that Peter Somoff will continue his duties as the International Business Development Agent.

Mack and Somoff will work in unison to maintain relationships and foster the growth of the brand in the European community.

“With a combination of more than 50 years of extensive worldwide experience in the bowling industry, Mack and Somoff will greatly support the European sales team and increase sales coverage in this growing market,” said Dave Symes, President of Storm Bowling.

Mack has won more than 70 titles around the world. In 1995, he joined Team Storm as a full-time member of the national professional staff, competing in international tournaments throughout the year and becoming one of the first global ambassadors for bowling.

He also represented the United States as a member of Team USA in 2003. The United States Olympic Committee recognized him as the Male Athlete of the Year for his performance at the 2003 World Bowling Men’s Championships. In 2018, he was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame.

“I’m thankful to Storm for this amazing opportunity,” Mack said. “I am looking forward to working closely with Peter, in addition to all of our wonderful European partners and customers. The goal has always been to provide the customer with the best experience. We look forward to continue to support bowling around the world.”

In addition to his sales responsibilities, Mack will continue to collaborate with the Storm tour team to assist Storm’s professional players competing on the PBA Tour and PWBA Tour with their bowling equipment during competition, analyzing their physical games, and assisting with their travel to international events. He also will represent Storm at events throughout the year.

Somoff has represented Storm for more than 25 years on the European sales team, traveling internationally to educate bowlers, business owners and pro shop professionals. In his new role, he will work closely with Mack to instruct international retailers about best practices, teach new drilling techniques, and discuss technical advances in new company products.

“Tim and I have been very close for years and his contacts throughout the world are amazing,” said Somoff. “I look forward to working together with Tim as well as the rest of our Storm family to support the growth of Europe’s market. Together our focus is to service all bowlers, pro shops and distributors in Europe, further supporting the growth of the sport.”

As an IBPSIA-certified master instructor, USBC Gold-certified coach, and European Tenpin Bowling Federation Level III-certified coach, Somoff has educated countless bowlers and individuals in the industry on and off the lanes.

In addition to his coaching credentials, Somoff has competed at the highest level. He was a PBA member from 1982-2003, and earned two PBA Regional titles.

In addition to his new responsibilities in Europe, Somoff will continue to educate bowlers around the world regarding advances in the sport.

 

Go Bowling Ready for FOX, NASCAR Initiatives

Strike Ten Entertainment has reached an agreement with FOX News for a return to the “FOX & Friends” morning program to promote National Bowling Day. The bowling industry will return to the set of that popular program on Saturday, Aug. 10, and GoBowling.com again will offer a coupon for a free game of bowling on its website.

Additionally, Go Bowling at The Glen — the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen International sponsored by Go Bowling — runs Sunday, Aug. 4, and National Bowling Day will be heavily promoted through the Go Bowling social media channels during the race that will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

Throughout the race weekend, fans will have plenty of opportunities to experience both sports. Go Bowling will have bowling lanes set up at the fan experience tent, provide opportunities to meet PBA pros and NASCAR drivers, and offer numerous chances to win bowling gear, free games and pit box seat upgrades.

Go Bowling also will be on the track as Cole Custer will drive the No. 00 Go Bowling Ford Mustang in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race, and Aric Almirola will drive the No. 10 Go Bowling Ford Mustang in Sunday’s NASCAR Monster Energy race.

“The partnership between ‘FOX & Friends’ and Go Bowling has been very productive and rewarding,” said John Harbuck, President of Strike Ten Entertainment. “Featuring our sport on one of the highest-rated networks in the nation generates tremendous top-of-mind awareness for bowling leading into the important fall league season.

“Strategically, August is the perfect time to get new bowlers onto the lanes as the fall season is about to get underway. With the exposure we will receive from ‘FOX & Friends,’ along with the bump we will get from our Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR race, we will be driving traffic into our member bowling centers at a time when league signups are occurring.”

Added BPAA President Randy Thompson: “This is going to be a great week for bowling and the Go Bowling brand. With the Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR race the week before bowling is featured on ‘FOX & Friends,’ National Bowling Day is going to receive an incredible boost this year.”

Strike Ten Entertainment and BPAA are fully supporting the National Bowling Day initiative, as digital marketing support materials have been created for all member centers to help drive business locally.

 

Blasco Receives Inaugural Teen Masters Spark Award

The first Teen Masters Spark Award has been presented to Floridian Tom Blasco. Plans call for the award to be presented annually to an outstanding youth bowling coach.

Blasco is an iconic coach in Florida and beyond, and has been respected not only for his innovative techniques, but for the extensive knowledge and lessons in integrity he has passed on to students.

He received the award during the 23rd annual Teen Masters Welcome Celebration in Florida on June 30.

“One of the biggest challenges we have encountered over the many years of our event is the too-frequent absence of knowledgeable coaches with a true passion for kids and the sport of bowling,” said Teen Masters founder Gary Beck. “[When we] became aware that Tom Blasco has that passion and played an important role in coaching several Teen Masters participants, including at least two champions, the idea for the award was born.”

The inscription on the crystal Spark Award reads: “Recognizing youth coaches who ignite a passion in their students for the sport of bowling.”

“I am totally excited about all of the Teen Masters kids and everything they represent,” said Blasco. “And I really appreciate being chosen for this award. I can think of a bunch of guys who deserve it just as much as I do right here in Florida.

“This event is a completely different experience than any other,” he added. “It makes these young people not just better bowlers, but better people. They have a passion for the game, and Teen Masters gives them the skills to compete in any environment. Thanks to Gary and everybody who had anything to do with making me the first winner.”

Criteria for future Teen Masters Spark Awards is being developed, and plans are for the Teen Masters participants themselves to be involved in the selection process.

The 24th Annual Teen Master is scheduled next summer in Richmond, Va.

 

Stars and Strikes Plans Second North Carolina Center

Georgia-based Stars and Strikes has announced plans to open its 14th family entertainment center in Concord, N.C., next summer. Concord is home to NASCAR’s Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as the Concord Mills mega-mall. It will be the company’s second location in North Carolina.

The 55,000-sq.-ft. facility will be located convenient to Interstate 85 and U.S. Highway 29, and will house 24 bowling lanes (including eight VIP lanes), an enormous arcade and prize store, multi-story laser tag, bumper cars, the 7/10 Grille and a large full-service bar. It also will feature private party rooms for events, including an upscale corporate event room that can seat more than 100 guests.

Stars and Strikes will be investing more than $7 million in the new facility and creating 100-plus jobs, most of which will be filled locally. Plans call for the company to open four additional locations in the fourth quarter of 2020.

 

2 New Venues and a Rebranded Center in the U.K.

The United Kingdom has two new bowling venues on the way, along with a third that has been modernized and rebranded.

The community of Leicester has been without a bowling center for 14 years since Megabowl closed. That will be remedied soon by the opening of East Street Lanes, owned by the company behind the Caddyshackers mini-golf destination. The new boutique center will have eight lanes, along with a restaurant and bar. It’s scheduled to open next month.

Meanwhile, construction has begun on The Escape in the Lancashire town of Chorley. Its anchor attractions will be six bowling lanes and an 18-hole adventure golf course, joined by arcade games, pool tables, live music, and a bar-and-food area.

And in Bury, Hollywood Bowl Group has rebranded its AMF Bowling center at The Rock with a contemporary American décor, new furnishings, upgraded music and lighting technology, and an enhanced redemption arcade.

 

Business Briefs…

* The IBMA’s Proprietor Support Program to enhance funding of the Chuck Pezzano Scholarship is in its final week. Proprietors who contribute $100 or more by July 31 will be featured in advertisements in upcoming issues of bowling magazines. “I greatly appreciate the donations made thus far,” said IBMA President Keith Hamilton, who is completing his term at the end of the month. “Although we are a bit short of our goal of $5,000, I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to make up the difference this week.” You can contact Hamilton, who can provide details on how to contribute, at keithh@lubypublishing.com. The scholarship award honors the memory of Chuck Pezzano, the USBC and PBA Hall of Fame member who influenced generations of bowling writers. Award-winning journalist Johnny Campos of the Peoria Journal-Star takes over as IBMA President on Aug. 1.

* The mall and entertainment space at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, formerly known as Xanadu, is finally scheduled to open to the public in October. The American Dream mega-mall has experienced a decade-and-a-half of stops and starts, the major stop caused by the economic downturn of 2008. Yes, bowling will be a part of the mix, as Lucky Strike Entertainment will present its immersive arcade-style gastropub concept called For The Win. The venue will include bowling and live music, occupying a 22,000-sq.-ft. space.

* Arizona will get its first indoor water park and resort when the Great Wolf Lodge opens Sept. 27 in Scottsdale. The resort will feature an 85,000-sq.-ft. water park with several slides, a wave pool, a lazy river and the “Diamondback Drop,” a four-person tube ride. Also part of the venue is a 27,000-sq.-ft. family entertainment center that will include a ropes course, climbing wall, mini-golf, a live-action game called MagiQuest and bowling.

 

Other News You Can Use…

* USBC announced today that it will lower the maximum age for bowlers who can be classified as USBC Youth members from 20 to 18, starting with the 2020-21 season. Although the SafeSport program that took hold in the wake of the scandal surrounding U.S. Olympic Gymnastics coach Larry Nassar did provide some catalyst for this change, IBC Managing Director of Youth Development Gary Brown explained on the BJI Podcast why it actually was not the driving force for this change, which had been discussed within USBC for years. Today’s announcement from USBC also revealed that the Junior Gold Championships, which was scheduled to be held in Indianapolis next year but recently was moved to Las Vegas, will be held in Indianapolis in 2021 instead. Brown spoke about those developments and more in this conversation. Listen here:

https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/podcast-usbcs-gary-brown-on

* Making his third consecutive championship round appearance of the season, Ron Mohr defeated Walter Ray Williams Jr., 279-215, in a battle of PBA Hall of Famers to win the PBA50 David Small’s Championship Lanes Classic Presented by Roto Grip in Anderson, Ind., for his first win of the season and 11th of his career. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/ron-mohr-wins-dave-smalls-championship-lanes-classic-for-11th-pba50-tour-title/

* EJ Tackett defeated Jakob Butturff, 2-1, in the “race-to-2 points” format title match to win his second Barbasol PBA Tour Finals Presented by Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa title in three years for his 13th career Go Bowling! PBA Tour title. The title match wrapped up nine hours of CBS Sports Network live coverage over two days at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. Report: https://www.pba.com/articles/EJ-Tackett-Wins-His-Second-Barbasol-PBA-Tour-Finals-for-13th-Career-Go-Bowling-PBA-Tour-Title.

* 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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