Cyber Report #1073

E-dition No. 1,073 • Friday, August 30, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

World Bowling Signs TV Deal With CBS Sports Network

World Bowling — which is staging its 2019 Women’s Championships this week at the Tournament Bowling Plaza at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa in Las Vegas — has signed a multi-year agreement with CBS Sports Network.

The deal beings with this week’s competition, and also includes exclusive programming from events:

* 2019 Storm Lucky Larsen Masters

* 2019 World Bowling Tour Thailand

* 25th Asian Bowling Championships

* 2019 World Bowling Tour Kuwait Open

* 2019 World Bowling Tour Finals

* 2020 World Bowling Youth Championships

* 2020 World Bowling Singles Championships


“This is excellent news for World Bowling and for the fans of our sport,” said World Bowling President HRH Sheikh Talal Mohammed Al-Sabah. “With many events taking place on U.S. soil in the coming years, we are pleased that we can offer this level of exposure to our athletes and sport.”

The 2019 Women’s Championships has attracted 177 athletes from 34 countries. They, along with local and world bowling officials, spectators and fans, were welcomed to the South Point Bowling Plaza with a 45-minute opening ceremony that marked the beginning of five days of qualifying and two days of finals on Thursday and Friday (Aug. 29 and 30).

World Bowling CEO Kevin Dornberger offered a special welcome to athletes and officials from Mongolia and Saudi Arabia, who are participating in the event for the first time. He also pointed out that live coverage for nine-and-a-half hours on Thursday and six hours on Friday meant that bowling would “be seen by a lot of bowling fans around the world.”

Added Dornberger: “We also thank our friends here at South Point. Welcome to the best bowling facility in the world.”

South Point Director of Bowling Mike Monyak also welcomed the athletes.

I have been watching all of you practice, and I admire your incredible talent and enthusiasm and how you represent your countries,” he said. “It makes us feel really great about being involved in this sport.”

After the United States’ National Anthem was played, Team USA member Stefanie Johnson read the athletes’ pledge, and Southern Nevada USBC President Vern Vernazzaro read the officials’ oath. With that, the event was declared officially open by Pan American Zone President Martin Faba.

How to follow the remainder of the World Bowling Women’s Championships:

* Live scoring: Lanetalk app

* Social: @worldbowling #WBWC2019

* Event website for results and schedule: https://2019wwc.worldbowling.org/

 

Bill Straub Steps Down as Nebraska Coach

The only head bowling coach Nebraska University has ever known — and one of the most successful coaches in collegiate bowling history — has announced his retirement.

Bill Straub, now in his late 60s, cited the challenges of travel and the desire to dial back his busy life as the reasons for his decision. At 6-foot-5, he noted, he has always been too big for airplane seats and typical motel beds, adding that the aortic dissection he suffered in the winter of 2014 slowed him down.

During most of his tenure, NU and Wichita State University — which also recently saw its long-time head coach, Gordon Vadakin, retire — were perennial contenders for collegiate bowling’s top honors. NU won IBC national titles in 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001, and NCAA national championships in 2004, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2015. 

I’m getting further away from my date of birth than I’m comfortable doing,” Straub told the Omaha World-Herald. “I thought, why not quit, as opposed to be asked to quit?”

 

Storm Introduces Younger Staff Members to Public

Storm Bowling has been posting a number of Q&A features with some of its younger staff members to help introduce them to the bowing community and sports fans in general, while simultaneously working to strengthen the Storm brand.

Among the interviews that are available to watch…

* Julia Bond, PWBA Regional Showdown champion: http://news.stormbowling.com/2019/08/26/rookie-julia-bond-shines-on-pwba-tour/

* KT Simpson PWBA Orlando Regional Champion: http://news.stormbowling.com/2019/08/20/katelyn-simpson-wins-pwba-orlando-regional/

* Caroline Thesier, Storm Youth Championships Champion and Junior Gold Girls U17 Champion: http://news.stormbowling.com/2019/08/13/youth-spotlight-caroline-thesier/

* Katelyn Abigania, SYC Champion and Junior Gold Girls U12 Champion: http://news.stormbowling.com/2019/08/21/youth-spotlight-katelyn-abigania/

Blair Blumenscheid of Team Storm Communications said more online interviews are being planned.

 

Hammer Extends Contract With Tom Daugherty

Tom Daugherty has agreed to a three-year contract extension with Hammer.

Daugherty, who has two PBA Tour titles to his credit, joined Hammer in 2016 and promptly won the Wolf Open.

Daugherty said the amount of support he receives from Hammer made it an easy decision to extend his contract.

It’s been the best four years of my career,” Daugherty said. “I believe I owe my success to a little bit of hard work, a little bit of luck and a lot to the great equipment put into my hands.

It’s also a great feeling knowing a company wants you as much as you want to be a part of them.”

In addition to throwing Hammer balls, Daugherty has fully committed to Hammer footwear as well.

Rob Gotchall, Manager of Players and Performance for Hammer, said the “no-thumb” bowler embodies the Hammer brand both on and off the lanes.

Tom has a larger-than-life personality,” Gotchall said. “This comes through in everything he does from competition, to working in a pro shop, to event appearances. He brands himself ‘The Rebel’ and he’s pure Hammer.”

Daugherty resides in Riverview, Fla. He operates two pro shops in Brandon and Lutz, Fla.

 

1970s Look Is Recreated at Michigan Center

If you grew up in or occasionally visited a Brunswick Recreation Center during the 1970s, get ready for a flashback.

Kelly and Dean Elliott, along with partner David Zainea of Detroit’s historic Garden Bowl and Majestic Theatre, have transformed the Bowlero Lanes and Lounge in Royal Oak, Mich., into a destination with a distinctly 1970s vibe.

The partners bought the building and the land in August 2018 for $800,000, then spent the last year remodeling the center. $1.4 million later, the center — not affiliated with Bowlero Corp. — is a dead ringer for a 1970s BRC facility, with a few furniture upgrades.

In particular, the color scheme — a lot of orange, yellow and black on the sidewalls — will be familiar to anyone who bowled during that era.

We put a lot of love into this,” said Kelly Elliott. “Every square inch the public sees, I’ve looked at and addressed. I want people to feel like they’re going back in time.”

Read more about the transformation and view lots of photos here: https://expo.mlive.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/08/14d9a998e97678/michigan-bowling-alley-now-has-groovy-brady-bunch-1970s-look-after-14m-restoration.html

 

Business Briefs…

* The bowling center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda in Maryland has been shut down, ending a 40-year run. Reasons cited were a steady decline of customers and the prohibitive cost of needed repairs to pinsetting equipment and lanes. The closure has been met with a mix of sadness and anger, as the center was seen as a place that played a key role in helping veterans — especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder — transition back to civilian life as it provided a sense of normalcy. “Some of the people would be [missing] all but one limb, but they’d still have the spirit to get in there and bowl,” said Spencer Donerson Jr., a Navy vet who now works at Walter Reed Medical Center. Read NPR’s full story on the closing of the center here: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/28/753770704/last-strike-for-bowling-alley-that-helped-anchor-many-veterans

* Two Syracuse, N.Y., area centers have closed their doors within days of each other. First, Lakeview Bowling Center in Liverpool announced it was closing, and then came an almost identical announcement from Bowl Mor Lanes in East Syracuse. Operators of both centers cited the steady decline in league play as reason for the decision to close. Both also were working with other area centers to place their remaining league bowlers. Read more here: https://www.syracuse.com/business/2019/08/east-syracuse-bowling-center-becomes-second-local-bowling-alley-to-close-this-week.html

* The cost of bowling is going up by $1 per game at the University of California at Davis’s Memorial Union. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the increase will be accompanied by new pinspotters from QubicaAMF. Although the 1960s-era machines that are being replaced continued to operate well, school officials said that replacement parts were increasingly difficult to find, and the retirement of the facility’s full-time mechanic in 2015 left upkeep work to students, for whom training is not available.

* Sierra Lanes in Ridgecrest, the California community that experienced a series of earthquakes (two of which were considered major) in July and August, has closed. In an announcement on Facebook, the center cited earthquake damage, along with “conditions out of our control” and “other circumstances,” as the reasons for the sudden closure. The center is located just a few miles from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California’s western Mojave Desert. The base is home to a 10-lane bowling center, Hall Memorial Lanes, which offers free bowling (three games per day) for all active-duty personnel.

* Main Event Entertainment will debut the Beat Saber virtual reality attraction at its 43 centers nationwide on Saturday. The company is promoting Labor Day weekend as “Saber-Day Weekend,” introducing guests to the game in which players slash the beats of adrenaline-pumping music. The game includes several songs and five levels of difficulty.

* The entry deadline for the 2019 BJI Bowling Center Architecture and Design Awards will be here before you know it. Centers that have been built or modernized since Aug. 1, 2018, are eligible to be entered into our industry’s only annual initiative that encourages investment and reinvestment in bowling-based entertainment centers. To download an entry form, click here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019-Arch-Award-Form.pdf

 

Other News You Can Use…

* Former Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher John Burkett shot 247 in his final position-round match Sunday to win his first PBA Regional title and become the first former major leaguer to win a PBA title at any level. Details: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/ex-mlb-star-john-burkett-makes-history-with-pba-regional-win-in-houston/

* Duane Mellinger, a recent inductee into the Colorado State Bowling Hall of Fame, became the oldest-ever winner of the New Mexico Open at Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho, N.M. Mellinger averaged 211.7 over 22 games, proving that it still is “strikes for show and spares for dough” as he earned $12,620. The 16th annual event paid out a record $65,075, much of it from corporate and local sponsors, bringing the total payout since 2004 to more than $656,000. It also proved that with proper promotion, a bowling center can still be filled with tournament bowlers and spectators, even during the “off-season.” Look for full coverage in the October issue of BJI. The 2020 tournament is set for Aug. 14-16, continuing its third-weekend-of-the-month tradition.

* In front of a hometown crowd, Sean Rash beat Anthony Simonsen, 257-193, in the title match to win the PBA Wolf Open Tuesday at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Ill., for his second Go Bowling! PBA Tour title of the season and the 14th of his career. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/sean-rash-wins-second-title-of-2019-with-pba-wolf-open-victory/

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Matt McNiel. To listen to the program, click here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2019/8/27/matt-mcniel-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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