Cyber Report #1078

E-dition No. 1,078 • Friday, September 27, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Fastest Strike’ Brings Bowling Awareness to the Masses

Jason Belmonte teamed with NASCAR star Aric Almirola to unleash what’s being described as “the fastest strike in the sport of bowling.”

With Almirola driving Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang, Belmonte took aim at the 10 pins that were set on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s start/finish line and delivered what can only be described as a thunderous strike.

“That was easily one of the most fantastic strikes I have delivered in my bowling career,” said Belmonte, who used a specially designed Storm ball to blast the pins. “I’ve had the chance to ride with Aric before, and I put my total trust in his ability to get me perfectly lined up for the shot.”

Almirola said delivering a strike while going 140 miles per hour is not exactly easy without the right equipment.

“If you need a strike, it helps to have one of the all-time great bowlers in the seat next to you,” Almirola said. “I know Jason is a two-hander, but I think the No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford probably generates a little more power. It was a great challenge, and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to team up for that strike.”

Almirola is in his second year with Stewart-Haas Racing and eighth year competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He met Belmonte at the Go Bowling! at The Glen race at Watkins Glen International in 2018. Belmonte served as the PBA ambassador at the race.

The two met again in early 2019, joining forces for the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational Presented by Go Bowling! in January. At that event, Belmonte brought up the idea of attempting the world’s fastest strike.

With GoBowling.com, Smithfield (the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Hass Racing) and Storm Bowling (the ball company that sponsors Belmonte), the wheels were put into motion.

Stewart-Haas Racing provided the specially wrapped and outfitted Mustang to safely accommodate Belmonte for the attempt. Storm produced 12 “Pro Motion” rock-solid bowling balls to withstand the 140-mph launch from the racecar, and Go Bowling! provided the branded pins for the attempt on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL Course, which will host the Sept. 29 Bank of America ROVAL 400 this Sunday.

“GoBowling.com was excited to team with Aric, Jason, Stewart-Haas Racing and Storm Bowling on this amazing feat,” said John Harbuck, President of Strike Ten Entertainment. “Our partnerships in the racing world have been very effective as we seek to put bowling in front of consumers. I’m certain the video of the world’s fastest strike will give us even further reach.”

The parties met Sept. 4 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the pins were set up at the start/finish line and the No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang started its run halfway around the road course to get enough speed for the attempt.

While the first few attempts were a little off-target, Belmonte showed he can read any lane condition — even a road course lane — and struck on the fifth attempt from his passenger seat.

To watch the video detailing the performance, including the strike, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYwI8jAtRRU.

We’ll have much more on the event, including photos, in the November issue of BCM. And to relive four other “fast strikes” recorded on Jan. 6, 1964, be sure to read Jake Schmidt’s “Yesteryear” column in the October issue of BJI.

 

Main Event May Have Had Greatest ‘Area 51’ Success

For months leading up to Storm Area 51 events in Lincoln County, Nev., local residents and officials fretted about being overrun by visitors motivated to visit the area by the “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” Facebook page.

The residents feared massive trespassing on and potential damage to their property. The officials had to take the potential of the events seriously because they needed to protect those residents as well as access to the United States Air Force Area 51 within the Nevada Test and Training Range.

The final numbers: Lincoln County prepared for 30,000 people to attend weekend events. At their peak, the Alienstock festival attracted 3,000 people, while Area 51 Basecamp attendance topped out at 100.

It’s very possible that Main Event had much greater success with its own Area 51 promotion motivated by the Facebook page and the events in Nevada.

On Sept. 20, Main Event offered fans an opportunity to raid its Arena 51 multi-level laser tag courses. Guests could use the “top-secret” promo code “Arena 51” at any of the 43 local Main Event centers to receive 51% off laser tag games throughout the day.

“The mission behind Main Event is creating fun, memorable experiences for our guests, which is why we believe we have the distinct ability to tap into cultural moments like this,” said Sarah Beddoe, Chief Brand Officer for Main Event. “Our state-of-the-art laser tag rooms offer an adrenaline-pumping experience around every corner, something everyone from thrill-seekers to families can enjoy.”

The Main Event laser tag arenas feature a foggy, black-lit, multi-level room with hurdles and obstacles on each level. Each game accommodates up to 15 participants on two teams going toe-to-toe for 15 minutes of high-intensity skirmishes.

Along with the laser tag promotion, Main Event featured themed specialty beverages and menu items available exclusively on the 20th, including the Area 51 Burger (an-All American burger taking the shape of a UFO with the addition of a fried cheddar jalapeño tortilla and sitting on a side of queso to give the illusion that it is floating) for $9.99.

Guests could order it with onion rings stacked on top for $2 extra to get even more of an extraterrestrial look.

 

Update: Ciniellos and Customers Donate $18,000 for ‘Dorian’ Relief

In Cyber Report No. 1,077, we reported that Bowland and HeadPinz centers in Florida activated “Operation: Love for The Bahamas” in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

The goal was to raise $10,000 in one week, half from guest donations and that amount matched by Pat and Lisa Ciniello, proprietors of the six centers.

Now results are in, and the goal was easily surpassed. Bowland and HeadPinz customers donated $9,000, and the Ciniellos added $9,000 for a total donation of $18,000.

After reviewing options, it was decided to donate 100% of the $18,000 to the Green Turtle Cay Relief Fund, through the Sanibel Sea School, a 501c3 nonprofit.

The goal of the Green Turtle Cay Relief Fund was to raise $150,000 for hurricane relief, and as of Thursday morning, donations amounted to $147,650. Here’s a link to that effort’s GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/green-turtle-cay-hurrican-dorian-relief.

 

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas Is Now Sensory Inclusive

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas has partnered with KultureCity, making the venue the first sensory-inclusive bowling center in the world.

The partnership was teased by Imagine Dragons’ drummer and KultureCity board member, Daniel Platzman, at Nevada Public Radio Trivia Night, hosted at Brooklyn Bowl over the summer.

“It is incredibly fulfilling for me to see the iconic bowling alley and music venue from my hometown, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, join the KultureCity sensory inclusive movement,” said KultureCity board member Daniel Platzman. “I am extremely proud to be a part of this nonprofit and their dedication to inclusion and acceptance of all individuals regardless of their unique abilities.”

Nearly one in five people worldwide live with a disability. KultureCity, a startup nonprofit that strives to create a community of acceptance and inclusion for all individuals, is working to remove societal barriers and prejudices by partnering with companies to promote true acceptance of individuals with unique abilities.

In order to become certified, all Brooklyn Bowl employees received training on sensory needs such as PTSD, autism and dementia. Also, the center is now stocked with “Sensory Bags” that include sensory headphones, fidget tools, KultureCity VIP Access Passes and Feeling Zone Thermometers that provide individuals with a way to share how they are feeling by pointing to a color zone.

Additionally, a “Quiet Area” will be designated as a safe space for individuals to escape the noise.

For more information, visit Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas’ website: www.brooklynbowl.com/lasvegas.

 

Southeast Targeted for Spare Time Expansion Plans

Bowl New England Inc., which does business as Spare Time Entertainment, has announced major expansion plans within the next 24 months across the Southeast. Sites selected include Charlotte, NC; Des Moines Iowa; Lexington, Ky., and Virginia.

The company’s new FEC model typically includes 22 bowling lanes with theatre-sized HD video walls. A private bar, couches and six to eight lanes reside in the upscale Elite Suite private event spaces, ideal for corporate and private events.

The facilities also will feature laser tag arenas with heart-pounding music, fog and special effects; game rooms with more than 100 of the hottest arcade games and prize stores, and two to four escape room adventures.

A full-service restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor patio seating, and a chef-inspired menu selection — filled with indulgences like pimento cheese, signature burgers, salmon and more — will be featured as well.

“We’re so excited about our expansion plans, which not only include facilities, but also the development and growth of our Spare Time team,” said Heather Provost, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Spare Time Entertainment. “Family is important to us and our brand is perfect for young children, teenagers, parents and grandparents. We offer something for everyone.

“Spare Time’s family-friendly environment is a place to bond,” Provost added. “Whether you’re planning to host your child’s birthday party, corporate executives, girls’ night out or a school spirit night, events are our specialty. We take great pride in ‘Creating Memorable Experiences. Every Guest, Every Visit.’”

For more information, visit: www.sparetimeentertainment.com.

 

Will ‘WBX’ Provide the Pathway to the Olympics?

World Bowling is seeking responses to a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) to identify partners, hosts, suppliers and agencies that would associate their knowledge, capacity and vision into a project that the organization is creating — WBX — launching in November 2020.

World Bowling is autonomous in administering bowling and is responsible for promoting the development of bowling throughout the world, promoting the Olympic movement, contributing to the achievement of the goals set forth in the Olympic Charter, establishing rules for the uniform practice of bowling throughout the world, and ensuring that official bowling activities meet the requirements of the Olympic Charter.

Plans call for WBX to be delivered via temporary infrastructure within key city locations featuring the top women’s and men’s bowling nations. It would be a three-day event to showcase the athleticism and skill of bowling’s athletes as they participate as individuals, pairs and teams of five.

WBX has been developed by World Bowling as a complementary event to the main World Championships format, with the intention of appealing to a younger generation as a result of its accessibility in location, speed and opportunity to showcase high-level skills.

The development and introduction of WBX has the following objectives:

* Rejuvenate and reposition the international portfolio of events.

* Create immense value for the sport and new commercial opportunities.

* Engage with the younger fans.

* Create a calendar with more entertaining events for bowling fans.

* Increase worldwide participation.

Ultimately, the appointed persons for this project must show creativity as well as experience in developing a brand that will attract and appeal to celebrity/star fans and attendees. This may include experience in on-site P.R. activations and pre-event work to create a buzz. Merchandising and e-commerce experience also would be beneficial.

Via its RFP, World Bowling is seeking reaction and input in the following areas:

* Official lane provider

* Lane maintenance

* Official scoring system

* Technology partner

* Commercial rights

* Clothing provider

* Event delivery and sports presentation

* TV production

* Transportation

* Host cities

 

IBMA Meets Proprietor Support Fundraising Goal

When the call went out by former International Bowling Media Association President Keith Hamilton to help raise $5,000 for the Chuck Pezzano Media Scholarship, several people stepped up with checkbooks in hand.

The Pezzano Scholarship is administered by the IBMA to help perpetuate the next generation of bowling journalists. It also honors the memory of one of bowling’s most respected and honored bowling writers of the 20th century.

The IBMA reached its goal and would like to thank the contributors, who also will be acknowledged in ads in October’s industry publications.

Here’s a look at the individuals that contributed to the IBMA proprietor support fundraiser:

* Ted Baer — The Ted Baer Foundation

* Pat Ciniello — Bowland Centers

* Scott Devers — Mike Aulby’s Arrowhead Lanes

* Wally Hall — Annapolis Bowl

* John LaSpina — Maple Family Centers

* Steve Mackie — Tenpins and More

* Tom Martino — Majestic Lanes

* Mike Panozzo and Keith Hamilton — Luby Publishing Inc.

* Scott Scriver — LeagueSecretary.com

* Frank Wilkinson — Rab’s Country Lanes

 

Business Briefs…

* eBowl.biz and CDE Software have announced the release of their league standings integration. CDE Software’s BLS-2020 is now available as part of the BowlRxwebsite platform. Easy viewing of league stats, along with fast downloads of standings sheets, are delivered inside the website, making for a seamless experience for bowlers. This integration also is available for tournament results. Contact Carey Tosello at  541-549-0999 for more information.

* Fourteen schools have been selected to receive Bowler’s Ed kits through the International Bowling Campus Youth Development equipment grant program. Via the Bowler’s Ed program, educators and youth organizers are provided the tools needed to engage children in a true bowling experience by bringing a bowling-center atmosphere inside a classroom or gymnasium. Teachers are provided a step-by-step curriculum and an instructional video on the fundamentals of bowling, etiquette, safety, scoring and fitness activities. The kit includes a carpeted mobile bowling lane, along with a rubberized bowling ball and plastic pins.

 

Other News You Can Use…

* The field of eight players for the end-of-season PBA Clash is set, based on Go Bowling! PBA Tour earnings for 2019 following Saturday’s FloBowling PBA ATX Invite. There, Bill O’Neill locked up Norm Duke’s berth in the Clash. For a look at how that unfolded, go to: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/bill-oneill-helps-norm-duke-lock-up-final-berth-in-pba-clash/.

* General admission and VIP tickets are now on sale for the PBA Clash, which will take place on Monday, Oct. 21, at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla. The special elimination-format telecast will air on FOX on Sunday, Nov. 3. VIP ticket packages are available for $50, while general admission tickets are $20. Tickets can be ordered online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pba-clash-tickets-68818707607.

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is bowling writer Jackie Wyckoff. To listen to the conversation, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2019/9/25/jackie-wyckoff-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. Please remember that the Cyber Report is a B-to-B publication and not intended for consumers.

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