Cyber Report #1087

E-dition No. 1,087 • Friday, November 22, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

More on Brunswick’s Acquisition of EBI’s Assets

They say that timing is everything, and news of Brunswick’s acquisition of Ebonite International’s brands and the intellectual property associated with those brands came two days after the December issue of Bowlers Journal International already was on the presses.

The December issue includes a list of the “Top 19 Stories of 2019,” and because of the timing, that list does not include the Brunswick acquisition. Had the deal been consummated even a few days earlier, that list would look very different.

However, the January issue of BJI will feature “The Top 19 Business Stories” of 2019, and you can bet the Brunswick acquisition will be included.

As we reported in a special edition of the Cyber Report on Monday — and over the weekend on BowlersJournal.com — the acquisition includes the Ebonite, Hammer, Columbia 300 and Track brands.

Corey Dykstra, Brunswick’s CEO, told BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione that the deal presents an exciting opportunity for Brunswick to not settle for slapping its own coverstocks and cores onto EBI balls, but instead to learn as much as possible from Ebonite and to make informed investments in technology that will position Brunswick to ensure differentiation among EBI-brand balls and Brunswick’s DV8, Radical and Brunswick equipment.

“I am extremely confident that we’re going to develop outstanding new technologies,” Dykstra said. “We’re going to continue to differentiate our products across seven brands as we do now across three… The more you invest, the more technology you have, the more you can differentiate. It certainly becomes more complicated with seven brands, but we have the ability to do that.”

Dykstra said there also would be opportunities for some EBI employees to join the Brunswick team, specifically in the areas of sales, marketing, and research and development. Those employees Dykstra is open to bringing aboard from EBI would fill U.S-based positions.

He also said that part of Brunswick’s purchase of EBI’s assets specifically includes “bowling-related contracts, which includes pro-staff contracts.” He said those contracts will generally be honored and that, “We are excited to work out the details with the outstanding team of professional bowlers EBI has.”

Dykstra acknowledged the unfortunate timing of the acquisition, which displaced 171 EBI employees.

“There are a lot of people who lost their jobs as a result of Ebonite closing that plant,” a decision EBI made after selling its assets to Brunswick.

“They’ve got a long heritage, with a lot of incredible products, and I want to be as sensitive as we can to the people who lost their jobs,” he said. “It is unfortunate that the timing came up right around the holidays.”

Meanwhile, several Hopkinsville manufacturing plants and workforce agencies are offering assistance to EBI workers, according to the Hoptown Chronicle. Among the companies inviting Ebonite employees to apply for work are Toyoda Gosei Automotive Sealing Kentucky, Comefri USA (which makes HVAC centrifugal fans, industrial fans and axial fans), and T.RAD. (a radiator manufacturer).

For more on the acquisition, go to: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/brunswick-ceo-corey-dykstra-on-ebonite-acquisition/.

 

Special Marketing Campaign Designed to Drive Holiday Traffic

BPAA and Strike Ten Entertainment have announced the launch of a Digital Holiday Marketing Campaign that is designed to deliver on two key objectives during the 2019 holiday season: build top-of-mind awareness for bowling, and drive increased foot traffic into centers.

An award-winning digital marketing agency was retained to create a bowling-themed social-media video campaign designed to go viral and warm the hearts of millions of viewers this holiday season. Set to launch on Facebook and Instagram Thanksgiving week, the video depicts real-life holiday reunions of families and friends while enjoying bowling.

Go Bowling also has engaged some of America’s most influential internet personalities to create content centered around experiencing the pure joy and fun of bowling during the holidays. Reaching a combined audience of millions, these celebrity social-media influencers will be bowling at centers across the U.S. during the holidays. Fun and engaging holiday bowling content and will be captured and shared “real time” with their vast social-media followers, with a call to action to go bowling during the holidays.

Another element of the initiative is an encore appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will be televised live beginning at 9 a.m. on Nov. 28 on NBC.

The 93rd annual parade, considered one of America’s most cherished holiday traditions, marks the beginning of the holiday season, and Macy’s is bringing back the Go Bowling “balloonicles” as well as the motorized bowling shoes that made their debut in 2018.

With more than 50 million TV viewers tuning in and 3.5 million spectators lining the parade route, Go Bowling’s partnership with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade provides a high-profile reminder for viewers to go bowling during the holidays, and keeps bowling top-of-mind throughout the holiday season.

Then to motivate those holiday guests to return more often, BPAA’s League Development Committee, with the assistance of BPAA’s Bowling University, has developed a “Guide to Increasing Guest Frequency.” The guide includes these components:

* Understanding the life cycle of a bowler in your market

* More than 200 sample programs for centers to choose from

* How to match the right product to the right guest

* The new “START IT” guest engagement program

An email blast was sent to BPAA-member centers with details, as well as a link to the guide and materials. For further information, contact STE President John Harbuck at 817-385-8463.

 

Tuccillo Joins ZOT as a Product Specialist With a Unique Skill

Mike Tuccillo has been appointed as a Product Specialist for ZOT Bowling Parts, it was announced by ZOT’s President & CEO P.J. Rosendahl.

Tuccillo has been involved in various aspects of the bowling business for nearly 44 years, including a 10-year tenure as the head mechanic at Syosset Lanes on Long Island, N.Y. That was followed by a variety of positions with a bowling equipment company, running the gamut from purchasing, service, and shipping and receiving, to inventory management, motor repairs and exchanges, and outsourcing aftermarket parts from vendors. He ultimately became the company’s Vice President of Domestic and International Sales.

In 1989, Tuccillo managed the installation of 82-30 and 82-70 machines. One unique trait he possesses is an incredible ability to remember part numbers for all brands and models of pinsetting machines — a time-saving skill set as he rarely needs to refer to the original manufacturer’s manuals to identify a part.

“His all-round experience makes Mike the ideal candidate to fulfill ZOT Bowling Parts’ need for a Product Specialist,” said Rosendahl.

Tuccillo, who is originally from Jericho, N.Y., has resided in Fountain Inn, S.C., since 2006 and later was joined by his wife, Daryl, who he married in 2017.

He said he was introduced to bowling at the age of five when he watched the weekly telecast of “Pro Bowlers Tour” on ABC-TV with his father, an avid and excellent bowler in the 1960s who bowled in a milkman’s league. At the age of 16 Tuccillo was asked if he wanted to attend a pinsetting machine school.

“I’m not doing this for the rest of my life,” was his reply.

Yet here he is; entering his 44th year in the industry, and beginning a new chapter with ZOT.

 

BVL Month in America Runs Through November

The focus of the bowling community turns to veterans this month with BVL Month in America, an initiative that brings awareness to the work that the Bowlers to Veterans Link does to support veterans and active-duty military by funding recreation and therapy services throughout the United States.

While many centers and bowling associations started their fundraising events around Veterans Day, BVL Executive Director Mary Harrar emphasizes that November is only the beginning of the ongoing year-round fundraising efforts that include programs such as “Shoes For Freedom,” which asks bowling centers to set aside at least one shoe rental fee daily for a month, quarter or year as a donation to BVL.

Over the next year, Harrar said the focus will be on the organization’s “I AM BVL” campaign, calling it a simple message to share with others about why they support BVL and its work with veterans.

“Almost everyone has a personal connection to military service or a veteran, whether it’s a family member or friend, and ‘I AM BVL’ helps tell the stories of the impact that veterans make on all of us.”

Free BVL Month in America fundraising kits are available to bowling center owners by contacting Mary@BVL.org or calling 703-934-6039. The kit includes suggestions for open-play and league programs, along with a group event that can be implemented by centers during November or anytime during the year.

The kit includes professionally produced, customizable league and open-play flyers to generate additional traffic throughout the center.

BVL also offers free soldier pin cutouts for centers to display throughout their venue when patrons make a donation. BVL wristbands and dog tags are available for purchase to use as incentives for special events and donations.

Field Announced for Third Bowlero Elite Series Event

The third Bowlero Elite Series event of the year is set to air on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

The competition will have the 16 players face off in single-elimination brackets as they vie for the first-place prize of $100,000.

The eight professional bowlers are:

* Kyle Troup, three-time PBA Tour champion and runner up in the first Bowlero Elite Series event

* Anthony Simonsen, two-time PBA major champion and winner of the second Bowlero Elite Series event

* Jason Belmonte, 22-time PBA Tour champion (including 11 career majors) and four-time PBA Player of the Year

* Shannon O’Keefe, 10-time PWBA champion and 2019 PWBA Player of the Year

* Kyle Sherman, PBA Tour champion and three-time Collegiate All-American

* Marshall Kent, four-time PBA Tour champion and 2014 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year

* Tommy Jones, 19-time PBA Tour champion and 2005 PBA Player of the Year

* Clara Guerrero, PWBA Tour champion and gold-medal winner in the 2019 Pan American Games

The eight amateur bowlers are:

* Luis Gonzalez, champion of the first Bowlero Elite Series tournament

* Amy Brehm, New Jersey middle-school teacher and runner-up in the second Bowlero Elite Series tournament

* Elizabeth Jones, registered nurse and bowling enthusiast from Miami

* Jay Nephew, marketing professional and avid bowler with 58 perfect games

* Douglas Herron, electromechanical maintenance technician from New Jersey and host of “DOUGIEEEVISION!” on YouTube

* Garret Shovan, former collegiate bowler and bowling pro shop attendant from Denver

* Mike Ewing, marketing professional, father and competitive sports fan from Phoenix

* Greg Thompson, aspiring pro bowler and active community member from Tempe, Ariz.

Viewers also may stream the tournament on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

 

New Home for ‘America Goes Bowling’ Statue

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas, has a new bronze statue thanks to the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

“America Goes Bowling” is a larger-than-life bronze sculpture that was commissioned by Brunswick and originally installed at an entrance of the National Bowling Stadium. The NBS is currently under renovation, and one of the city’s decisions during this process was to gift the piece to the IBMHOF.

The statue traveled more than 1,500 miles in five separate pieces to arrive in Arlington and its new home. It resides at the entrance of the International Bowling Campus and can be viewed during the museum’s regular hours.

Those interested in supporting the museum should know that the 2020 Hall of Fame Xtravaganza will take place May 28-30 at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. For details, go to: https://www.bowlingmuseum.com/Upcoming-Events/Xtravaganza.

 

Business Briefs…

* Allen Theatres, which operates movie theater complexes throughout New Mexico, has announced plans to revamp its Talshor 12 venue in Las Cruces. The 31,000-sq.-ft. expansion would include 16 bowling lanes, a restaurant, a bar, an arcade with redemption games, darts, shuffleboard, billiard tables and party rooms. Vice President of Operations Russell Allen said the company also is considering including escape rooms in the expansion.

* In Texas, the community of Red Oak will be getting a new movie theater and bowling complex in the spring of 2021. It’s a project of Missouri-based B&B Theatres, which announced plans for the venue that will anchor the new mixed-use development known as Red Oak Legacy Square. The 12-screen venue will include B&B Theatres’ “Grand Screen,” a wall-to-wall curved screen that spans 70 feet, and stadium seating. Sixteen and a large arcade also are included in the plans.

* In a venture that redefines “mixed use,” plans have been unveiled for 68 acres in suburban Indianapolis to be developed and include a major planetarium and space science center, laser tag venue, jump park, bowling center, indoor/outdoor go-kart track and driving school. Future plans call for community space devoted to movies, music performances and meetings, as well as an 11-acre public park and hotel. Read much more about the project here: https://www.ibj.com/articles/developer-plans-68-acre-development-with-32m-space-park-bowling-alley-go-kart-track

* The Ventura County community of Oxnard — where Glenn Allison won a PBA title in 1964 — has been without a bowling center since Wagon Wheel Bowl closed in 2015 to make way for apartments, condos and townhomes on the valuable California property. But that will change in late 2020 as Bowlero Corp. builds out space formerly occupied by the General Chow Dumpling House & Bar at The Collection at RiverPark development. Twenty-eight lanes are planned for the 32,000-sq.-ft. venue, which will be located just three miles from Buena Lanes in Ventura, where retired PBA champion Robert Smith operates the pro shop.

* A new duckpin facility called Noble Pins has opened at The Marketplace at Cooke in downtown Sandusky, Ohio. The venue also includes a wide spectrum of arcade games, ranging from classic pinball machines to virtual reality attractions.

* Downtown Spartanburg, S.C., has a new bowling venue called UnderPins Lanes ’N Lounge, housed in a “landmark” building that was constructed in 1943. For most of its life, the building was home to the Leader Department Store, and more recently has housed nightclub concepts that failed. A Chamber of Commerce member described UnderPins as “kind of the last remaining piece to the puzzle” of the city’s Morgan Square area.

 

Other News You Can Use…

* The recipients of the 2019 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year, Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year, Steve Nagy Sportsmanship and Tony Reyes PBA Community Service awards will be announced live on FloBowling on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from the FloSports studios in Austin, Texas. Nominations are still being accepted — but only through today (Nov. 22) — for the Reyes award. A nomination form is available here: https://www.pba.com/Content/files/awards/TonyReyes_App_2019.pdf

* It’s always entertaining when new USBC Hall of Famer Larry Lichstein guests on Phantom Radio, and this week he appears as part on the podcast’s ongoing trivia contest. To see how Litchy fared, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2019/11/20/larry-lichstein-phantom-radio

* The Cyber Report will be taking its usual Thanksgiving “bye” next week. All of us at Luby Publishing Inc. hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday. We’ll be back on Dec. 6 with your next Report.

* 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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