Cyber Report #1092

E-dition No. 1,092 • Friday, January 10, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Rash Signs Multi-Year Deal With 900 Global

Given the year-end news that Brunswick Bowling had purchased the brands and intellectual property of Ebonite International, and the fact that pro staff contracts typically run on a calendar-year basis, it should have come as no surprise that there would be some “movement” among pro bowlers as 2019 drew to a close and 2020 began.

Indeed, this issue of the BJI Cyber Report includes reports detailing much of that “movement.”

But perhaps the least-expected move was finalized on Sunday when 900 Global and Sean Rash signed a multi-year, incentive-laden contract. Rash had been a member of Brunswick’s pro staff for 15 years, and first joined the Brunswick team while attending Wichita State University.

It’s said that timing is everything in life, and timing certainly played a role in this deal. First, there was the Brunswick-Ebonite development that effectively merged seven ball brands and their pro staffs. Then there was the fact that Rash’s contract with Brunswick was coming to an end.

Sean had a renaissance year in 2019,” noted Wes Pye, Vice President of Sales for 900 Global. “Given the fact that he made seven TV shows, and given the success of the PBA on FOX, we felt this was a great opportunity to let bowlers know that our company is serious and has products that can compete in the marketplace.”

Because of the FOX deal and the impressive ratings that the PBA garnered during its first season on FOX and FS1, Pye said there “is going to be more value on the premium players — those who can move the needle. [900 Global staff member] Chris Barnes represents the generation that goes back to the last of the ‘Pro Bowlers Tour’ days on ABC, and we think Sean serves as a great bridge between him and our younger staff players.”

Barnes — like Rash, a Wichita State alum — helped bring Rash and 900 Global together, Pye said.

Chris reached out to Sean when we knew Sean was becoming a free agent,” Pye said. “But the timing had to be right. We had to make sure it was good for him, for his family and for us. That time is now, and this multi-year deal makes it possible for him to be a part of the 900 Global family for a long time. I think Sean is looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity.”

He is. In an exclusive interview with the BJI Cyber Report, Rash acknowledged that, “I did believe I’d be [with] Brunswick for life. They had been a big part of my junior, college and pro bowling careers. But there have been a lot of changes in the industry over the last decade, and this just seemed like the right time to start fresh.”

Rash said that having a wife and two daughters has helped him mature. It also motivates him to make decisions with their welfare at the forefront.

There are a lot of wives who hold down the fort while their husbands go out and bowl for a living,” Rash said. “I’ve been gone more than 200 days per year most years. It takes a special kind of woman to make that work, and I’m lucky to have one of them.”

Rash said the decision to make the move to 900 Global was a family decision.

We had been talking about it a lot over the past year,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know that I was injured for most of 2018 with a lower-back problem, so that made my 2019 season really special. But you come to places in your life where you have to make decisions, and we came to the conclusion that this was the best decision for our family moving forward.”

Rash said he will continue to travel globally, not only bowling in tournaments but also conducting clinics and making appearances on behalf of “both the 900 Global brand and the Sean Rash brand.”

For Rash, growing his own brand, primarily through clinics and social media, is part of an overall goal to grow the sport.

When the sport grows and we have more people participating, the companies sell more balls and the industry as a whole is healthier,” he said. “There’s a reason I host my own tournament, and there’s a reason I host a free clinic at that tournament. It’s about getting more people excited about bowling.”

The PBA’s 2020 season begins just two weeks after Rash signed with 900 Global. Is he concerned that he has a very small window of time to get accustomed to the new equipment from 900 Global that he’ll now be throwing exclusively?

No,” he said. “The reality is I would have had about the same amount of time to get accustomed to the new equipment that Brunswick is rolling out for the new year.”

Rash added that the 17 years he spent with Brunswick had been “amazing, and I truly appreciate everyone who works there and what they did for my family. It’s a small industry, and I hope those relationships continue. We all need to be working toward growing the sport.”

As he makes the transition to 900 Global, Rash said his goals remain unchanged.

It’s always about making cuts, making shows, winning matches on shows and hopefully holding up the trophy at the end of the week,” he said. “I’d also like to leave fewer pocket 7-10s in key situations, but that’s kind of tough to control. If I had rolled a few of those last year, both here and overseas, I could have had four or five more titles. But you can’t dwell on those; you just have to move on.”

Pye said he believes Rash may be the last piece in the puzzle that elevates 900 Global on the international bowling stage,

We now have a full sales force worldwide to serve distributors and pro shops,” Pye said. “The FOX deal provides great exposure for the ball brands. Having Sean on our team gives us an opportunity to be seen more often. We think it’s a great deal for us and for him.”

900 Global has scheduled a Facebook Live presentation at 2 p.m. Central on Saturday to formally introduce Rash. The event will take place at Plano Super Bowl in Plano, Texas.

Junior Gold Will Have Hammer as Presenting Sponsor

Hammer will be the presenting sponsor of the 2020 Junior Gold Championships, Brunswick Bowling Products and International Bowling Campus Youth Development announced.

The tournament formerly was sponsored by “the brands of Ebonite International,” and those brands were acquired by Brunswick late in 2019.

Brunswick’s recent acquisition of the Ebonite International brands provided an opportunity to evaluate the Junior Gold Championships sponsorship,” said Brunswick Bowling Products CEO Corey Dykstra. “Hammer is one of bowling’s most popular brands, and we’re pleased to provide the event with such a recognizable title sponsor.”

The 2020 Junior Gold Championships will be held July 10-18 in Las Vegas. The Orleans will serve as the host hotel and site of the opening ceremony and trade show, where pro staff members from Brunswick brands will be in attendance to sign autographs during registration.

Brunswick Bowling is committed to celebrating and promoting the sport of bowling with players of all ages,” said Dykstra. “We look forward to providing an incredible experience for the youth bowlers at this event.”

Added Gary Brown, IBC Youth Managing Director: “The support of sponsors such as Brunswick Bowling Products helps us to make the Junior Gold Championships a summer destination for youth bowlers and their families each year. We’re excited to work alongside the Brunswick team leading up to and during this year’s Junior Gold Championships.”

All previous agreements between Ebonite International and IBC Youth Development have been upheld. Brunswick will sponsor the Hammer Survivor tournament, a companion event to the Junior Gold Championships that allows participants to take part in an additional scholarship event.

Brunswick also will support the Pepsi USBC Youth Championships sponsored by Columbia 300, and the Track brand will continue to sponsor the Junior Gold Road to College Scholarships, which awards $20,000 in scholarships.

Judy Joins Classic as Business Development Manager

Classic Products Corp. has announced the addition of Mike Judy as Business Development Manager.

Judy’s official start date will be Monday (Jan. 13), and the company said his depth of knowledge and passion for bowling will be a great addition to the Classic team.

Prior to joining Classic, Judy’s widespread experience in the bowling industry included, most recently, 13 years as Ebonite International’s North American Sales Manager.

An active member of the industry, he has served as President of the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America, worked with USBC as an integral part of the Junior Gold Championships, and developed relationships around the world.

We are confident that Mike will deliver further growth and development for Classic Products,” says Jimmy Land, the company’s Vice President of Operations.

Judy will report directly to Land and support his strategic sales missions.

We look forward to Mike and his wife, Michelle, and two children, Casey (16) and Bailey (15), becoming part of our Classic family,” added Land.

Ryan Named Staff Development Manager by Storm

Storm Products, Inc. has announced today that Shawn Ryan will join the Storm Tour Team as the Staff Development Manager.

We are excited to add Shawn to the Storm family,” Storm’s Vice President of Business Development, Gary Hulsenberg, said. “When choosing our team, we listen to feedback from our players. Some of the best players in the world endorsed Shawn and have already shared their excitement about working with him. Aside from developing the skill set of our top players, Shawn will be working with the business development team at Storm to create future initiatives that will continue to grow the brand.”

Ryan’s resumé includes being a member of Junior Team USA, competing in college for the University of Central Florida, being named a National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Second-Team All-American, working at the USBC Open Championships in one of the sponsored booths, drilling balls for players on the PBA Tour, and three-and-a-half years coaching Team Thailand.

As Staff Development Manager, Ryan will be responsible for assisting the PBA, PWBA and all amateur staff players with bowling equipment during competition, coaching their physical games, developing their mental games, as well as collaborating with the Storm Tour Team. He also will represent Storm at events and clinics throughout the bowling season.

Storm Signs Verity Crawley to Staff Contract

England native Verity Crawley has joined the Team Storm Pro Staff.

Storm is excited to add Verity to Team Storm,” said. Gary Hulsenberg. “We believe that her dedicated work ethic, hunger for knowledge, and passion for bowling will lead to many wins around the globe for years to come. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this talented young lady.”

Crawley began bowling at age 5. At 12, she was chosen to represent Junior Team England for the first time. She earned several medals all around the world as a youth athlete, and was named the 2012 England Junior Bowler of the Year.

This success led her to attend and compete for Webber International University, where she was selected as a Collegiate All-American several times. In 2016, she joined her WIU teammates to compete at the Intercollegiate Team Championships, where they captured the women’s national title. The WIU team also won two NAIA National Championship titles while she was part of the program.

Crawley, who now resides in the United States full-time, joined the PWBA in 2017, making her the first British woman to become a professional bowler.

When not competing, Crawley spends her time helping other bowlers improve their game as the assistant coach for The Savannah College of Art and Design.

2020 is all about change and playing to my strengths,” Crawley said. “As we enter a new decade, I am thankful for the opportunity to join Team Storm, and cannot wait to grow with such a fantastic brand.”

O’Neill Defends, Betts Returns, PBA Hall Inductions Set

Bill O’Neill, a two-time winner in 2019, will defend his PBA Hall of Fame Classic title when the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour season begins with the tournament named in honor of the sport’s immortals. It’s set for Jan. 13-19 at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas. The FOX Sports finals will air live on FS1 on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

In the PBA Tour’s first visit to the ITRC, the FS1 finals telecast marked the debut of its new multi-year television agreement with FOX Sports. 

Jason Belmonte’s third-place finish in the event was the beginning of his journey to a fifth Player of the Year crown, capping a landmark season in which he won the PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA World Championship for his 10th and 11th major titles, respectively, surpassing Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Earl Anthony for the lead on the all-time PBA Tour major titles list.

For the second consecutive season, the Hall of Fame Classic will be the first competition points event in a 13-tournament series in which players will pursue 24 berths in the PBA Playoffs, which will be begin in April and culminate with the finals at Bowlero North Brunswick May 16-17 in New Jersey. Kris Prather won the inaugural PBA Playoffs and its $100,000 first prize last June at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

In Arlington, Boston Red Sox All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts is planning to return to PBA competition for the first time since bowling a 300 game in the 2017 PBA World Series of Bowling IX. He received a commissioner’s exemption by PBA Commissioner Tom Clark.

As part of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic week, Tommy Jones, a 19-time PBA Tour winner, and former PBA owners Mike Slade and Rob Glaser will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame during ceremonies on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Arlington Hilton. FloBowling will livestream the inductions.

Brunswick Welcomes Barrett, Sherman, Wolfe

PBA players Dom Barrett and Kyle Sherman have moved to the Brunswick Pro Staff, and tour veteran Mike Wolfe has been named a PBA and PWBA Tour Rep for the company.

For Barrett, the move provides an opportunity to showcase his talent as one of the main faces for one of bowling’s most recognized brands.

The combination of Dom’s outgoing personality and incredible talent on the lanes makes him a perfect fit for the Brunswick Pro Staff,” said Brian Graham, the company’s Vice President of Consumer Products. “We look forward to watching Dom continue his success on the PBA Tour with the Brunswick crown on his chest.”

For Sherman, one of bowling’s rising stars on and off the lanes, the signing is a strategic move that matches Sherman to the Brunswick brand for greater reach in his efforts to grow bowling around the world.

Known for more than just his accomplishments on the lanes, Sherman educates, entertains and engages bowlers through his social-media channels, highlighted by a YouTube channel that has amassed more than 7 million views since its inception.

Kyle is an exciting young bowler with an incredible future,” said Graham. “He’s doing unbelievable things on and off the lanes, and I think that Kyle’s move to the Brunswick Pro Staff will help provide more bowling fans with access to his talents on the lanes and to his entertaining social-media presence.”

Wolfe, who has competed on tour since 2001 and collected five titles, will transition into a coaching and tour support role for Brunswick. He will utilize his years of PBA Tour and pro shop operations experience to provide the necessary technical support in his new role.

Mike’s experience on the PBA Tour for almost two decades will be a huge asset for our PBA and PWBA players,” said Graham. “With the addition of the four brands and a lot of new pro staff players, adding a successful player like Mike as a tour rep will help ensure our team’s success on the tours.”

Seminars on New ‘Customer Connect’ Added to Summit Sked

2020 will bring changes to the web services offerings from BPAA, and at the top of the list is a new version of Customer Connect powered by Salesforce customer relationship management software.

To help members better understand how these changes can help their business, two seminars will be presented at the upcoming Bowling Summit in Charleston, S.C.  Ronny Dodd will cover the changes and provide a first-hand look into how the new tools will operate. 

The seminar will be presented:

* Sunday, Jan. 12, from 3:30-5 p.m.

* Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Both presentations will take place in the Jenkins King Charles Room at the Belmond Charleston Place, which is hosting the Summit.

MOTIV Adds 7 Players to Its PBA Pro Staff

MOTIV Bowling has announced seven additions to its PBA Tour staff as the 2020 season gets under way:

* AJ Johnson — Signed to a three-year contract, Johnson is a member of the PBA League Atom Splitters, five-time Team USA member, a Junior Gold champion, and a Sam-Ho Cup champion. “AJ is a crucial addition to our team and is going to make a huge difference for years to come,” said MOTIV’s PBA rep, Brett Spangler. “I love his attitude, and his talent is undeniable.”

* Wesley Low — Also signed to a three-year staff contract, Low, a two-handed lefty, is a five-time member of Team USA, a U.S. Amateur champion, two-time Junior Gold champ, and a four-time PBA Regional title holder. “I am so glad to add such a unique and proven talent as Wesley to our growing team to start his PBA Tour success,” said Spangler.

* Chris Loschetter — He rejoins the MOTIV team, for which he won the most recent of his two PBA Tour titles. Loschetter is a past recipient of the Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award. “Losch is our kind of person,” said Spangler. “He loves bowling, his family, and MOTIV. I look forward to expanding our relationship with Chris as the brand grows in the coming years.”

* Connor Pickford — First signed with MOTIV in 2013, Pickford now returns with a two-year deal. He’s a PBA national and regional champion, and will be returning to full-time PBA Tour play to begin the 2020 season.

* Kim Bolleby — The international standout is best known in the States for making the title match of the 2015 PBA Viper Championship. Along with that, Bolleby is a champion of the Emir Cup, Dubai International Open and Thailand Open.

* Pascal Winterheimer — The member of the German national team and is best nown in the U.S. for having bowled for the title at the 2015 Chameleon Championships. “I have been a fan of Pascal for years,” said Spangler. “(MOTIV Tour Rep Nick Pahr and I have discussed at length how well we thought he would match up with our bowling balls.”

* Adam Andersson — An emerging star on the European Bowling Tour, Andersson signed a one-year contract with MOTIV. He is coming off a season that saw him finish second in the EBT rankings and win an EBT Tour title. Andersson is a member of Team Sweden and a four-time gold medalist in the Swedish Championships. 

Barinque, Spencer and Hagen to IBPSIA Board

The International Bowling Pro Shop & Instructors Association board has selected Steve Barinque, IBPSIA’s current vice president, to serve a second three-year term on the board.

Barinque hails from the military ranks, having retired after 26 years of active duty in the Air Force. He is the general manager for Joint Base San Antonio Bowling, and an IBPSIA Master Instructor, a USBC Silver-level coach, Air Force bowling coach and five-time Bowlers Journal “Top 100 Coaches” honoree. As head coach of the Steele High School bowling team, he led the school to back-to-back Texas State championships in 2016 and 2017.

Two new board members also were selected.

Craig Spencer of Phoenix, Ariz., is the owner-operator of Virtue Bowling Supply, with six locations in the greater Phoenix area. He is USBC Silver-level coach, owner of the Arizona Scratch Tour and Arizona Handicap Tour, and recently completed the IBPSIA Master Technician Class.

Brad Hagen of Huntsville, Texas, is the head coach for the two-time national champion Sam Houston State University women’s bowling team. He has coached internationally for more than a decade, including as Israel head coach, World Deaf Bowling Team USA coach, and the Puerto Rico Junior National Team coach. He is a USBC Silver-level coach and IBPSIA Master Technician.

During its annual board meeting at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 15, the IBPSIA board will elect officers to lead the organization through 2020.

KTC Graduates First Master’s Program Class

The Kegel Training Center recently hosted its inaugural Kegel Coaching Master’s Program, designed for coaches to more intensely focus on very topics of the game.

The initial class focused on the topic of direction. The coaches learned the elements of the game that can cause directional issues, and how changes can impact the end result. They also studied troubleshooting techniques to help make improvements for their students quickly.

The three-day class included a presentation by the attending coaches, in addition to hands-on training. Each attendee also gave a group presentation to the class about one of the elements taught during the course.

Coaches had the option to test for the diploma. The test consisted of a written exam, accompanied by a video analysis of multiple players. Each graduate will receive a listing on the KTC website showing what classes they have passed.

The inaugural graduating class consists of Dan Bamford, New Hampshire; Danny Berardi, Florida; Dean Buchanan, Washington; Sheila Buchanan, Washington; Mike Dias, Colorado; Al Henderson, Florida; Megan McGinley, New Jersey; Susie Minshew, Texas; Robert Prymus; Florida, and Antonio Solla, Puerto Rico.

The Kegel Training Center plans to release another KCMP course in the late fall of 2020. The program is ideal for coaches who are looking to study a specific topic in-depth. The goal with the diploma is to verify that the coach is able to teach and troubleshoot the specific topic at an advanced level.

Coffee Roaster Brings Vacated Bowl Back to Life

The Washington community of Sedro-Woolley is probably best known for its annual Loggerodeo, which features a foot-race, carnival, children’s parade, championship rodeo and — what sets it apart from other festivals — an old-time logging show and a chainsaw carving competition.

The festival made its debut during the mid-1930s, and about a decade later, the community welcomed its own bowling center. Over the years, it was known as Sedro-Woolley Bowling Center, Fairweather Lanes and Community Bowling Center. But the building sat vacant for the latter part of the final decade of the 2010s.

Now, bowling is back in Sedro-Woolley thanks to Elianeth “Ellie” Martinez, who decided to resurrect the business after initially considering the building as a new home for her coffee roasting business known as Seattle Gold Coffee.

Martinez told the Skagit Valley Herald that she was familiar with the building, and anxious so find out whether it was for sale.

To me it was something beautiful and unique,” she said.

Now, it’s beautiful and unique on the inside as well. Martinez has reinvented the center as Sedro 10 Bowling & Deli Shez Café, featuring gyros and falafel on the lunch and dinner menu, along with home-style American breakfasts and Seattle Gold Coffee.

Sedro-Woolley is located about 82 miles north of Seattle along the North Cascade Highway, about 10 minutes east of the site of the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

Business Briefs…

* Historic Thunder Bowl in Allen Park, Mich., was the scene of a fight that resulted in gunfire that left two people in serious condition and one in fair condition. According to reports, a fight broke out between two groups of people, and surveillance cameras caught much of the incident. Report: https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/3-shot-during-fight-at-bowling-alley-in-allen-park

* AMF Waldorf Lanes in Maryland was damaged last month when a man hijacked a car and backed it into the front entrance of the building. Now the man who stole the car, 26-year-old Marc Brown of Waldorf, has been caught by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. For a full report, including a video of the car crashing through the center’s entrance, click here: https://www.foxnews.com/us/man-accused-crashing-car-maryland-bowling-alley-after-abduction

* It’s billed as “the world’s smallest bowling museum,” and it’s located inside the pro shop at Boardwalk Bowl in Santa Cruz, Calif. The museum chronicles the history of bowling in the seaside community, including its duckpin origins and the 20-year Boardwalk Bowl ownership period of the Tosello family. (Carey Tosello now operates eBowl.biz and BowlRx.com, and contributes to BCM magazine’s Digital Digest department.) To read more about the museum, go to https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2020/01/05/bowling-by-the-beach-boardwalk-memories/

* A new bowling-based facility under construction in the Aberdeen Village area of Peachtree, Ga., was robbed early Monday morning. Thieves stole television monitors, power tools and supplies, with the total loss estimated at more than $15,000. The theft took place before security cameras had been installed at what will be known as Royal Lanes Social. “It was an inside job,” building owner James Royal told the local FOX affiliate. “It had to be.” Report: https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/thieves-bust-through-wall-to-break-into-bowling-alley-under-construction

* Owners of bowling centers in Oklahoma that have been hit by burglars recently believe the incidents are related. In each case, the thieves broke into the centers and targeted the centers’ arcade games. Centers in Enid, Sapulpa and Cushing have been hit, although police have not yet connected the dots, according to this report: https://kfor.com/2020/01/03/string-of-similar-bowling-alley-burglaries-across-the-state-owners-wonder-if-connected/

* The former Yorkville Bowl in Illinois is looking for an early 2020 re-opening with a new owner and a new name: Yorkville Pinz. Report: http://www.wspynews.com/news/local/closed-yorkville-bowling-alley-to-re-open-under-new-ownership/article_b7eafe34-2dd9-11ea-b66b-fb609e9655c0.html

* Strike + Reel has opened in Garland, Texas. The 90,000-sq.-ft. entertainment destination includes 24 bowling lanes, eight dine-in movie auditoriums, rock climbing, bumper cars, a ropes course, a two-level laser tag arena, more than 150 arcade games and an extensive food-and-beverage program featuring “boozy shakes.” More: https://dallas.eater.com/2019/12/23/21032022/strike-and-reel-open-garland

* A new Round1 location has opened at Fashion District Philadelphia, offering the company’s usual mix of bowling (with 14 lanes), arcade games, billiards, ping-pong, darts and karaoke. The facility is located on the third level of the mall, near a new AMC dine-in theater. More: https://www.phillyvoice.com/round1-bowling-arcade-games-fashion-district-philadelphia-opening-date/

Other News You Can Use…

* Whether your preference is a storybook or the record book, the 2020 USBC Team USA Trials offered something for everyone, providing a memorable mix of entertainment and milestones. USBC Hall of Famer Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., entered with a desire to prove she still has what it takes to perform on the national stage, and she did so with a record-setting performance on the way to a second consecutive victory in the event. Matt Russo’s journey to the men’s title was a tale of redemption and romance, as he found his way back to Team USA following a year away. He left Las Vegas not only with the coveted Team Trials trophy, but also with a fiancee — who happened to qualify for Team USA as well. We’ll have full coverage in the February issue of BJI. Meanwhile, here is Matt Cannizzaro’s report on the event: https://bowl.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?id=23622334060

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Lee Sandt of BowlerX.com. To listen to the conversation, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2020/1/7/lee-sandt-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.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: