Cyber Report #1095

E-dition No. 1,095 • Friday, February 6, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Chrismans Contribute $100,000 to Aussie Fire Relief

Jason Belmonte’s 2HandsHelpingAustralia campaign picked up steam this week when the owners of Storm Products, Barb and Bill Chrisman, announced that they were making a $100,000 donation.

Belmonte initiated the online campaign in the wake of the devastating wildfires that have hit his home country. The funds will be split evenly among Wires Australian Wildlife Rescue, NSW Rural Fire Services, and the Red Cross AU. 

Bill and I are donating $100,000 to help with this disastrous event,” Barb Chrisman said in a Facebook post. “If you are so moved, please consider a donation.”

Meanwhile, the PBA and its parent company, Bowlero Corp., have each donated $5,000 to 2HandsHelpingAustralia.

The situation in Australia is terrifying and our thoughts go out to all of the country’s residents and especially to the victims of these catastrophic wildfires,” said Colie Edison, Chief Customer Officer for Bowlero Corp and Chief Executive Officer of the PBA. “With this donation, we hope to support affected members of the community, help with the rescue of the area’s endangered wildlife, and provide some measure of relief to a region that’s experiencing unimaginable devastation.”

Belmonte also has personally pledged a donation of $50 for each strike he throws when he appears in a 2020 television final, increased to $100 per strike thrown in championship matches.

Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought fueled the series of massive bushfires across Australia. Although recent cooler conditions and rain have brought some respite, some fires are still burning in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

At least 33 people have been killed — including four firefighters — and more than 27.2 million acres of bush, forest and parks across Australia has burned.

To donate to 2 Hands Helping Australia, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/2handshelpingaustralia

First $1 Million Bonus of the Season Up for Grabs Sunday

The second edition of the “$1 Million 300 Game Bonus” incentive begins this week with the live FOX coverage of the PBA Tournament of Champions from AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio.

Under the incentive program introduced in 2019, a $1 million bonus prize is again being offered to any player bowling a 300 game in the championship match of one of the following PBA on FOX live telecasts: the PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA Players Championship, Go Bowling Indianapolis Open and PBA World Championship, the crown jewel of the PBA World Series of Bowling XI.

Only three perfect games have ever been bowled in the championship match of any nationally-televised PBA Tour event, but no one has been bowled a 300 game in the title match of a PBA major championship.

The first two players to take a shot at the bonus will appear in the TOC finals, live on FOX this Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Slate of 17 Telecasts on CBS Sports Network Unveiled

Live coverage of a PWBA Tour event finals that will take place at the Hammer Junior Gold Championships is one of the highlights of the 17 bowling programs that CBS Sports Network will televise in 2020.

The live finals of the PWBA Las Vegas Open, scheduled as part of the Junior Gold opening ceremony at The Orleans Arena, is set for July 12 at 9 p.m. Eastern. Located adjacent to The Orleans Hotel and Casino, the arena will seat approximately 9,000 spectators for the show. The 1995 U.S. Open set the attendance record for a bowling event at 7,212.

CBS Sports Network will have live coverage of seven PWBA stepladder finals in 2020, including all majors, plus four shows from the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships, the finals of all four divisions of the Junior Gold Championships, and the two title matches at the USA Bowling National Championships.

Here’s the full schedule (all times Eastern):

* Tuesday, April 21 — Intercollegiate Singles Championships (women), Wyoming, Mich., 8 p.m.

* Tuesday, April 28 — Intercollegiate Singles Championships (men), Wyoming, Mich., 11 p.m.

* Tuesday, May 5 — Intercollegiate Team Championships (women), Wyoming, Mich., 8 p.m.

* Tuesday, May 12 — Intercollegiate Team Championships (men), Wyoming, Mich., 11 p.m.

* Tuesday, May 19 — USBC Queens, Las Vegas, 8 p.m.

* Tuesday, June 30 — U.S. Women’s Open, Dallas, 8 p.m.

* Sunday, July 12 — PWBA Las Vegas Open, Las Vegas, 9 p.m.

* Tuesday, July 21 — Junior Gold Championships (Under 12), Las Vegas, 8 p.m.

* Tuesday, July 28 — Junior Gold Championships (Under 15), Las Vegas, 8 p.m.

* Tuesday, Aug. 4 — Junior Gold Championships (Under 17), Las Vegas, 8 p.m.

* Saturday, Aug. 8 — PWBA Greater Columbus Open, Columbus, Ohio, 7:30 p.m.

* Tuesday, Aug. 11 — Junior Gold Championships (Under 20), Las Vegas, 8 p.m.

* Saturday, Aug. 15 — PWBA Tennessee Open, Clarksville, Tenn., 5 p.m.

* Tuesday, Aug. 18 — USA Bowling National Championships (Under 15), Las Vegas, 8 p.m.

* Sunday, Aug. 23 — PWBA Players Championship, Seminole, Fla., 5 p.m.

* Tuesday, Aug. 25 — USA Bowling National Championships (Under 12), Las Vegas, 8 p.m.

* TBA — PWBA Tour Championship

Brunswick Introduces Sync One Subscription Program

Brunswick Bowling Products has introduced Sync One, a new way for bowling centers to update their scoring and management system by eliminating their biggest challenges: capital constraints, scoring and hardware obsolescence, increased business complexity, and the financial risks associated with large IT purchases.

Sync One is a monthly subscription program that bundles a cloud-based scoring, management and point-of sale-system, the Brunswick Cloud marketing system, the OpenLane loyalty app and 24/7 technical support, and includes lifetime software upgrades and lifetime equipment warranty.

Sync One provides frequent updates, with new features rolled out several times each year.

Brunswick is dedicated to product innovation and committed to partnering with operators to help them achieve their business goals,” said Corey Dykstra, Brunswick CEO.

Joseph and Susan Jozwik Purchase DiLaura Brothers

DiLaura Brothers, a bowling distributor that began in metro Detroit and has served the Midwest for 38 years, has been purchased by Joseph and Susan Joswik from the Hantz Group and Paul DiLaura.

The new owners announced that the business would continue to operate under the same name and at the same address (7023 E. 14 Mile Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48312). The website address will continue to be dilaurabrothers.com, and the company’s phone number is 586-268-4000.

The Jozwiks said they are excited about this new opportunity and will work hard to maintain the company’s level of service.

Joseph was General Manager of DiLaura Brothers at the time of the purchase. He previously had been a district sales manager and scoring product specialist for QubicaAMF, a Midwest ball rep for Columbia 300, and a pro shop operator. Sue’s career has been in human resources, focusing on customer service, talent acquisition, employee relations and project management.

Kegel Unveils a Portable Version of Its Specto System

Kegel has announced the release of Specto Go, a portable version of the Specto tracking and practice system for centers, bowlers and coaches.

The unit comes with a hard case for easy storage and transportation, as well as a laptop to run the system.

The laptop will come pre-installed with the Specto Coaching Software, and operate through the computer’s Wi-Fi connection (internet access required).

The sensor will be installed on a lane, and will cover up to five lanes for data collection.

Customers will receive continuous software and mobile app updates with the $495 annual fee.

Burglars Set Iowa Center on Fire With Worker Inside

Maple Lanes in Waterloo, Iowa, was badly damaged early Tuesday morning in a fire set during an apparent burglary-gone-bad.

According to The Courier newspaper, a group of robbers held a bowling center maintenance worker captive, and set the building on fire while he was still inside.

Most of the damage is to the front portion of the building, including the pro shop, offices, kitchen and roof. Structural damage also was reported. The lanes and pinsetting machines reportedly emerged undamaged.

I can’t believe someone would do this,” Linda Eighme, whose family operates Maples Lanes, told the newspaper. “If they wanted our money, take the money. It’s sad. It really is.”

According to reports, the maintenance worker was forced by the intruders to lay face down on the floor. He could hear activity in the building as the burglars attempted to open safes and vending machines. After about an hour he smelled smoke and could feel intense heat, and fled, running to a nearby fire station to alert fire fighters, who quickly responded to the blaze.

The owners said that they would work with their insurance company to repair the center and keep it in business. Meanwhile, an attempt will be made to move leagues to another center that the family owns.

61-Year-Old Southern California Center Closes Its Doors

As we reported in Cyber Report No. 1,079, Palos Verdes Bowl in Torrance, Calif., had been placed on the “endangered centers” list.

Last Friday, after 61 years in business, the center closed for good. Plans call for the property to be used for a shopping center that will include an Aldi’s grocery store as its anchor.

An effort is being made to save the center’s landmark neon sign.

The center once operated 24 hours per day, seven days per week, due to its proximity to aerospace companies and defense contractors in the area that typically ran three shifts.

In addition to the bowling operation, Palos Verses Bowl was home to The Cove, a favorite “dive bar” among locals.

Former Pro Shop Operator Jim Lewis Passes Away

Jim Lewis, who operated a number of pro shops in the greater San Diego area for many years, has passed away.

Lewis was one of Southern California’s top junior bowlers of the 1980s, a fact that brought this Facebook remembrance from Fancy Williams:

Jim was truly a phenomenal human being. I met him in the early 1980s bowling junior tournaments in California. He was funny, a bit snarky, a great competitor and truly a kind soul. We used to exchange post cards and letters back in the day that stamps were used. Jim was kind for the sake of being kind. It was that simple.

Years passed and technology gave us a way to reconnect. It was great to hear from him again and catch up on life. He was so proud of his daughter and I recall the excitement as the college selection took place. Jim ended up moving firms and we ended up working for the same company. It was fun to share a quick message to check in and see how each other was doing.”

Lewis’s daughter, Jessica Cardenas Lewis, also posted a heartfelt message on Facebook:

It feels like there are a million things that I need to say about my dad in order to fully encompass the man that he was. Yet, not a single word seems to do him justice in all the ways that he was an incredible father, husband, community leader, and so much more to so many people…

While there are so many lessons he taught me, perhaps one of the most recurring messages was: ‘Be a mensch.’ It’s what his grandmother told him and it’s what he told me. For those who are unaware, a mensch is characterized by, ‘responsibility fused with compassion, a sense that one’s own personal needs and desires are limited by the needs and desires of other people. A mensch acts with self-restraint and humility, always sensitive to the feelings and thoughts of others. A mensch is driven by an innate decency. They will act as a mensch at times when it may be hard to be one.’ If that doesn’t characterize my dad, I don’t know what does.”

Lewis battled cystic fibrosis throughout his life, and almost died while still a junior bowler. More recently, he suffered from complications associated with a double-lung transplant.

The funeral service for Lewis will be held this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the sanctuary at Temple Emanu-El, with a 3 p.m. burial at El Camino Memorial Park at 5600 Carroll Canyon Rd., San Diego, CA 92121. The meal of condolences will be at 5 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El and will be a “S’mores Shabbat”’style barbecue to honor one of Lewis’s favorite volunteer events. A shiva minyan will follow at 7 p.m.

Bowlero Teams With Skillz in Esports Mobile-Game Initiative

Bowlero Corp. and Skillz have announced a mobile esports partnership connecting the 30 million registered Skillz players with Bowlero’s 300 bowling centers and 28 million annual customers.

Touch Mechanics, a UK-based studio that has been creating Skillz-powered games since 2014, has been tapped to launch the new Bowlero-branded mobile game called “Strike! By Bowlero.” The optimized game merges the physical and digital worlds, extending the Bowlero bowling experience beyond physical locations while bringing sponsored esports tournaments to the Bowlero bowling centers.

Supported by a nationwide marketing effort across its venues in North America, Bowlero will encourage its customers to download the mobile game and compete for prizes and bonuses at Bowlero centers, creating a fun and interactive physical-to-digital experience for bowlers on and off the lanes.

We’re thrilled to partner with the leader in competitive mobile games and to be the first in our own entertainment sphere to launch such an exciting esports product,” said Lev Ekster, Vice President of Business Development at Bowlero Corp. and COO of the PBA. “With ‘Strike! By Bowlero,’ we can maintain and strengthen the connection to our center guests even when they are not on the lanes.”

Skillz has previously leveraged its platform to help notable charitable organizations reach a younger mobile-first demographic. Through partnerships with the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund and NFL Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice’s 8 to 80 Zone, Skillz has launched large-scale digital fundraisers engaging new donors in fun, fair and meaningful competition.

Bowlero becomes the latest brand to harness the power of the Skillz mobile esports platform as a digital marketing strategy to boost consumer engagement. 

Texan JoAnn West Named USBC Proprietor of the Year

The recipients of the 2020 United States Bowling Congress National Recognition Awards have been determined by the USBC Board of Directors.

Dave Bowers of Cayce, S.C., was selected to receive the Helen Baker Award for Outstanding Association Service; Teri Haugh of Faribault, Minn., is the Joyce Deitch Unity Award recipient, and JoAnn West of New Braunfels, Texas, is the USBC Proprietor of the Year.

Each year at the USBC Convention, outstanding bowling leaders are honored for their contributions to the sport. This year’s recipients, who were selected from submitted applications, will receive their awards in April at the 2020 USBC Convention in Las Vegas.

West was the general manager of Fiesta Lanes until she retired in late 2019, though she continues to oversee the sales department at the center. The 36-lane center had 18 certified adult leagues with more than 1,000 adult members and two youth leagues with 200-plus bowlers, and West attended every league meeting in addition to actively recruiting new bowlers to join leagues.

She was selected as an “Unsung Hero” in her local community in 2012 for her work with Strike Force, a Special Olympics bowling team.

In 2017, she was presented with the Chair of the Board – Youth Development Award by the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce. To date, her efforts have resulted in more than $200,000 in scholarships awarded. In 2018, she was named the Texas State USBC Proprietor of the Year.

Fiesta Lanes was host of the doubles/singles portion of the 2016 Texas State USBC Ladies State Tournament, and the team event in 2018. She worked with the Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to provide bowlers with gifts and information on local attractions and restaurants, and also volunteered her time to assist with the tournament.

An avid supporter of fundraising efforts, she organized a Friday night doubles tournament, named in honor of former WIBC President Sylvia Broyles, for state tournament bowlers, with proceeds benefiting breast cancer awareness.

She also sponsored several tournaments benefiting service men and women, including the Wounded Warrior Project and the local VFW.

I am honored to be recognized as the USBC Proprietor of the Year,” West said. “I am grateful for the recognition I have received for my work in the industry, but I wouldn’t be here without the help of my family and all the great employees at Fiesta Lanes.”

To learn more about Bowers and Haugh, click here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/recipients-selected-for-2020-usbc-national-recognition-awards/

Libbi Fletcher to Work With Local Associations for BVL

The Bowlers to Veterans Link has announced that Libbi Fletcher of St. Clair Shores, Mich., has been named as BVL’s USBC Consultant.

In this new role, Fletcher will work to further develop relationships with local and state USBC associations to increase participation and fundraising for BVL. She will also manage the BVL Ambassador program, which coordinates volunteers throughout the U.S. to spread awareness of BVL’s work with veterans.

Fletcher stepped down from her position on the BVL Board to accept the BVL-USBC Consultant position.

Libbi has a heart for service and has always been dedicated to both BVL and our veterans, so this is a great fit for everyone,” said BVL Chair John LaSpina. “Her extensive experience and understanding of working with USBC associations will be invaluable to build new relationships and create more awareness of BVL.”

Said Fletcher: “I am so looking forward to this next step with BVL. It is very encouraging how the bowling industry is truly embracing bowling’s oldest charity, and anything I can do to continue the work BVL does for our veterans, I am all in. USBC associations have been remarkable in supporting the organization, but with the mergers, we may have lost touch with a few. I am truly looking forward to reaching out and talking to our associations and assisting them in whatever they need to push us toward raising more dollars to support the military community through BVL.”

Fletcher joined the BVL Board in July 2012 as one of the charity’s most successful local fundraisers, promoting and supporting BVL throughout the Detroit metro area. Fletcher’s connection to BVL and veterans is personal as her father served in the Army during the Korean War and her sister also served in the Army.

Fletcher previously served nationally with WIBC for four years and then another eight years under the USBC umbrella. She was the first President of Metro Detroit USBC during the time when four area associations merged to create the MDUSBC, the largest local association in USBC. She currently serves as Vice President of the association, and is in her second year as Director of the Michigan State USBC, chairing two committees and serving on four other committees.

Last May, Fletcher retired from Logicalis North America, an information technology company, where she worked for 14 years.

For more information on BVL, visit bvl.org.

 

Business Briefs…

* Trifecta Management Group has announced that Pat Hart, Chief Operating Officer, and Bridget Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, have become new partners in the company. “Bridget and Pat bring invaluable expertise and energy to everything they do. As industry leaders, both are on the forefront of how to successfully operate and market businesses in a wide range of industries,” said Bruce Nussbaum, a founding Managing Partner with Ron Lam. “Theirs are insightful new voices as we chart and implement the strategy for the next phase of Trifecta’s journey.”

* Contrary to rumors that the center would close to make room for a car lot, Town & Country Lanes in Keizer, Ore., has been sold to a local non-profit group. That group will continue to operate the center and transform it into a community center, with a special emphasis on being a place for families to gather and to provide opportunities for at-risk young people to turn their lives around. Read more here: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2020/02/05/town-country-lanes-keizer-bowling-alley-don-lebold/4593711002/

* Two centers in Charlotte, N.C., have been remodeled and rebranded as Bowlero facilities. Receiving the makeovers were AMF Carolina Lanes and Strike City at the EpiCentre.

* Pali Lanes in Kailua, Hawaii, is back on a month-to-month lease. In a statement, property owner Alexander & Baldwin said, “After increasing its ongoing support of the bowling operator with two years of rent relief, the tenant has not given A&B any indication of its long-term viability. Reverting to the month-to-month lease allows the tenant to continue bowling operations and provides A&B the flexibility to seek a new operator which it would like to see continue offering bowling.”

* Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas, has debuted its new, expanded arcade. The center also has expanded its beer menu through a partnership with a local brewery.

Other News You Can Use…

* Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Carol Gianotti and Pam Buckner will form the 2020 PWBA Hall of Fame Class, following their election by the PWBA Hall of Fame committee.

All three players were selected in the Performance category. The 2020 PWBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place May 13 in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the 2020 USBC Queens. Details on the ceremony will be announced later. Player profiles: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/carolyn-dorin-ballard-carol-gianotti-pam-buckner-elected-to-pwba-hall-of-fame/

* Kyle Troup threw 11 consecutive strikes to defeat Hall of Famer Chris Barnes, 290-269, to win the PBA Jonesboro (Ark.) Open at Hijinx Family Entertainment Center Saturday for his fourth career PBA Tour title. The Jonesboro finals aired live on FS1. Troup dedicated his win to his mother, Sherri, who is battling bone cancer. “She’s been struggling,” Troup said. “She has her bad days and her good days. This was kind of special for me because I know how happy it’ll make her.” Report: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/kyle-troup-dedicates-pba-jonesboro-open-title-to-ailing-mom/

* Memorabilia from the 2020 PBA Hall of Fame Classic is now on sale, with proceeds benefiting the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas. Among the items available on the IBM/HF online store is a poster signed by new inductee Tommy Jones and a limited-edition Bowling Hall of Fame bowling pin signed by Jones and fellow inductees, Rob Glaser and Mike Slade. To make a purchase, and check out other items available, visit bowlingmuseum.com/shop.

* In December, four-time PWBA Tour champion Diana Zavjalova waged a social-media campaign following a professionally done photo shoot. The campaign featured images of herself in athletic attire, flexing, posing, and posting questions for her followers such as, “Who agrees that pro bowlers should train like athletes?” Zavjalova explains the story behind that campaign on the Feb. 4 episode of The Bowlers Journal Podcast. She also discusses the reaction the campaign generated — both positive and critical — and the important and enduring questions it underscores about competitive bowling’s identity, both within the bowling world and in the eyes of influential outsiders such as Olympic officials or potential corporate sponsors. Listen to the conversation here: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/podcast-diana-zavjalovas-efforts-to-change-pro-bowlings-image  

* The quarter-final round begins this week in Phantom Radio’s trivia contest. To test your own knowledge, click here: http://www.kegel.net/phantomblog/2020/1/10/jeff-richgels-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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