Cyber Report #1100

E-dition No. 1,100 • Friday, March 13, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Leaders Keep an Eye on Coronavirus; Bowl Expo Still a Go

With the spread of coronavirus being top of mind for most Americans, its potential impact on the sport and business of bowling can’t be understated.

Operators of bowling centers are concerned that the public may “cocoon” rather than go out and socialize, while association leaders must deal with the unfortunate timing of ongoing and upcoming bowling events in the midst of the outbreak.

For instance, will the PBA’s Storm World Series of Bowling, now under way at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, go on as scheduled, even in the wake of the announcement by the National Basketball Association that it is suspending games indefinitely?

The Storm World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas will go on as planned,” said Colie Edison, CEO of the Professional Bowlers Association. “We are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of our athletes and fans. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates if anything changes.”

Added Edison: “We thank all of our loyal fans for their continued support of the PBA.”What about the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships and the USBC Open Championships? What steps are individual proprietors taking to allay any fears the public may have about going bowling? There also are concerns among capital equipment manufacturers about the supply chains for their products.

Bowlers Journal Editor Gianmarc Manzione is following the story, and updating it as new information becomes available. Read the latest here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/bowling-entities-proprietors-address-coronavirus-concerns/

As of Thursday morning, BPAA’s International Bowl Expo, scheduled over the 4th of July holiday in Denver, is still a go. The BPAA meeting and planning team huddled this morning at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, to discuss the situation.

We are still more than three months out,” said BPAA Executive Director Frank DeSocio. “This is a fluid situation that seems to change daily. So we’re staying on top of it and still planning to have a great Expo.”

Added DeSocio: “The team will meet again on April 1, and we’ll reevaluate then.”

BPAA is making a number of resources available to bowling proprietors to help them deal with the situation at their centers. These include:

* A generic announcement that can be sent as an email, posted on a center’s website or communicated within the center itself. A proprietor can add the center’s logo and insert its name.

* A Specific Steps Announcement, detailing steps a center is taking to ensure a safe place for both guests and team members. The announcement can be edited, adding any additional steps being taken and deleting any that are not.

* CDC Recommendations and Best Practices, a list of steps proprietors can take with their team to ensure a safe environment for them and center guests.

* Facts About COVID-19, a one-page PDF from the CDC that proprietors can use with their team members.

* CDC Prevention and CDC Symptoms, which are JPG files from the CDC that include valuable information.

All of these resources can be downloaded at bpaa.com, where a video message from DeSocio also may be viewed.

BPAA members also have access to a new Bowling University online training course that focuses on symptoms, transmission and prevention of the coronavirus.

The course takes about 20 minutes to complete and is based on facts from the CDC. The BPAA is waiving the usual course fee so all members can have access to the information.

 

Storm Makes Big Donation to Breast Cancer Research

This year, 1,735,350 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States.

Throughout the bowling season, the Storm Nation community comes together to raise funds and build awareness for cancer research. With the help of the bowling community and a generous donation from the Chrisman Foundation, Storm Products presented a donation of $112,599 to Huntsman Cancer Foundation, while continuing to spread awareness for a cause that impacts millions.

An additional $30,000 was donated by the Striking Against Breast Cancer Foundation, presented by Donna Conners and Carol Norman. Conners, who hosts the Storm PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament each summer, and Norman traveled to Utah for the presentation.

Storm has always been known for innovation, and Huntsman Cancer Institute shows the same spirit in their dedication to the creation and improvement of cancer treatments,” Barbara Chrisman, co-owner of Storm Products, said. “With our fans’ support, through the purchase of our PTLP products, Striking Against Breast Cancer and The Chrisman Foundation’s funds we are able to sponsor several treatment rooms in The Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women’s Cancers at HCI.

The donor plaques on the wall specifically identify that bowling and bowlers care about them. I truly hope people who are going through the treatment and doing the suffering through this terrible disease know that someone cares, and feel something positive through the support [of] the bowling community from around the world.”

The total donation of $142,599 will continue to improve quality of life for individuals and their families who may experience a cancer diagnosis. HCI hosts more than 142,000 patient visits annually at its Salt Lake City and community clinic locations. It also serves the largest geographic region of all cancer centers, covering Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming.

Storm’s 2019 Paint the Lanes Pink campaign featured 300 Limited-Edition !Q Tour 20  bowling balls, a joint venture between Storm and X Out Breast Cancer, to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, held annually in Houston, Texas.

In addition, Storm raises funds through its dedicated PTLP products in the Storm Shop, which raise awareness for breast cancer research year-round.

 

QubicaAMF to Equip Future World Bowling Events

World Bowling and QubicaAMF Worldwide have entered into a memorandum of understanding whereby QubicaAMF would become the exclusive bowling equipment, lane maintenance and technology innovation partner for World Bowling and all World Bowling Championships, the World Bowling Tour Finals and WBX.

As part of the agreement, World Bowling will host all World Championships within QubicaAMF-equipped centers and use QubicaAMF equipment for all World-level events, including continental zone championships.

World Bowling’s new commercial and strategic plan will allow for direct invitation to bowling center proprietors to host events, in preference to the historic method of a response to a bidding process. Events will be spread across all five World Bowling zones with a focus on expanding relationships with its 114 member federations and bowling proprietors.

We are honored and thrilled at the opportunity of being the exclusive bowling equipment, maintenance and innovation provider for World Bowling,” said Emanuele Govoni, CEO of QubicaAMF. “We are particularly excited to introduce new technologies to World Bowling events that support their strategic initiatives, expand the reach of their events and continue to grow the sport globally.”

In addition, World Bowling and QubicaAMF will merge the existing QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup and the World Bowling Singles World Championships into one annual event that will continue to be called the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup.

This new event also will include the inaugural ParaBowling World Cup, recognized via the International Paralympic Committee following the recognition of World Bowling as the international body for ParaBowling in 2019. The PWC will run as a stand-alone event, though in direct relationship to the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup and in the same location each year. In 2020, both events will be held in Kuwait City, running Nov. 8-21.

Celebrating the 56th anniversary this year in Kuwait will be even more special as we do this in conjunction with the World Bowling Singles Championships and the ParaBowling World Cup,” noted Govoni. “These events together will promote the sport of bowling at all levels around the world like never before.”

Added Oram: “Since the very initial discussions with QubicaAMF, they have shown that they will be an incredible partner as we launch new strategic initiatives to build on the past successes and bring World Bowling events to new locations, new audiences and new fans globally. We are blessed with incredible athletes who deserve global visibility in the best events possible. QubicaAMF and its network will help us further in making this possible.”

 

Expansion Project Under Way at Turbo Bowling’s HQ

Turbo Bowling Accessories’ headquarters in Chesterfield, Mich., is in the midst of a major expansion and remodeling project that will add a second floor of offices and more warehouse space to its current building, which was built in 1996.

The addition will provide an additional 5,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, and the project also includes the modernization of existing offices as well as conference, sales and support team areas.

There also will be a completely new and inviting lobby for the Turbo Tech Training Center, and space for new production equipment to accommodate additional capacity.

Our product lines and sales team have expanded tremendously over the past 20 years,” said Turbo President Lori Mraz. “We’ve simply run out of room in our current environment. The expansion of our warehouse and efficiencies in operations will help improve the flow of products through our system, making way for future growth.

We’re also looking forward to a more inviting work space for our employees and guests visiting our HQ and training center.”

With the office and training center transformation, Turbo also is offering a portion of its collection of bowling memorabilia for sale through its website. Items include many autographed canvas prints of current and former PBA and PWBA staff members, plus other one-of-a-kind items. Visit turbograips.com for further information.

“You can collect a lot of things in 24 years, but it’s time to clean house,” Mraz said. “Part of the proceeds generated through the sale of these special items will go to support the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. Turbo has been a Sustaining Member of the Museum and Hall of Fame for many years, and looks forward to furthering our support in 2020.”

Turbo fans can follow the progress of the project by logging into a series of photos and videos that are being posted on several social media platforms.

Mraz said she expects the project to be completed by early June.

 

Contreras Joins PBA Regional Staff; Haggerty Retires

Toby Contreras, the PBA Rookie of the Year in 1983 when he won his only PBA Tour title, has been named PBA Midwest Region Manager. He succeeds Rich Weber, who retired in 2018, and Bobby Jakel, the PBA’s Central Region Manager who had filled the Midwest role on an interim basis.

Contreras, 62, lives in Raytown, Mo. He has bowled competitively on the PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour, as well as in the regional program, off-and-on since his rookie year.

Lyle Zikes will have more on Contreras in the “Regional Roundup” department of the April issue if BJI.

In another staff move, Janay Haggerty, the PBA’s Head of Events, has resigned after a 16-year career with the organization in order to spend more time with her family (husband and reigning PBA West Region Player of the Year PJ Haggerty, plus their five-year-old twins) in Roseville, Calif.

Haggerty, who earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications at Washington State University, worked for two years as associate director of media relations at the University of Kansas before joining the PBA as Media Relations Coordinator in 2003.

She was promoted to Director of Events and Community Relations in 2008, and became Vice President of Marketing in 2017, a position she held until becoming Head of Events when Bowlero Corp. purchased the PBA in 2019.

 

Gallagher Is Back in Bowling; Joins Gran Prix

Gran Prix Bowling Supply has welcomed Ed Gallagher back to the bowling industry, working in a number of roles for the company.

Gallagher worked in the distribution side of the industry from 1989 to 1998. He then joined Ebonite International, where he last served as Director of Marketing. He moved to the health care industry in 2015.

At Gran Prix, Gallagher will wear multiple hats, focusing on marketing and general administration. He will be working at the company’s office in St. Louis on Mondays through Thursdays, starting May 4.

Gran Prix Bowling Supply is part of Steve Cook-Gran Prix Bowling Supply, with distribution centers in St. Louis; Sacramento, Calif., and Riverside Calif.

 

Business Briefs…

* The PBA has entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement with KR Strikeforce, a supplier and seller of bowling equipment for more than 50 years. As part of the deal, KR Strikeforce will sponsor the ongoing “In the Bag” feature on PBA.com, which highlights the gear used by the pros in each of the national tour tournaments. “We are very pleased to embark upon this new partnership, giving our devoted fans insight into the equipment trusted and preferred by their favorite PBA Tour stars,” said the PBA’s Colie Edison. “KR Strikeforce has a long history of providing gear to bowlers of all levels and we look forward to developing this ongoing partnership in the months to come.”

* Kurt van Zyl and Ed Klamp have acquired Oviedo Bowling Center, a 24-lane center in Oviedo, Fla. Sue and Bob Wentworth, longtime owners of Oviedo Bowling Center, sold the facility and are retiring after more than 40 years in the bowling business. David Driscoll, a broker at The Hansell Group, a nationwide organization of commercial real estate brokers specializing in bowling and family entertainment centers, served as the broker in the transaction.

 

Other News You Can Use…

* After a combined 40 games bowled on four different lane patterns, the field of 40 PBA World Championship cashers was trimmed to 16 during Wednesday’s cashers round at the Storm PBA World Series of Bowling XI at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas. The leader of the pack heading into match play Thursday is EJ Tackett, who raced away to a 246-pin lead during the cashers round. The top 16 World Championship qualifiers advance to round robin match play on Thursday. After a total of 56 games, including bonus pins earned in match play, the five leading scorers will advance to the PBA World Championship stepladder finals, which will air live on FS1 on Wednesday, March 18, at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific. More: https://www.pba.com/articles/EJ-Tackett-Races-Away-to-PBA-World-Championship-Lead3b-Match-Play-Set-for-Thursday

* Thomas Solimine Sr., who has coordinated tournaments for youth bowlers throughout New York and runs youth leagues at the local level, has been selected as the USBC Youth Volunteer of the Year by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee. The award recognizes an adult volunteer who has displayed outstanding efforts to foster, organize and promote certified youth bowling programs at the local, state and/or national level. Solimine, who lives in White Plains, N.Y., has been involved in youth bowling for more than 30 years, and currently chairs the New York State USBC Youth Committee and serves as the youth representative on the Westchester County USBC. Read more about Solimine’s contributions here: https://bowl.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?id=23622334314

* Based on a poll of former members, the now-defunct Mid-America Bowling Writers was officially terminated by making a donation of $1,425.07 to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame’s “Frame 4 Frame” fund to help convert historic bowling film to digital format. The project was initiated in 2015 by former IBMHF Director of Development Gregg Williams to preserve an estimated half-million feet of irreplaceable but steadily deteriorating film dating as far back as the 1940s. To learn more about the “Frame 4 Frame” project, and how you can support it, click here: https://www.bowlingmuseum.com/About/IBMHOF-Frame-4-Frame

* Phantom Radio’s trivia contest continues this week with John McLaughlin in the hot seat. To listen in, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2020/3/11/john-mclaughlin-trivia-contest

* 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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