Cyber Report #1104

E-dition No. 1,104 • Friday, April 10, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

COVID-19 Strikes Down Bowl Expo

There is good news on the coronavirus front today: Death toll estimates in the U.S. may be lower than previously predicted. As USA Today reported, the University of Washington health research center now puts the likely toll by August at about 60,000 compared to previous projections that approached 100,000.

Meanwhile, however, time ran out on International Bowl Expo. BPAA leaders waited as long as they could in hopes of going forward with the 2020 Expo, which was to have taken place July 2-6 in Aurora, Colo. But with virtually every state asking people to stay at home, and with airlines substantially cutting their flight schedules, there was no other choice but to cancel Bowl Expo for this year.

To read the text of the message issued by BPAA Executive Director Frank DeSocio in announcing the cancellation, click here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/bowl-expo-2020-cancelled-amid-covid-19-pandemic/.

We have much more coronavirus-related news in this week’s Report. But before we get to that, we have this storm-related story from the Indiana community of Versailles…


Pollard’s Bowl Damaged in Wednesday Night Storms

There are widely varying reports about the degree of damage sustained by Pollard’s Bowl during the strong storms that passed through Versailles Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning, the Town of Versailles posted this update on Facebook:

As the sun rises this morning, we’re getting a better look at last night’s storm damage. We’re thankful there are no reports of serious injuries. Roofs off at Pollard’s Bowl, Rusty Buck and the old Alco store. Damage to other businesses and homes as well. Big signs blown down and lots of telephone poles snapped. Lots of trees down and other minor damage. Still no power in town. Please pray for the people out working and cleaning up. And please STAY HOME so they can do their jobs safely. This is especially important to prevent the spread of COVID-19. #HunkerDownHoosiers

In a Facebook post, Ron Pollard, part of the family that has run the center for nearly half a century, wrote, “This is awful. Prayers need to be in order! Forty-nine years gone.”

Yet the post by Po’s Pub at Pollard’s Bowl seemed a bit more hopeful: “We do have some roof damage from the storm. No one hurt. We are closed for now.”

We have reached out to the Pollard family and will provide more information when it becomes available.

 

Strike Ten Preparing ‘Back to Bowling’ Marketing Assets

One might think that there’s no need for marketing when America is in the depths of a pandemic that is forcing hundreds of millions of people to stay home. But just the opposite is true. Bowling centers need effective marketing now more than ever.

Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm of the bowling industry, recognizes this, and its staff has been working on a number of initiatives — while practicing social distancing, of course.

Here’s a report from Strike Ten on what STE has been up to since America, effectively, was shut down…

– – – – –

We began immediately working on a “Back to Bowling” marketing plan that we are developing and will be deploying at the appropriate time in the near future. This plan will focus on driving top-of-mind awareness for bowling and will provide you with the resources and support when you need it to get customers in your markets Back to Bowling!

When it’s time to reopen, we’ll have the marketing materials available to help you “Get America Back to Bowling!”

The following will provide you with some high-level insights to what marketing assets we’re working on and will be available to you in the coming weeks:

* “Get America Back to Bowling” Marketing Tool Kit — This digital marketing kit will contain a variety of marketing assets that you will be able to access and utilize when your centers begin to re-open. Assets like pre-designed flyers, email templates, website graphics and more will be developed for your use. We want to assist and support you in your efforts to reach bowling consumers in your markets with a clear and distinct message that Bowling Is Back in Business! 

* Social Media Content — Strike Ten is developing a variety of social media content and digital marketing assets that we will deploy through our social channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). These same assets will be available for you to use on your social channels as your centers are able to re-open. 

These resources and assets will be made available free to our members through the Strike Ten Social Media Content Bank.

– – – – –

Meanwhile, the BPAA, working with Michael Best Strategies, continues to provide lots of information to help bowling proprietors sort through the government’s relief opportunities. For the latest info and assets, go to: https://bpaa.com/Portals/0/Documents/CV19/BPAA%20COVID%2019%20WEBINAR_April32020_UPDATED.pdf.

More COVID-19 Updates from the Bowling Family

* Perry Daniels of Carrollton, Texas, who was involved with the sport of bowling for more than 40 years and held leadership roles with The National Bowling Association and United States Bowling Congress, died on March 31 after contracting the coronavirus, the TNBA announced. He was 71. Daniels served as president of TNBA from 1992 to 1996, and in his final year became the first TNBA president to address the conventions of both the American Bowling Congress and Women’s International Bowling Congress. He also was the first TNBA president to attend the BPAA’s International Bowl Expo. More: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/former-tnba-president-and-usbc-board-member-perry-daniels-dies-at-age-71/.

* Add Twelve Strike, based in Long Beach, Calif., to the list of companies that is stepping up to help in the fight against COVID-19. According to Twelve Strike’s Susiy Richmond, the company is manufacturing parts for a customer that is making ventilators.

* The 2020 BetVictor Weber Cup, scheduled to take place June 5-7 at Morningside Arena in Leicester, England, has been postponed due to the pandemic. New dates will be announced later. More: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/covid-19-forces-postponement-of-weber-cup/.

* QubicaAMF has created a Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/QubicaAMFbeyondtheframe/) to engage with the industry by supporting local bowling centers and helping in the mission to #supportbowling. Also, both technical and information resource material is now being stored in this centralized location: https://www.qubicaamf.com/support/covid19customerresourcecenter. The company has initiated a weekly email to remind customers about these resources and provide information on upcoming webinars, which are scheduled each Wednesday afternoon. Upcoming topics include “Preventative Maintenance: How to Take Advantage of a Closed Center (April 15), and “Welcome Back: Getting Prepared to Reopen” (April 22). Access QubicaAMF webinars here: https://www.qubicaamf.com/webinars.

* To help bowlers and bowling fans pass the time while confined to their homes, new podcasts have been launched by the team at Bowling Headquarters in Arlington, Texas — one featuring the PWBA and another focusing on the Open Championships — with four new episodes airing each week. The first episode of the PWBA version featured Erin McCarthy and included her perspective as a nurse on the front lines of the pandemic. Also spotlighted last week was Liz Kuhlkin, and new this week was a conversation with Shannon O’Keefe. The podcast also will be featuring end-of-season awards presentations for the various collegiate bowling organizations. All of these will be available first on BowlTV.com free of charge; viewers would just need to set up a login by providing their email address. Upcoming shows: April 10 — The PWBA Podcast featuring 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion Danielle McEwan; April 13 — Collegiate Awards Show recognizing NAIA and NTCA award winners (6 p.m. Eastern); April 14 — Inside The OC featuring two-time eagle winner Dan Higgins;

April 15 — The PWBA Podcast featuring three-time champion Josie Barnes; April 15 —
Collegiate Awards Show recognizing NCBCA and IBMA award winners (6 p.m. Eastern); April 16 — Inside The OC featuring lifetime average leader and USBC Hall of Famer Mike Shady.

* Storm also is giving stuck-at-home bowlers and fans more content to enjoy on its Facebook page, including a new program called “The Morning Bolt.” You can check out the programs here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/StormisBowling/208421127145603/?fbclid=IwAR0jCMgUh4-LjmnGUtlW4JEX-Pqtz-jWzAk3iPJcnM0NkftN4IBymAeqDiY.

* On Thursday, Kegel hosted a webinar with Dr. Dean Hinitz. The timely topic: “Excelling During Times of Change.”

* The USBC Collegiate Division will not extend eligibility for student-athletes who had their 2019-20 bowling postseason cut short because of COVID-19 public health concerns. The decision by USBC Collegiate follows the decision of major collegiate athletic associations — including the NCAA, NAIA) and NJCAA — to grant an eligibility waiver only to student-athletes in spring sports. USBC Collegiate announced the postponement of the Intercollegiate Singles and Team Sectionals on March 12. After determining there was no available timeframe to conduct the collegiate postseason events, USBC announced the cancellation of the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships on March 18.

* GRAN PRIX Bowling Supply is offering reduced prices and “net Sept. 30” terms on many products so that pro shops can be stocked up and ready to go when the shutdown is over. At present, GRAN PRIX is not subject to a statewide stay-at-home directive, even as nearly all of its customers are closed. “We are working on a number of projects that are normally done in the slow summer months,” said company President David Caldwell. “One of these projects is preparing for the GRAN PRIX Bowling Panorama, currently scheduled for July 23-24. With the cancellation of

Bowl Expo, we plan to significantly enhance the event this year.”

* The team at eBowl.biz and BowlRx.com has been working on “Bowling Is Back” campaigns for the centers it works with. “Keeping center websites up to date with current content is so important in this fast-changing crisis,” said company founder Carey Tosello. “Along with preparing graphics and compelling copy to get the word out that ‘Bowling Is Back,’ we are keeping centers from being invisible through the use of social-media posts to remind consumers how much fun bowling was, and will be again. This is not the time to become invisible to the public, so we are helping bowling centers, regardless of the size of their marketing budgets, to stay front and center with the public. If we all work together, the industry will prosper on the other side of this virus.”

We’ve already heard from a number of our industry partners and have shared their stories with you — here in the Cyber Report, as well as in BJI and BCM magazines and their social-media platforms. But we’d also love to hear from you… even if it’s just to say hello and stay connected. Simply drop a note to bjibob@aol.com. With your permission, we’ll share some of the information in future editions of the Cyber Report and the magazines.

 

3 New BJI Podcasts Focus on Pandemic

BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione has been talking to numerous people in the industry in preparing coronavirus reports for the May issue of BJI, and has transformed three of those interviews into podcasts…

* KEVIN KRAUSS — Few people have experienced the economic devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted upon the bowling business more than bowling center owners and their employees. Proprietors are trying to navigate a situation in which they are bringing in zero revenue. They are having to make difficult decisions about layoffs and furloughs. They are itching to re-open their doors, but have no way of knowing with any degree of certainty when it might be safe to do so. Kevin Krauss, Secretary of the BPAA, is a second-generation proprietor whose family has been in the bowling business for 65 years. He owns and operates two bowling centers in Florida’s Tampa Bay area, and he spoke about how he is dealing with the impact of this pandemic on his business, what went through his mind the moment he realized he would have to shut down his centers, what it was like to be on vacation in Europe the day President Trump announced a ban on travel from that continent to the United States, and much more. Listen to the conversation here: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/podcast-longtime-proprietor-kevin-krauss-on-covid-19s-impact-on-bowling-centers.

* KIM ADLER — USBC Hall of Famer and PWBA Tour legend Kim Adler has been a nurse practitioner since 2011. At a time when the state of Florida ranks fifth in the nation for the number of statewide COVID-19 infections, Adler happens to be performing her duties as a nurse in that very state, at a facility called the Rockledge Regional Medical Center. As you’ll hear on the podcast, some of the realities nurses in her area and across the country face as this pandemic rages are stark and shocking. Nurses and doctors are updating their wills. In some parts of the country, they are being forced to make decisions about who lives and who dies. Adler says she never thought she one day would be battling a 100-year pandemic when she signed up to be a nurse, yet that is exactly the situation she finds herself in today. You might consider this episode of the podcast a dispatch from the front lines of that battle. Listen to the conversation here: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/kimadlerfinal.

* ERIN McCARTHY — PWBA Tour champion Erin McCarthy is accustomed to doing battle on the lanes, but these days it’s a battle away from them that is consuming her time. With the PWBA Tour put on an indefinite hiatus, McCarthy’s sole focus is on her job as a registered nurse at two hospitals in the area of Omaha, Neb. The COVID-19 pandemic has not yet overwhelmed the healthcare delivery system there as it has in places like New York, Detroit or Miami, but McCarthy says the anticipation of a surge in COVID patients among the Omaha medical community makes these quieter days at the hospital feel eerily like the calm before the storm. McCarthy shared her thoughts about the pandemic’s devastating impact on the bowling industry, what it’s like to be a healthcare worker at a time of global pandemic, and much more in this conversation: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792.

 

Hard Work Pays Off for Star of Tomorrow Honoree

Ryan Gatton of Owensboro, Ky., has been selected as the 2020 Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow Award winner by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee.

The award recognizes star qualities in a USBC Youth member, including distinguished bowling performances on the local, state and national levels, academic achievement and community involvement. Applicants must be a male high school senior or college student. Gatton will receive a $6,000 scholarship.

Receiving this award is proof that my hard work has paid off and I am honored to have been chosen,” Gatton said. “I have worked extremely diligently in both bowling and academics to get to where I am now, and this award is a vindication of that. It is special to me because bowling and school have been huge parts of my life, and to receive a scholarship for those two things that I love to do is amazing.”

A senior at Apollo High School, Gatton has a 4.0 GPA (4.27 weighted) and has taken Advanced Placement courses in biology, environmental science, calculus, statistics, English language and English Literature, history and European history, in addition to dual-credit classes.

He was recognized as an AP Scholar in 2018 and received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award for the 2018-19 school year. He also was the recipient of the 2019 Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award.

His volunteer projects as a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club include serving at the Cliff Hagan Boys and Girls Club. For the last four years, he volunteered at the Special Olympics Bowling regional event.

A bowler since age 4, he previously served as a youth board member with the Owensboro Bowling Association. He reached a personal goal by rolling a 300 game in March of 2019.

Gatton helped start the bowling program at Apollo High School and was team captain for the 2019-20 season. A Kentucky High School Athletic Association Academic All-State selection each year, he was named the 2019-20 Midway University/KHSAA Male Bowling Student-Athlete of the Year.

He plans to attend Western Kentucky University in the fall and major in education.

Many teachers have had a huge impact on my life, so I plan to pay that forward,” Gatton said. “I plan on becoming a high school English teacher.”

 

Gift For Life Scholarship Recipients Unveiled

Twelve USBC Youth members have been selected by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee to receive a Gift For Life Scholarship, presented annually to youth bowlers who currently are in high school and can demonstrate financial need.

Applicants are selected based on submitted applications, must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale) and provide at least two letters of recommendation.

Each award winner receives a $1,000 scholarship managed through the SMART program.

The Gift For Life Scholarship recipients for 2020 are:

* Katelin Bostian, Salisbury, N.C. — A senior at Jesse C. Carson High School, she is ranked eighth in her class of 274. She has volunteered at numerous events through Key Club, which she serves as treasurer, and is the president of the International Thespian Society. 

* Denver Boxleitner, Cape Coral, Fla. — The Island Coast High School junior is a member of the varsity bowling and tennis teams. She has volunteered with Take Stock in Children and the Northwest Cape Coral Regional Library.

* Lyndsey Capps, Colorado Springs, Colo. — The Doherty High School 10th grader is taking honors courses in algebra, engineering, English and history. She has been a 4H member since 2014, volunteered with Care and Share sorting canned food, and volunteered at the annual Alzheimer’s Walk. She also served meals through her church.

* Rhett Fullhart, West Point, Iowa — A senior at Holy Trinity Catholic High School, he is involved in the chess, music and theatre clubs, and competes in bowling, golf, baseball and trap. He volunteers at the local food pantry and through his church.

* Ryan Hanzak, Concord Township, Ohio — A junior at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, he is a member of the bowling, golf and basketball teams, and a school ambassador. He volunteers through his church, worked at the local library book sale and ran a clothing drive.

* Victoria Hoffman, Stillwater, Okla. — A Stillwater High School senior, she served as committee chair for Stillwater Makes a Change, a student-led group that raised more than $350,000 for a local nonprofit organization. She made state band, and was in Unified Peers, Beta Club and Key Club.

* RJ Hooper, Enid, Okla. — The Enid High School senior’s community service includes working with Mission Enid, which included building multiple handicap ramps, clearing limbs after ice storms, and doing home repairs for low-income families. He is in the school orchestra and competes in bowling and track.

* Waylon Metts, Louisville, Ky. — The St. Xavier High School senior earned the rank of Eagle Scout last fall after completing his project with Norton Children’s Hospital. He is a National Honor Society member and a four-year member of the bowling team.

* Tyler Seeley, Parker, Colo. — A senior at Legend High School, he is in the bowling and calculus clubs, and in the school orchestra. He volunteered with the Parker Task Force, assisting in the food bank warehouse, and did meal prep for Feed My Starving Children.

* Trinity Stuart, Westminster, Colo. — A senior at Jefferson Academy, she has taken honors courses in English, biology, algebra, history and chemistry. She is a member of the golf and bowling teams and has volunteered with the Kiwanis Pins for Kids benefit and the Beat The Amateur scholarship fundraising golfing event.

* Ashton Wardrup, Santa Fe, Texas — A senior at Santa Fe High School, he has volunteered with Special Olympics and has been involved with the Texas and Greater Houston USBC Youth Leaders. He is a four-year member of the high school bowling team.

* Brandon White, Canton, Ill. — The senior at Canton High School, who recently completed his Eagle Scout project, has worked numerous community service projects through the Boy Scouts. In addition to league bowling, he is a four-year member of the varsity soccer team.

Each year, two of the Gift For Life scholarships are reserved for the children of fire department, emergency rescue or police personnel. This year, the fathers of Hoffman and Fullhart both serve as police officers.

 

Business Briefs…

* There’s room for expansion near the Settlers Green development in Conway, N.H., and developer Robert Barsamian, President of OVP Management, says that he has been considering housing, sports facilities and a family bowling center to fill the available space. However, because of the coronavirus, the bowling facility may ultimately not make the cut. “We have to reassess everything at this point,” Barsamian told the Conway Daily Sun, “because bowling centers are places of gathering, which is problematic because of the pandemic.”

* Malibu Jack’s has completed an expansion of its location in Louisville, Ky. This mega-FEC now includes 18 lanes of bowling, go-karts, laser tag, “Malibu Golf,” an indoor rollercoaster and other rides, VR entertainment, and more. The bowling capital equipment was provided by Global Entertainment. Like virtually all other FECs around the country, Malibu Jack’s is temporarily closed.

 

Other News You Can Use…

* Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates, Ill., once was a busy league and tournament house. Although the center’s sign remains, it has been closed since 2015, and its parking lot now is being used by Zeigler Automotive Group for vehicle storage. The company recently bought three luxury vehicle dealerships and needed the extra space. Read about the early history of the center here: https://ourlocalhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/hoffman-lanes-the-1st-bowling-alley-of-schaumburg-township/.

* Commercial burglaries are up 75% in New York City since the coronavirus outbreak, including a break-in at the midtown location of Lucky Strike Lanes. Two suspects, including one wearing a surgical mask with a bunny design, were taken into custody without incident. Police were alerted by a motion sensor at the center. Read more here: https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-cops-bust-cutsey-bandit-20200408-46wyznmsazb3vlswumbivox4tu-story.html.

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is radio and TV personality CJ Layton. To listen in, click here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2020/3/6/cj-layton-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, “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook, and follow BJI on Twitter (Twitter.com/BowlersJournal). 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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