Remember the nationwide youth bowling initiative known as Super Bowling Saturday? It brought thousands of young people into bowling centers across the country, and a significant percentage was converted into league bowlers.

The new question for 2023 is: Can our industry catch lightning in a bottle twice? The International Bowling Campus Youth Development team hopes so, as it has introduced an initiative to bring children and families into centers next February to celebrate “Bowling Day in the USA.”

The program was rolled out during International Bowl Expo in Las Vegas, with a goal of having 500 centers welcome 100,000 families on Saturday Feb. 11, the day before the Super Bowl game. The long-term goal of the program is to bring 10,000 young people into youth leagues and programs.

“For many of us, the first experience of rolling a strike with our family and friends was the first step in creating a lifelong passion for the sport,” said IBC Youth Committee chairperson Chrissie Kent. “Bowling Day in the USA is designed to bring families together at local bowling centers to create lasting memories and showcase the sport in a fun and exciting atmosphere.”

Center owners interested in participating should visit bowl.com/BowlingDayUSA to register for a free kit to prepare for the promotion, which includes a $400 social media ad buy. As part of the kit, the IBC Youth Development team will set up online registration for each participating center through Eventbrite and help launch a 90-day targeted ad campaign within a 50-mile radius of each center on Facebook. IBC Youth Development, USBC and BPAA have worked together to subsidize the cost of the kits for participating centers.

While Bowling Day in the USA is targeted for Feb. 11, centers may host their event any day in February and are encouraged to make the experience special in their own way.

In addition to helping centers build their youth program, Bowling Day in the USA offers an opportunity for one center to win a grand prize. The participating center that registers the largest number of new USBC Youth members for the 2022-23 season, based on a percentage of growth over the 2021-22 season and number of lane beds at the facility, will win a VIP experience of their choice — two tickets to the Super Bowl, World Series or NBA Finals in 2024.

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