California Bowling Writers

October 23, 2007

North and South Proprietors Meet for Reno Trade Show
By Mary Lynly

There was something for everyone at the recently concluded proprietors trade show. A new name “Fall Bowling Classic” labeled the event, great seminars, informative speakers and a beautiful new venue, the Reno Event Center, for the vendors and associated groups.

Beside the usual annual meetings for the various proprietor groups, pink tickets were the enticement of each day. Each attendee put their ticket in the barrel awaiting a $100 drawing at the conclusion of each event throughout the show. Speakers delivered their wisdom at working breakfasts or independently.

The Opening Ceremonies took us down a video memory lane and urged all to “get rid of the old and welcome the new.” Paul Johnson of ‘Short Cuts to Results LLC’ entitled his presentation “Strategies from Triumph to Trouble. He said to create breakthroughs you have to be willing to be into trouble. Good trouble makers get attention” and to ask yourself, “Did I go for it? Did I learn something? Am I better for it?” He believes that center owners have super powers and customers only remember what they feel. He also purports that all breakthroughs in history have come from a desire to avoid work.

Among the highlights was a panel of BPAA officers who made presentations and then held a Q & A session. Presentations were led by retiring BPAA President Joe Schumacher who told us that any organization that supports bowling creates value and he also said that BPAA and USBC were a work in progress in coming together. BPAA Executive Director John Berglund said we must continue to support our charities – BVL, Hall of Fame and Bowl for the Cure - and that BPAA and USBC were currently in negotiations to try to bring our charities under the same umbrella. Meetings for the coming year will be Bowl Expo in Orlando, FL and the Bowling Summit in Myrtle Beach, FL... BPAA is trying to revive the National Family Tournament and feels that their Men and Women’s U.S. Opens show that a quality product can be produced. The Go Bowling stamp was available for sale at the BPAA booth and a bowling calendar will be coming out soon. Berglund said that BPAA would give permission to use the Go Bowling stamp artwork. Proprietors were urged to support vendors who offer consistent pricing.

Incoming BPAA President Jim Sturm gave an overview of the Bowling Foundation and said, “If you see BF on the sleeve of our Pro Bowlers – this is what it stands for. He talked of the many things BPAA is offering to aid proprietors and will soon offer a Management School with training in ball drilling, coaching and staff training. The “Coach it Up” CD will be followed by “Coach it Up II.” A Skills Center is being proposed for centers where customers can get information. The national campaign titled “Bowlopolis” will offer a variety of DVD’s to be used in helping to insure the future of youth in bowling.

Frank DiSocio, who heads Strike 10 Entertainment, enthusiastically announced that there was a 1.4% increase of paid games in bowling centers this year. Strike 10 is working on Product Based PR again with PR company MWW and DH1 – both companies they feel will deliver. Presently in the works is an event that will be held in Phoenix, AZ in which they hope to attract 200 people at $500 each that will go to youth development. Celebrities are having bowling tournaments to benefit various causes – Reggie Bush will have one to help New Orleans’ recovery efforts and Jeff Gordon is also spearheading a tournament. BPAA will also be purchasing ½ page ads in bowling publications. Hot off the press – Coors and Miller Brewing have merged which will be good for bowling. Pepsi, bowling’s official soft drink is coming out with a low-cal Gatorade in January. BPAA is financially solid and is a Top 10 account with Chase Bank. Anheiser Busch is the only company that has bowling pin bottles! Does your bowling center have them? Ask. Also being offered to centers is a “chill machine” that keeps the beer at 22 degrees! BPAA promotions are also working with American Airlines, Sara Lee, UPS and FedEx- look for it. Kicking off the PBA tour will be four lanes installed at Miller Park in Milwaukee. DeSocio also noted that Northpoint Insurance is offering five $5,000 scholarships to graduating seniors.

When asked about National Bowling Week promotional information, the audience was told that promotional materials would definitely be out by April. National Bowling Week will continue to be the week prior to Labor Day. There were questions concerning the status of the National Bowing Hall of Fame and they are currently in negotiations concerning the land and location. It appears the Hall will have to move as options do not appear to be acceptable.

For the first time, a “New Product Display” was held that brought some interesting new innovations to light. Bevinco offered liquor auditing from a unique prospective. They say most bars, over a period of one year, lose from $20 to $40,000. You may remember Phil Kinser who fine tuned bumpers for bowling centers. He now has a company who can network with other manufacturers to market your innovation. John Hiller introduced a new product and the vending machine that delivers “Dip ‘N Dots,” a new way to eat ice cream. They are small dots of ice cream, ice cold and in a package complete with spoon. Delicious! Tom Stewart introduced a huge bowling pin for center promotion. It comes with 237 characters to change the message. Cary Tosello pushed “My Space” participation for centers saying there are 180,000,000 profile pages and it’s a good way to interact for everything from promoting to seeking employees.

Bowling Proprietors of Southern California President Jason Altman presided over a very interesting “Brainstorming” session which gave every person in the room an opportunity to share what “works for them.” There was a lot of note taking.

Dennis Fanucchi was in charge of the Fall Bowling Classic Trade Show and Convention. Sandi Thompson mans the NCBP office and communications. Elections were held and Nor-Cal officers for 2008 are: President, Stacy Aldred - Manor Bowl, San Leandro; Vice President Willie King – Boardwalk Bowl, Santa Cruz; Jim Decker, III – Double Decker Lanes, Rhonert Park and Sgt-at-Arms Brad McKernan – AMF District Manager, Sacramento/Fresno.

New board members elected were: Evelene Ballard, Cambrian Bowl, San Jose; Eric Hattrup, Diablo Lanes, Concord; and Paul Foott, Homestead Lanes, Cupertino and one to be appointed.

The President’s Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Nor Cal BC” went to Hank Malatesta and the “Elio” Al Malatesta Award for “Outstanding Contribution to WSSTS” went to Jason Altman.

President of USBC Jeff Boje was introduced as the youngest President of BPAA and now he will wear the hat for USBC. Boje spoke of what was in the future for USBC – less membership, less league bowlers and less revenue. Qualifying the need to increase efficiency, he said they knew there would be resistance to change and they need support from the related bowling groups. He said the Field Reps were eliminated because USBC did not feel this was an efficient system and they needed to spend their money more wisely. He said “Joining an organization because they give you stuff is not a good idea and that members need to be proud of what that organization stands for.” “Bowling needs to be a sport,” says Boje and bowling is the greatest unsung hero for family and camaraderie. People bowl to compete in competition and it is always more than just for fun. He says 22% of America believes bowling is a sport – not enough. The awards structure will be changed. He says to expect change, expect cheering, expect resistance.

Boje went on to say Proprietors created the ABC because they wanted bowling to be a sport. The majority of the bowlers are served by “merged” associations and they will continue to push for all associations to be merged. Safety for youth in our centers was addressed and everyone needs to be responsible.

A number of bowlers participated in the Bowl-a-Palooza at the National Bowling Stadium (bowling with a NBS ball yet) in a two-game eight-pin No Tap and Karaoke contest. Hors d’oeuvres were awesome. The new Reno Event Center was the perfect place for the 52 vendors and related exhibiters and the convention concluded with a lovely dinner setting at the Silver Legacy. Marilynn and Ted Hoffman, Jr. handled the reverse drawing which kept everyone in suspense and in the final strokes Daryl Herbert of Presidio Bowling Center pocketed the top prize of $1,000.

The weather cooperated and a good time was had by all.