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#7909 - 09/05/01 09:06 AM The $350,000 question
George Freeman Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 02/08/01
Posts: 70
A/S/L: Florida
The PBA is asking host centers to put up $350,000 to hold a PBA event in their center, with the PBA keeping the TV rights. The host center basically gets to keep any revenue coming in from pro-ams and gate entries. This is the new deal in a nutshell. However, who is going to take this deal?

I'm not a bowling center proprietor, and I've never owned a buisness, so maybe there is a dynamic here I am missing, and I am perfectly willing to admit that. However, I just don't see how a proprietor could make back $350,000 on a PBA event, much less turn a profit, and if a center knows in advance they'd never be able to get their money back, why would they want to host a tournament? The logical route to go is to secure sponsors, and post their banners at the center. But even if you secure 100 sponsors, they'd have to put up $3500 a piece, I think even the major cities like Chicago and New York would have trouble finding 100 sponsors at $3500 a pop. Then you'd need a very successful pro am to get any kind of a profit.

That's about the only ideas I can come up with, if anyone has any other ideas on how to make hosting a PBA stop not sound like financial suicide, I'd love to hear them.
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#7910 - 09/05/01 01:47 PM Re: The $350,000 question
usr bin geek Offline


Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 315
A/S/L: 37/m/Burlington, VT
Are the new PBA owners trying to fail? :rolleyes:

Looking at it from strictly the proprietor point of view (in addition to co-owning this site I also own a bowling center) I don't think it makes any sense financially. In fact, fiscally it's a significant loosing venture. Public relation wise it benefits only the bowling community (which is a shrinking customer bases) and it does nothing or very little to bring nonbowlers in to a bowling center. It even fails to attract much attention of nonbowlers (potential open bowling customers.)

If a proprietor has $350,000 to throw around on what really can only be classified as possibly a marketing/public relations venture then one could spend it on something that would bring the general public in the building and attract more public attention. To throw that amount of money at what is unfortunately only followed by a very small niche of people doesn't make much business sense.

It's not difficult to think of much better ways to spend $350,000. It could be used to modernize a center; purchase new video games, bring new life to their stereo and lighting system, remodel a boring bar into a heck of a sports bar, or put in batting cages or any number of ancillary businesses.

If not modernization, with $350,000 any number of things could be done that would better represent the center to the widest amount of people--which is the goal when you spend money on marketing and public relations.

Just thinking off the top of my head a savvy proprietor could run a huge charity bowl-a-thon. Companies could enter teams by presenting a $1000 donation to their favorite charity. All the teams bowl and the one that win's, their charity gets the $350,000.

Think of the media attention THIS would garner. It would be a heck of a lot more positive for the proprietor as he's makes contacts within corporations (which gives an opening to sell them on a corporate parties) and all the media attention, not to mention all the sales the day of the event. PLUS he doesn't have to give up all his leagues for a week in addition to throwing out the $350,000.
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#7911 - 09/05/01 04:06 PM Re: The $350,000 question
George Freeman Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 02/08/01
Posts: 70
A/S/L: Florida
Very good points Steve. I don't think the PBA is making very wise decisions in regards to how they go about buisness. It certainly has made me lose confidence in the Nike guys as well, nobody seems to be making very good decisions.

It's not like the bowling industry is rocket science...this is common sense type stuff. You have to make a deal worth the proprietors trouble, or you aren't going to get any takers, thus there will be nowhere for the tour to bowl in 2002, thus, we may just see the tour get sold next year period.

I had really hoped the sale of the PBA was going to turn our organization around, and it would have, had the right decisions been made. Telling proprietors to shell out over a quarter of a million dollars for one tournament is not the right decision.
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#7912 - 09/05/01 08:52 PM Re: The $350,000 question
Pizzaguy Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 02/12/01
Posts: 102
A/S/L: 50/M/Rochester, NY
I agree with everything Steve said in his post. Let's look at the numbers here. Steve or George, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong anywhere.

You laid out $350,000 to host the tournament.
Let's say you're live in a real bowling hotbed and are able to attract 10,000 paying customers over the 6 day run at $10 per head. That's $100,000 down.

You run a really successful pro-am, maybe 300 entries at $150 each (and for sake of discussion, say each ball you paid $50 for). That's another $30,000.

Of course, all the ancillary sales (snack bar, lounge, video games, etc.) well be slightly up depending on how popular the center is during the week, so let's say an extra $10,000 from that.

You're still $210,000 short. Hmm. OK, you sell a bunch of sponsorships and advertising, generating $100,000 in revenue. Still $100k short. Not to mention the increased expense in generating this revenue (employees, commissions, advertising, etc.)

This is financial suicide for most center operators. Unless you are in a town with MAJOR corporate sponsors who get free TV advertising time out of this, I don't see how it is possible to break even on this. And I think I used rosy, almost unrealistic numbers in these calculations.

If anything, the PBA should be looking to build partnerships here, not exclude everyone from participating. I have to wonder if the PBA will even exist in a few years if this is the kind of decision making coming out of Seattle.
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#7913 - 09/06/01 12:58 AM Re: The $350,000 question
Angel Offline


Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 401
A/S/L: F/So Cal
I just checked this week's Lotto numbers, and unfortunately I came up 4 short. Needless to say, without the lottery, $350,000 is a huge investment.

As a bowler, I'd want to see a tournament live, but not at $150 or more for a pass to watch the week's festivities. I'd be afraid what it would run for a family of four to watch.

I don't bowl pro ams myself, but I usually make sure my son gets a chance. But I wouldn't pay an outrageous sum for him to do so.

If a proprietor was looking for ways to come up with the money because he truly believed in the PBA, as a fan, I'd have to tell them the prices can't go much higher than they are right now.

I too am worrying that the new PBA guys have tried too hard too fast to build a money-making venture. The PBA tour was not a turn-key investment. The problems that grew over years can't be fixed by hiking prices. A Yugo with a new paint job is still a Yugo. OK, that's harsh. Maybe I should have said a Ford with a new paint job isn't exactly a Ferrari.

Uh oh, I feel a column coming on.....
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#7914 - 09/06/01 05:29 PM Re: The $350,000 question
George Freeman Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 02/08/01
Posts: 70
A/S/L: Florida
They've definately gone about this the wrong way. I wonder what the excuses will be when it fails.

What we really need is an Eddie Elias type person who is willing to pound the pavement, park themselves in front of places to givethe PBA a chance, like Elias did. He knew more about marketing than anyone else that has ever dealt with the PBA...Nike guys included.
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#7915 - 09/07/01 02:26 PM Re: The $350,000 question
chimp Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 4
A/S/L: Oklahoma City
Better check the facts, the PBA fee is $35,000, not $350,000.

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#7916 - 09/07/01 09:53 PM Re: The $350,000 question
usr bin geek Offline


Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 315
A/S/L: 37/m/Burlington, VT
Quote:
quote:


The PBA has not responded to our requests for more information however several people who were physically in the recent Newark meeting with the PBA's Steve Miller have confirmed the $350,000 figure.
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#7917 - 09/08/01 09:34 AM Re: The $350,000 question
George Freeman Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 02/08/01
Posts: 70
A/S/L: Florida
Quote:
quote:


LOL The facts are fine, you're just missing a zero. laugh

Not only that, but the asking price for a senior stop is going to be $164,000. I can't see people wanting to pay $164,000 either.
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George Freeman

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#7918 - 09/10/01 11:08 AM Re: The $350,000 question
chimp Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 4
A/S/L: Oklahoma City
You are confusing the cost of the host center fee ($35,000), with the cost of the naming rights sponsorship fee ($350,000). The naming rights sponsorship fee is something that a Burger King would pay.

For a senior stop the host center fee is $25,000, the naming rights sponsorship fee is $164,000.

Just call Steve Miller and ask him. Or ask any proprietor on the upcoming tour if they paid $350,000.

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