This was posted on an older thread. The days of sponsorship were much better in the 60's/70's. First, any bowler who aspired to go pro had to have his bowling averages validated by the House they bowled in. There was no automated statistical accumulation of averages in USBC nor ABC back then. The house urged the better bowlers to join because the house received prestige by having a traveling team, that was sponsored by the house. The house usually paid for all fees, even individual tournaments, because the House name was almost synonymous with the bowler. You were always John Doe of ABC Lanes.
Also, there were many local businesses who contributed to a House fund that paid for bowler expenses. Even the local Auto dealer would give the team or certain bowlers a service loaner car with their name proudly printed on the door for use in travel to tourneys. Tourneys in the Chicago area were usually reachable within a few hours.
Team sponsorships were the responsibility of the House or the league. On rare occasions, a bowler would have their own team sponsor. But there were usually waiting lists of sponsors with the house. That was a primary method of advertising locally. Not only on the shirts, but hanging on boards over the lanes or prominently displayed somewhere in the house. Advertisers were displayed for a year, and assigned to a team.
Should a local bowler choose to bowl in a tournament, regionally, where overnight travel was required, it was not uncommon to have a donation box in the bar, or the house would run a raffle to raise funds.
But, those were the days of more private owners of lanes. They were also the trainers, coaches, and organizers of the House team.
I was young, but I remember our house ran Friday night poker games in the basement, and took a cut of every pot to support the bowlers from that particular house.
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