The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now

Posted by: BIGHMW

The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/29/14 11:28 PM

I just got finished watching the Barbasol PBA Tournament Of Champions, and while the matches were great and all that, there was something missing, and this has been passed on since 3 years ago, when the TOC had a 1 MILLION dollar total purse, with $250,000 going to the winner, and that is simply this.......... how much the winners of each tournament gets, there have been literally no mention of prize money at all, why? It's because if Mike J and Randy mentioned any of it (in numbers) it would be too embarrassing because it is that low.

When Belmo won the TOC this past Sunday, he only got $40,000 for winning it, now that may be acceptable first place prize money 30 years ago, but this is ridiculous that the PBA is giving these players only that much money, and that in this economy and with the annual rise of inflation, it is unacceptable by today's standards, in 2001, the PBA guaranteed that the winner of each standard tournament would get a minimum of $40,000 and if a player wins one of the 4 majors, they would get a minimum of $100,000 ($120,000 if they win the World Championship), THAT was something back then, but where's the money now guys???

The players have gotten better over the past 30 years I've seen on Tour, guys like Norm Duke, Danny Wiseman, David Ozio, Brian Voss and Walter Ray were dominating the Tour, I myself idolized Brian Voss and even though he has committed himself almost exclusively to the PBA 50 Tour, he still is one whom I'd copy the form and game of, of course Danny Wiseman and Norm Duke round off my all-time favorite bowlers in the BIO section of my official website, BIGHMW.com.

I just wondered, why hasn't the PBA gone after more sponsors, it's become almost a joke when half of their commercials during the telecasts, happen to be for "As Seen On TV" products like the X-Hose, Tag Away, Sobakawa Cloud Pillow, Fast Brite, and of course everyone's favorite, the Wax Vac.

The PBA also has yet another, long-known problem, ESPN decides to screw over the PBA by putting the telecasts opposite of the NFL on Sundays, and the majority of them are taped well in advance, when just 10 short years ago, all the TV shows were LIVE as they happened, the PBA lost me as a viewer because of it, and now at these days, I could just simply wait 'til our good friend bowlingvideos4all (a.k.a. "BV4A") uploads the shows onto YouTube, well before and with better picture quality than the PBA does. or PM any of you guys for a spoiler so I'll know who won and how much they won, rather than be gouged a fee to view it on Xtra Frame.

If all goes according to plan, the players of our Tour will become irrelevant, half of America doesn't even know whom Belmo or even PDW or Sean Rash are, you'd think our lane heroes would be household names today much like Richard Weber, Don Carter, Earl Anthony, Marshall Holman or Mark Roth were in the 1970s.

Hopefully, some of us will buy some of the PBA High 5 Gear shirts and wear them out in public so that some of our favorite players can get noticed, it works in every other sport, why not professional bowling? When PDW, Osku, Mike Fagan, Sean Rash, and Belmo start becoming the talks of not only the lanes but also in office water cooler conversation (imagine gossip at work about Belmo's 2-handed style and how devastating it is when it strikes, my boss at work, Matt Garnett, had never heard of Jason Belmonte until I mentioned him and his great win at the TOC this past Sunday), it will be a HUGE victory for our great sport, hopefully we can do it, or else, let them and the PBA disappear into oblivion and fold.

We can do something about it, all of us!!! smile
Posted by: champ

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 12:16 AM

The reason the PBA almost went bankrupt in 1997 is because it had been dying for a long time, and ABC no longer saw fit to keep it on air. The only reason all that money was available on tour in the early 2000s was because the rich execs who bought the PBA poured money into it to try to make it be something it had proven it wasn't.

This has been going on for over 20 years. There have been some bright shining moments since then, but all signs are pointing at bankruptcy again.

If the PBA wants to survive as a professional sport, it needs to figure out how to survive in the 21st century, not 1965. Its not generating enough of an audience to get tv sponsors, and since it has to pay ESPN for the air time, its losing money every show.

Accept that unless you're too big to fail (NFL) you don't belong on tv. There's other ways to make money. Xtra frame produce great coverage. If we could get a million USBC members to pay 10 bucks a year for a subscription we could have a fully funded tour. No more worrying about sponsors, tv slots, ratings, etc. I say its a blessing and an opportunity, but too many people can't accept the fact that tv is a dinosaur industry. It simply can't provide anything beneficial to something as small as the PBA is or ever could be.
Posted by: B-Hammer

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 01:36 AM

The PBA has gotten after every major sponsor. Tim Clark has stated on multiple pod casts that they are banging on the doors, the sponsors just don't see the ROI, the audience that watches the PBA is too small or just doesn't buy the products advertised.

Why would USBC members want to fund the tour? A small minority of the people feel the way you do about the value of the tour, or else they'd watch it, the numbers would be there, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I thought they did a good job with the ToC, many things posted on these forums were incorporated into the show. They had tech tips, they have knowledgeable commentary, the dyed oil is helpful and interesting, they had "name" bowlers in the final.

The best thing for the PBA to do is to cater to it's core aging audience and just hold on for as long as it can. Pro bowling just isn't interesting enough for the younger generations.
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 04:45 AM

Do you think sponsors should pay to keep bowling on TV? Here is an experiment. Try watching all 21:59 minutes of the following international darts competition. These guys are great. They hit bullseyes like today's PBA pros roll strikes. Did you make it to the end of the video? My guess is probably not. It may be fun to watch for aficionados of the sport, but not for the general viewing public. Would you think any differently if you were a potential sponsor? Probably not. In my opinion, the PBA needs to forget about TV, and embrace YouTube and other social media outlets. Some ad revenue is better than paying for coverage. The lost fans who won't pay for Xtra Frame might even return.



To raise additional money, I would suggest the USBC, PBA, and Team USA work together and add $1 per year to the regular USBC sanction fee and $2 per year to the sport league sanction fee. For non-sport league bowlers, a national winner should receive a paid entry to bowl the USBC Open. For sport league bowlers, if the sport league uses PBA patterns, a national winner should receive a paid entry to bowl a PBA event (ex: US Open). If they use Team USA patterns, a national winner should receive a paid entry to bowl the Team USA trials. The huge surplus should be divided between the USBC, PBA, and Team USA.

Moving PBA coverage to the internet reduces expenses. Directing a portion of sanction fees to competitive bowling provides a new revenue stream. Ah, competitive bowling is profitable again, accessible to millions, and preserved for future generations. Really want to supercharge viewership? They bet on horses, don't they?
Posted by: Fin09

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 11:11 AM

I also think the PBA's tv days are numbered, but if we move in the direction that most experts think, cable and satellite subscriptions will continue to decline to the point that many providers will no longer be able to remain profitable. More people will be able to stream content from online sources and pay for channels a la carte, so these bundle packages that are offered will be a thing of the past.
The PBA, if they are able to survive long enough, may be able to take advantage of this. They need our help, though. If we're not supporting the tour, how do you expect people outside their target market to do it? If you're waiting for the telecasts to be uploaded to YouTube, you're part of the problem. Their ad revenue is based on viewership, so if you want the tour to be here in 2 years, watch it on ESPN (dvr it if you have to), spend a few bucks on Xtra Frame, and patronize the sponsors they do have.
No sponsors who actually agree to support the tour should be considered a joke. Without them, there would be no tour.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 11:30 AM

I think some of this could be alleviated if the PBA fully grabbed the streaming idea and ran with it. Not on their own site that you can only find if you watch a show on TV or go to the PBA website, they need to broadcast/stream it to as many places as possible. A big part of marketing well is exposure, if the only exposure you have is on a site that is linked from your own site, you are wasting valuable avenues.

They could be streaming to places like:

YouTube (paid advertisements, free streaming)
Twitch TV (paid advertisements, free streaming)
Justin TV (paid advertisements, free streaming)

ETC.

Why only stream on Xtra Frame when you can stream to multiple networks and gain max exposure?

Instead of allowing someone else to upload to YouTube and nobody makes a dime, why not stream it yourself and pull some revenue from it?
Posted by: VFF57

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 11:52 AM

Quote:
More people will be able to stream content from online sources and pay for channels a la carte, so these bundle packages that are offered will be a thing of the past.


I'm willing to pay for Xtra Frame but I haven't been able to find an App plugin for my Roku Streaming players. You would think by now the PBA would have something available being that many people now have smart TV's, DVD players and other add on boxes for streaming. I guess there's not enough public interest in bowling to create third party - open source plugins. I don't want to be limited to using just my computer for viewing the content. There's ways to use a computer as a streaming server to the Roku's, but I don't want to pay for the subscription without knowing for sure how it will work. This is one of many examples that indicate the PBA's lack of promotion and marketing in keeping the sport alive.
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 03:45 PM

Maybe it's about time the owners of the PBA bail out and perhaps sell the PBA and all of its assets to Vince McMahon. Hey, he turned World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) into the billion-dollar global empire that it is now, maybe he can do the same for the PBA as well. Before Vince inherited the WWE from his late father, Vincent J. McMahon, the WWE was just a small, northeast-based promotion, that just needed something to go over the edge and become the mecca of Sports Entertainment that it is now.

I'm not saying that we will be having PBA RAW or Xtra Frame ThrowDown! or maybe even see WWE Superstars in the audience, but anything other than the runaway disaster the PBA has become today. Don't forget, wrestling on TV up until 30 years ago was mostly small audiences here and there, watching live in-house shows in either 3/4-empty arenas or on TV (remember Championship Wrestling, kids?) on high-numbered UHF channels with notoriously weak signals, but obviously it's a lot bigger today, if the WWE can do it, why can't the PBA?

Why not? The PBA has nothing to lose.

We already have available to us now, the very same awesome-looking jerseys (made by High 5 Gear) the PBA players wear during both tournament proper and on TV, that is our equivalent of the t-shirts of the various WWE Superstars on their rosters, how 'bout also, this season's PBA League Jerseys like what Gemini put out last season, I'm sure High 5 will be putting the 2013-14 versions out for sale soon (my VISA card awaits their arrival) with the PBA League ready to be commenced very soon.

Ball caps, tees, scarves and other merchandise might follow and I hope they take a page out of the other pro sports leagues and put out yearly/seasonal review DVDs for us to get so we can relive the seasons that were, maybe with some added off-lane features and interviews unavailable anywhere else. Even football clubs like Arsenal (yes, I am a Gooner, an Arsenal fan) do this every year, why not?

Posted by: Gohokies

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 05:10 PM

I dont understand why the ratings are so low and no one watches but true fans. As a sports fan in general if I am sitting around on saturday with nothing to do, I will watch pretty much anything skiing, golf, heck I have even watched pool. How can pool have more viewers than bowling. I dont even participate in those sports but I will still watch, its all about the competition. There doesnt seem to be any advertising. I know ad time is expensive but you dont really see ads the days before the show. Youd think espn would want ratings for all their time slots. Why not show a promo on saturday when you are running duke unc basketball to tune in tomorrow to watch the biggest bowling tourny of the year. If you look at espn.com there was no headline link on breaking news that belmo just won the biggest bowling tourny of the year on your own damn channel. All the stories are on pba.com or bowling digital.com. Yet there are links to the winners of xgames or skating competitions. You cant even get writers to watch and right a story on a major tourny. It is very sad i didnt even bowl as a kid but still watched ever saturday in the 70s. It isnt about the sport its about watching the competition.
Posted by: Gohokies

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/30/14 05:24 PM

One more thing, ESPN in their efforts to monopolize college sports and buying rights to every conference leads to low rated shows on television that take up prime viewing slots. No offense to anyone interested in other sports because I like them all and I'm a proud supporter of my own school, but ESPNU shows all the college olympic sports and small conference football and basketball. Are the rating numbers for a volleyball match or wrestling match or NAIA football or basketball really that high. Are the ratings for high school football and basketball really that high on ESPN. I dont even watch the high school sports, why do I really care about the two best teams from california playing a high school football game in a prime slot when I live in Virginia. How do they get advertisers for these lowly rated shows. Now I know ESPNU is dedicated to college sports but I can't believe the ratings for most games are that high. Why do advertisers pay for those games.
Posted by: B-Hammer

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/31/14 02:38 AM

If the PBA supporters want to see the PBA succeed and stay on the air the answer is simple and won't really cost you anything.

Support the current PBA sponsors. Buy Barbasol instead of your normal shaving gel/cream, switch to Geico, drink Budweiser, drink pepsi, buy expand a hose instead of a normal hose. Etc. If the sponsors see a ROI then they will continue to advertise, and the PBA can go out and market their success to more sponsors.
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/31/14 05:17 AM

There is another way to increase the prize money for national PBA events...by increasing the entry fee. Without help from any other source, 250 bowlers paying a $5,000 entry fee would provide a $1,000,000 prize fund with $250,000 to cover tournament expenses. The payout could be to the top 25 spots, with the top 3 spots paying $250,000, $100,000, and $50,000. The burden of sponsorship would then be the bowler's, not the PBA's.

Posted by: Fin09

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/31/14 09:24 AM

I brought up the question of entry fees to a competitive golfer friend of mine, and he said the entry fee to a PGA tour event is $1000 for most events- I think he said majors were more. If I'm not mistaken, they pay half the field- anyone who tees up on Saturday and Sunday. I don't ever see those events struggling to fill the field, as there are hundreds if not thousands of PGA tour professionals trying to get up high enough on the money list to get them an exempt spot. 120-128 golfers at $1000 a pop pays the winner plus maybe part of the runner-up's share. The rest is paid by tournament sponsors.
Increasing the entry fee to a PBA event to $2500-5000 is a sure fire way to cut the field size to about 20-30 per event. If you don't pay at least half the field, if not more, bowlers won't be able to keep dropping that kind of money, even if it's sponsorship money.
The licensing fee that the PBA wants to charge keeps a lot of sponsors away. If a local business wants to sponsor a bowler, and they're not on the list of licensed sponsors, that bowler cannot display the business' name anywhere on his person. I still remember cutting the Dockers tags off the pants I wore to a regional because Levi's is not, and still isn't , a licensed sponsor of the PBA. I couldn't put my sponsor's name on my shirt, either, but we were all asked to wear "Wild Turkey" patches because they were sponsoring the Southern region.
The ad agency who works with the PBA also has one of the MMA organizations as a client, and we all know how that has exploded. So much so that boxing is on the steepest decline it's ever been on. Wrestling enjoyed a revival for a long time, but it's losing a lot of its viewers to UFC, for many reasons, but I would have to guess that it's because of the brutal authenticity and the fact that it is actually a sport. Wrestling has decided to stop calling itself a sport, and is now referring to itself as sports entertainment.
I'm a big fan of patronizing the tour's sponsors- if they sell something I can use. At the moment, I have no need to switch car insurance companies, I haven't eaten beef jerky in several years (not because I don't like it- I'm eating a lot healthier these days), I'm not putting in hardwood floors (although I may do this in a couple of years), and none of the As Seen on TV products appeal to me. Oh, and I shave with an electric razor. I might be due for a new one of those soon, though, and if I get a new one, it'll probably be a wet dry razor.
If anyone is still reading this, and you're one of the people who chooses to wait until the tour telecast uploads to YouTube to watch it, you're costing the PBA ad revenue as well as ratings. You're part of the reason the PBA has to pay ESPN to be seen, and that the only slot they can afford is opposite the NFL. I would guess that if another sport came along and offered them more for the time slot, the PBA would be back on the CBS Sports Network, or some other obscure network. Or off TV altogether.
So I guess my point is that we all have some say in whether the PBA survives, or rather how long they can survive. Blaming everyone else for things we can all do our part to help them will just bring the end of the tour that much sooner.
Posted by: champ

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/31/14 11:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Joe Bowler
There is another way to increase the prize money for national PBA events...by increasing the entry fee. Without help from any other source, 250 bowlers paying a $5,000 entry fee would provide a $1,000,000 prize fund with $250,000 to cover tournament expenses. The payout could be to the top 25 spots, with the top 3 spots paying $250,000, $100,000, and $50,000. The burden of sponsorship would then be the bowler's, not the PBA's.


At first thought, I thought there's no way this would work. Who's got $5000 to enter an event, let a lone a full tour of events?

But upon further thinking, I realized, money talks. $250,000 is a lot of money, and if they were bowling for it every week, if would draw a field. It might change the names of who enters the tournaments (it would become either those who already have the money to drop or those who can persuade sponsors/backers to support them.)

Frankly, sponsors don't really care what they're sponsoring, so long as they see income from it. If Chris Barnes was allow to walk into Rolex Headquarters and say "sir, I'm one of the best bowlers in the world, I'm competing for $250k a week, 35 times a year, and I need a sponsor" they would do it.

And with bowlers bowling for more money, it would generate a larger tv audience. That's why golf, tennis, and poker are popular tv choices. The ratings they get aren't simply poker players watching poker; its people coming to see big dollars change hands. With a larger tv audience comes more sponsors.

Its really the theory of gravity. Big things draw in lots of stuff. Little things don't draw in much.

The structure would have to change a bit, but Joe you might be on to something.
Posted by: mmalsed

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 01/31/14 11:23 AM

Originally Posted By: B-Hammer
If the PBA supporters want to see the PBA succeed and stay on the air the answer is simple and won't really cost you anything.
Support the current PBA sponsors. Buy Barbasol instead of your normal shaving gel/cream, switch to Geico, drink Budweiser, drink pepsi, buy expand a hose instead of a normal hose. Etc. If the sponsors see a ROI then they will continue to advertise, and the PBA can go out and market their success to more sponsors.


LOL that would be a problem:

Barbasol - I do shave my head but don't use shaving cream. That foaming hand soap my wife gets works WAY better!
Budweiser - I'm a craft supporter, drinker, and brewer. . . no non-American (they're owned by Belgian InBev) fizzy yellow water for me! smile (no offense if you're a Bud drinker - just pokin fun)
Expanding hose - bought a couple. Our water pressure is SO friggin HIGH that they explode on us. Their warranty is good, lol, but the replacements still burst! Kinda funny tho.
Etc. Etc. Etc. smile
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/01/14 07:08 AM

Originally Posted By: champ
Originally Posted By: Joe Bowler
There is another way to increase the prize money for national PBA events...by increasing the entry fee. Without help from any other source, 250 bowlers paying a $5,000 entry fee would provide a $1,000,000 prize fund with $250,000 to cover tournament expenses. The payout could be to the top 25 spots, with the top 3 spots paying $250,000, $100,000, and $50,000. The burden of sponsorship would then be the bowler's, not the PBA's.

At first thought, I thought there's no way this would work. Who's got $5000 to enter an event, let a lone a full tour of events?

But upon further thinking, I realized, money talks. $250,000 is a lot of money, and if they were bowling for it every week, if would draw a field. It might change the names of who enters the tournaments (it would become either those who already have the money to drop or those who can persuade sponsors/backers to support them.)

Frankly, sponsors don't really care what they're sponsoring, so long as they see income from it. If Chris Barnes was allow to walk into Rolex Headquarters and say "sir, I'm one of the best bowlers in the world, I'm competing for $250k a week, 35 times a year, and I need a sponsor" they would do it.

And with bowlers bowling for more money, it would generate a larger tv audience. That's why golf, tennis, and poker are popular tv choices. The ratings they get aren't simply poker players watching poker; its people coming to see big dollars change hands. With a larger tv audience comes more sponsors.

Its really the theory of gravity. Big things draw in lots of stuff. Little things don't draw in much.

The structure would have to change a bit, but Joe you might be on to something.

I agree 100% about the poker, golf, and tennis phenomenon. Other than the diehard fans, it's the size of the prize that attracts players, sponsors, coverage, and viewers. For example, below are the entry and payout details for an upcoming World Poker Tour tournament. In summary, there is a $3,500 entry fee, a $1,000,000 guaranteed prize fund, and a payout schedule depending on the number of entries. For example, with 250 entries, they would pay a minimum of 25 spots and at least $235,000 for first, $165,000 for second, and $106,000 for third. They have obviously given this a lot of thought and worked out the details to attract a huge audience and number of players.

If bowling were structured this way, a bowler with a 50-50 split with their sponsor would only have to win one national tournament per year to make a decent living. One good year could make a top, self-sponsored bowler a millionaire! Those are the kind of numbers that would change everything for the sport of bowling. Because, when you take away the money, all you have left are the diehard fans, and that is not enough to support an enterprise over the long term.

But, we are just talking. Excuse me while I go eat some beef jerky with the hope that helps the PBA survive. wink
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/01/14 12:23 PM

Hey Joe Bowler,

In response to your earlier darts post, There ARE those rare moments in LIVE televised sports history and here's one of them, yes, in darts of all things:



Try THIS on for size, this is the iconic Phil Taylor, a.k.a. "The Power", with the first ever LIVE televised 9-darter (he's thrown many 9-darters on TV since), which is darts equivalent of a 300 game for us bowlers, and this one was worth a whopping 100,000 pounds, that's right, 100,000 English pounds, approximately $200,000 U.S.!!! Now if we marketed our players on the PBA Tour like the darts industry does Phil Taylor, the PBA would be much-better managed.
Posted by: 56bird

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/01/14 02:23 PM

This video went around a while ago, loved it. As much as anything, the announcers and the crowd reaction made it. Who knew Charlie Brown was such a bad cat?



The issue I see with just raising entry fees is, it's not sustainable. Look, when you enter a local tournament, what it really is, is a simple money exchange between the bowlers. AND we pay the house a bowling fee for our trouble. Financially, we'd be better off if we put everyone's entry fee in an envelope and drew straws to determine a winner. Eventually, only a few that felt they had a good shot to win would actually enter. Kind of like this thing that happened a few years ago... Bowerlsdeals All-in Showdown There needs to be money coming in from outside the players (and their sponsors). When Belmo rolls an Uproar in a fashion almost nobody else can duplicate, us house hacks at home watch this and think "hey I need that ball!". We buy it for that silly reason. They're not giving bowling balls away these days (although the Uproar is relatively cheap), some of that money needs to filter it's way back.
Posted by: Gohokies

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/02/14 02:22 AM

I didn't realize how bad a shape the pba was in. I do know there past history has not been good, but was encouraged last year when they added a few more tournaments Detroit swing in winter and summer swing. I was glad to see the toc in January because I was ready for some live versus taped bowling. Then I read an article from December on why it moved and that was sad. It replaced the Detroit tournament this year to save costs. The article also said the pba league format was changed for the same reason and the players in the league would still get there salaries but no extra prize money. Couple that with no sponsor for the us open so no us open. I think that sums it up best. If you can't get a sponsor for the national championship then you aren't going to get a sponsor for anything. I think the clock is seriously ticking.
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/02/14 08:46 AM

Originally Posted By: BIGHMW
Hey Joe Bowler,

In response to your earlier darts post, There ARE those rare moments in LIVE televised sports history and here's one of them, yes, in darts of all things:



Try THIS on for size, this is the iconic Phil Taylor, a.k.a. "The Power", with the first ever LIVE televised 9-darter (he's thrown many 9-darters on TV since), which is darts equivalent of a 300 game for us bowlers, and this one was worth a whopping 100,000 pounds, that's right, 100,000 English pounds, approximately $200,000 U.S.!!! Now if we marketed our players on the PBA Tour like the darts industry does Phil Taylor, the PBA would be much-better managed.

Don't get me wrong. Not knocking darts at all. My point is just that unless you are an aficionado of darts, you might not recognize names live Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, or Raymond van Barneveld, and are probably not going to watch it on TV. But, talk about marketing...you only have to watch the first few minutes of the video below to get the idea that these guys are rock stars among their fans. The house is so packed, I am sure the folks in the back can't even see the dart board, let alone where the dart landed. They have to watch the action on screen, but are there in person cheering any way. Nice! It will be interesting to see how today's PBA Super Clash compares.

Posted by: Fin09

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/04/14 10:33 AM

I spent about 45 minutes typing another response to this thread, and when I looked back at how long and drawn out it was, I deleted it and closed my iPad. Sad thing is that the PBA would probably be better off if they decided not to broadcast their finals on TV at all. Prize funds were pretty good when ratings began to tank years ago. People like to watch large sums of money changing hands, but they often don't find out about the money unless they are already regular viewers. Just like I never knew who was going to be on the show until I tuned in at 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon on ABC. I watched no matter who was on, but I always enjoyed the shows that Earl Anthony made more than others. The Nielsen ratings didn't know if I liked the show more one week to the next, only that I watched.
Despite what most people think, the PBA is run by some pretty intelligent people. The product is just getting increasingly more difficult to sell.

I blame soccer.
Posted by: mfreeman73

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/19/14 12:15 PM

I've been thinking a lot about this subject and trying to figure out why bowling isn't more popular than it is. I've heard some people say it's boring to watch on TV. But, then why is golfing such a big sport on TV? It's much more boring to watch than bowling. Bowling has a lot more action and suspense than golf. And I'm not trying to knock golfing. I actually enjoy watching it on TV sometimes, too. One big difference between golfing and bowling is Tiger Woods. Sure, he isn't what he used to be, but when he came on the scene, golf ratings went up. So, do we need our own "Tiger Woods?" Well, I don't think it's as simple as that.

I tried to think about myself. I've only been watching the PBA over the past few years, although, I've enjoyed bowling most of my life. I would pass by it on TV and really not pay attention. But, I was the average bowler out there. I wasn't playing in leagues, I didn't own my own ball, and I bowled with friends every few months on a Friday night. Over the past few years, I bought my own ball and was finally wanting to learn how to really bowl. That got me interested in watching the PBA because I wanted to see how the pros were doing it. Then, once I started watching it, I got hooked. I started learning who the stars were and that made a big difference. And I started thinking that may be one of the keys.

The audience the PBA needs to start getting are all the "average" bowlers out there who aren't in leagues or that serious about it, but like to play from time to time. Not that they don't want the league bowlers, but I'm thinking they already have a lot of those. But, A LOT of people bowl, if even only a few times a year. But, I bet most of them couldn't name a PBA bowler. Or if they can, it's only a vague recollection of someone. Most of these average bowlers probably think of the PBA guys as "those non-athletic looking, out of shape, beer-belly, middle-aged guys." Now, I'm not saying that's the reality. I'm talking about perception. And when I talk to friends of mine, that's the perception they have. It's the perception I had before I started watching.

I think one of the keys to the PBA is changing people's perception of what the PBA is. When I go into the local bowling alleys, I don't see any of the PBA stars anywhere, beyond the random poster hidden in the corner or something like that. I think there has to be a way to spotlight the PBA and it's stars to all of the many average bowlers who come into the bowling alley here and there throughout the year. There has to be a way to say, "hey, this is really a sport with real athletes and it's fun to watch." Now, how to do that, I'm not sure. When Tiger Woods came on the scene, it made non-golfy type people take notice because here was a young, handsome, athletic guy who didn't fit the typical mold people thought of golf and he happened to be one of the best at it. Young people wanted to immolate him. Golf started to become cool and ratings went up. I think bowling definitely needs that kind of change. Now, if I can figure it out, I'd probably be a rich marketing executive. But, I'm not. So, I'm just throwing our random ideas. I just know that when I went to a PGA event a few years ago, my friends thought that was cool. When I told them I'm going to the USBC Masters this weekend they ask, "why would you want to go to that?"
Posted by: Fin09

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/19/14 02:13 PM

When I was 7 years old, I tagged along with a kid across the street to his pee-wee bowling league at the center a mile or two from home. League started at 9 am, it filled the 40 lane center, and we had to be out of there by no later than noon, because there was a second shift of juniors coming in behind us in the afternoon.

This was 1973.

The typical junior league bowler didn't really play any other sports. There were a few that played baseball, maybe one or two who played football, and I don't even know if any played basketball. There was no hockey in Virginia Beach, VA, so that was never a conflict. Mostly, junior bowlers weren't the biggest, strongest, most athletic kids around. Not knocking us in any way, it's just that bowling doesn't require as diverse a skill set as baseball, football, or basketball. It's a big part of what made the game so popular to so many people. You didn't have to be a world class athlete to enjoy it, get good at it, and even win at it.

This tells me that the average-sized person, and even smaller than average, can enjoy bowling. Getting them interested, and keeping them interested is the key. When do you get people interested in a sport like bowling? When they're kids, that's when. People get old and retire from the game. We won't even get into the people who just quit or cut back on the number of leagues they bowl. If you don't have a growing supply of youth bowlers backfilling the ranks, membership will continue to decline to the point where major organizations will fold.

So what happened with junior leagues? How did we go from double shifts in 40 lane centers to maybe 12-16 lanes of juniors at half the centers across the US. Here's a statistic I read today that says quite a bit.

"In 1967 there were 100,000 people playing soccer in the US; by 1984 that number had grown to over 4 million".

That time frame got me to thinking- my last year of junior leagues was in 1984, which was the year I graduated high school. We no longer ran double shifts (hadn't for several years), but still filled the 40 lane center. I went away to college for 4 years, didn't bowl for a couple of years after that, then decided to get back into it. I went to watch the juniors one Saturday, and they might have filled half the center. Depressing. A few years later, that center closed, and there is a PetsMart, a Bed Bath & Beyond and an HH Gregg in its spot.

So where did the kids go? Instead of dropping them off at the nearby bowling center, parents were dropping their kids off at the nearby soccer field. The kids who were too small or not athletic enough to play football, baseball, or basketball could run around a soccer field and get some exercise. 1967- 100,000 people. 1984- 4 million+. That's a 4000% increase in participation. Do you think at least 25-30% of those soccer players might have turned out to be league bowlers? I sure do. Look at the smaller bowlers who have made successful careers on the PBA tour- PDW, Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III, Amleto (how did he not become a soccer player?), Chris Warren, and dozens of others. Line them up with some of the most accomplished soccer players in the world, and you might not be able to tell a difference in them if you don't know who you're looking at.

I'm not even saying that a strong youth tournament program needs to be cultivated, because bowling needs the youth recreational bowler even more than the competitive bowler. Just by adding sheer numbers to the bottom line will feed enough competitive bowlers to the tournament scene. That will, in turn, feed bowlers into the PBA, where they can get their membership munchers back up, too.

Sadly, we have so many more choices to make concerning how we spend our time and money, bowling loses out more often than not for a lot of the people who may have put it higher on their list of fun things to do. If they don't bowl, they certainly won't watch it on tv.

When membership numbers began to decline in the 80s, many proprietors began marketing bowling as more of a recreational activity, and began turning off the lights and blaring the music on weekend nights. They found that they could fill the centers between the hours of 11 pm and 2 am with people who could throw the ball between their legs, behind their backs, with either hand, or any other means necessary, and didn't care one bit about their score! And these people filled the cash registers much more than the budding PBA star who practices at half price (or less) and whines when the 5 year old next to him won't give him a 2 lane courtesy. When bowlers, of all people, are looked at as elitist snobs (I know, I read it again), it drives potential members away. Who would you, if you were a bowling proprietor, hope returns to your center the following weekend? The casual, recreational bowler who pays full price, rents shoes, spends money at the snackbar, that's who.

So maybe competitive bowling is doomed. Maybe it will never be in the Olympics. Maybe the PBA would be better off not televising their finals (at least for awhile). The Olympics issue is an entirely different one, but it's sad that the International Olympic Committee pays American gold medal winners $25,000 for a gold medal, regardless of the sport. The PBA doesn't pay that much for anything other than a major anymore. Can it be fixed? I believe so, but it is going to take starting a lot more kids off when they're 5-7 years old or younger. Hopefully more kids tag along with their friends on Saturday mornings like I did.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 08:16 AM

I'll stick to the (safer) PBA topic at this point :-)

I've only watched since last year? It's been fun to watch for us. But in a one-word description? Amateurish production. It's not the money, it's the people. If I got the job to critique their production efforts, I'd offer the following.

1. Get rid of Randy Peterson, fast.
2. Do Not let TO do anymore introduction or MC activities, ever again.
3. Bring in some talented bowlers that understand how to talk, and how to teach.


#1-Randy. I've watched the shows both with him muted and not-muted. The show's far more enjoyable without him. He's repetitive, contradictory, and fairly useless most of the time. It's very Hard to be good at this job, so no knock on him personally. Just not his bag.

#2-TO I thought his presence was a good idea for publicity and promotion. It's not. He's not only an amateur, he comes off as a goofy HS student that is soft-spoken. Frankly, it's embarrassing to see him with the mike.

#3-If I hear Randy say "For the first time ever" another hundred times, I will glue his mouth to a bowling ball LOL I've seen tons of You Tube videos that are far superior when discussing topics of instruction or even general information.

Hire Sk8 to do a weekly 30-second spot. It would be far more informative and personable to have him do it than two babbling heads. (Good bowlers once, bad for TV).


Do more Ultimate Scoring Championships, preferably in a large center with large population. Market it, promote it.

Continue to seek out publicity anywhere you can find it. Seeing an occasional bowling spot in advertising is not by chance, someone had the get it in there. There are some large chains of "bowling centers" now that are glamorous and extravagant. Time to take advantage of some of these venues. I think there was a celebrity/pro match at Lucky Strike LA earlier this year. Use these, those people have $$$

Bowling has proven to be a better TV spectator sport than I thought it would. I love to golf, but have grown away from the TV sport. I've asked some non-bowlers to watch just to try it, and they liked it. I was quite surprised actually.

Obviously just a cursory review. The PBA needs money, new vision, much more color, and a promotion model.
Posted by: VFF57

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 09:46 AM

The bottom line with the PBA and bowling in general is there's not enough public interest. The telecasts can be tweaked but that only matters to the current viewers. For starters Xtra-Frame should be free and available/bundled in to all streaming devices and funded via some advertisements. Xtra-Frame clips can be added to convince people it's a sport and the thing to do by making it look cool. Things like more about the blue dye on the lanes, how pin setters/scorers work, pins made, multi-colored high powered bowling balls...tech it up and demonstrate it requires ability. Take advantage of the streaming/cord-cutting trend by offering something FREE.
Posted by: rrb6699 (RayRay)

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 01:47 PM

i dont think they should go up against the NFL and college games for a huge part of the season. they should hold telecasts on Tuesday or Wednesday nights where there'll be less more popular sports competing for viewers. does it matter which days they have finals on ?

rr
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 02:30 PM

Pretty good idea there Ray. I also agree that Xtra frame should be free, and they can promote the crap out of bowling there. Get a free iTunes channel, get it everywhere. I'm sure they can make more within a year or two than constantly having to Pay ESPN.

I've seen far worse on TV nowadays. With the online streaming and recorded availability, they could effectively televise all tournaments from beginning to end.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 02:48 PM

I have Xtra Frame on now. It's nice to see the broken down lane conditions, some pro bowlers bowling miserably. After my performance, last night, makes me feel a little bit better.

A 159 bowled !!
I haven't seen so many splits and left spares since galactic bowling on NY Eve.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 03:57 PM

Originally Posted By: SteveH

...
Hire Sk8 to do a weekly 30-second spot. It would be far more informative and personable to have him do it than two babbling heads. (Good bowlers once, bad for TV).
...


LOL, thanks for the shootout, I'm waiting for my call Tom Clark!

If there was room for someone like me to do a quick segment I would definitely take something like that.

I think the hardest part is getting a casual fan to understand the nuances of the game. People understand what a sand trap looks like, its obvious when a pro tour golfer hits a bad shot. When a bowler does the same you can't tell if its a good shot or a bad shot (for many observers) so its hard to commentate without knowing whats going on.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 04:07 PM

I've seen a lot of your videos on ball reviews sk8, and they're very descriptive and easy to follow. I'd give you a spot that shows an average bowler what he just did wrong due to lane conditions or release.

There was a match a few weeks ago where even I understood what had happened as a bowler continued to drift headpin, then left. It took Randy a frame or two to note that the bowler had changed balls And moved left. He's more like a weatherman that gives you the forecast for today, tomorrow. Occasionally he says something informative, but those are rare moments.

I think both your tone of voice, and ability to breakdown something complex and make it understandable could be of value to most bowlers.
Posted by: wronghander

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 11:01 PM

Interesting article by Jeff Richgels over at 11th Frame on this subject. He has an interesting idea on how to save bowling. Worth a read.

http://www.11thframe.com/news/article/6442
Posted by: Smooth Stroker

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/20/14 11:59 PM

I would personally like to see more personality from the bowlers. They seem a little boring to me. I love when PDW is on. I love when Sean Rash goes against Belmonte. I think they need rivalries like that. I think they need some bowlers to really not like each other. They need a handful of bowlers to really dominate. People like dynasties. If Rash and Belmonte can continue to dominate and they can really display their dislike for each other, it makes for good TV. People love to argue about the Yankees and the Red Sox. Celtics-Lakers, Bird-Magic, Russell-Wilt.

People loved Tiger because not only was he great, he had personality, and he dominated. He showed emotion. He had a killer instinct. I don't want to see a gentlemen athlete. I want my Giants to crush the Cowboys. I want Ewing to finally beat MJ. rivalries make sports. PDW against Walter Ray made for good TV.
I think they are trying to mimic that with Rash and Belmonte, but they need to dominate. Be obviously head and shoulders above the rest. Like Phil and Tiger.
Posted by: B-Hammer

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/21/14 02:50 AM

I know the stakes are higher, but curling in the winter olympics is really great tv. I wasn't even watching a US vs. (other) match, it was on a Canadian broadcast, but even without any patriotism at stake it still made for great TV. In many ways it is like bowling, but maybe it's the team aspect or the different strategy involved, but for whatever reason I like watching it.

The PBA league is OK, but would like to see formats that forced some kind of strategic usage of the bench. If your going to do multiple games then limit the number of frames each bowler can bowl and also force each bowler to bowl a minimum of a certain amount of frames. If you have to bowl 5 games and each bowler can only bowl 10 frames then maybe you save your best bowler for the last two frames of each match, or maybe you save them for the last match entirely. If you have someone that isn't striking maybe they are used to make all the spares. Save the lefty for when the right side is fried. etc.
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/21/14 04:39 AM

Originally Posted By: svengali
Interesting article by Jeff Richgels over at 11th Frame on this subject. He has an interesting idea on how to save bowling. Worth a read.

http://www.11thframe.com/news/article/6442

+1. Fundamental problems need to be addressed at the fundamental level. While each organization has its own interests, the BPAA, USBC, and PBA working together would help bowling not only survive, but prosper.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/21/14 08:19 AM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
...
I think both your tone of voice, and ability to breakdown something complex and make it understandable could be of value to most bowlers.


I think being a High School Coach and Youth Director have both helped me learn to break things down and explain them so anyone can understand them. I try to be as informative as I can without overwhelming the viewer so I appreciate knowing that is getting across in the videos correctly.

Thanks again!
Posted by: Dan300

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/21/14 07:28 PM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
I've seen a lot of your videos on ball reviews sk8, and they're very descriptive and easy to follow. I'd give you a spot that shows an average bowler what he just did wrong due to lane conditions or release.
There was a match a few weeks ago where even I understood what had happened as a bowler continued to drift headpin, then left. It took Randy a frame or two to note that the bowler had changed balls And moved left. He's more like a weatherman that gives you the forecast for today, tomorrow. Occasionally he says something informative, but those are rare moments.
I think both your tone of voice, and ability to breakdown something complex and make it understandable could be of value to most bowlers.


Randy is one big reason why I have no interest in watching the PBA broadcasts anymore. I think you hit it on the head with your weatherman analogy. Randy just has no idea how to relate the skills needed to be a top competitor to the average viewer, let alone a viewer that has no knowledge of the sport (such as kids).

Nelson Burton Jr., who I grew up on, was a master at that. Bowling needs to start with finding the next Bo.
Posted by: looseleftie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/22/14 03:45 AM

I think the PBA tour TV casts are great, and that the brains power behind are doing their best.. However , like VVF57 said earlier there is a serious lack of interest in bowling in general.. That is the key here, to get people aware of pro bowling and creating that buzz where the average joe gets his buddies together and join a league.. Bowling has to increase its numbers, beginning with the kids!

Get the tour away from Monday night football to start also!
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/22/14 09:25 AM

I have limited experience elsewhere, but here is seems to be pretty strong. There were five centers here for years, now down to two. The largest is 36 lanes, and they've done a ton of marketing and promotion to build up their leagues and party fillers. There's a line out the door sometimes after our Friday league for younger people coming in, college-age and up.

I know many guys that play in men's leagues that also are involved with softball and other team sports. Some of our leaves take all 36 lanes, seniors leaves in the morning are nearly full, and the junior program is fairly large Saturday mornings.

They have gone out and actively marketed groups, schools, colleges. Their competitors are still literally living in the 60's and 70's. Quite a contrast to see a family business with a tired attitude versus a once family operation that is now an acquiring corporation.

TV is a huge avenue for attracting new bowlers, especially here in the arctic north. I've watched the streaming for this Masters tournament, and it's pretty good.
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/22/14 10:06 AM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
I have Xtra Frame on now. It's nice to see the broken down lane conditions, some pro bowlers bowling miserably. After my performance, last night, makes me feel a little bit better.

A 159 bowled !!
I haven't seen so many splits and left spares since galactic bowling on NY Eve.


...and I'll bet that there are a few of us (not me) naive bowling fans (mainly some of us giddy league players) who think "oh I can beat 159, I can whoop Belmo's/PDW/Sean Rash (rear end) with that".

The very problem with that theory is Belmo/PDW/Sean Rash got that 159 on a PBA lane condition, which usually incorporates a more equal, gutter-to-gutter oil pattern (covering all 39 boards on about a 1-1 or 2-1 shot as opposed to a up-to-a-10-1 house shot).

...that is the main problem with the telecasts is that the average league player like myself thinks we can throw the same shot as the touring players do (18-19 MPH/400-500 RPM, covering 15-17 boards from laydown spot to the breakpoint and back to the pocket), when in all actuality we know we can't.

One thing Bo Burton did so well on the ABC telecasts in the 1980s and 1990s is educate the viewers at home (most of us league players as well as kids at the time) about the difference between a PBA lane condition and your typical house shot so their is no confusion when (i.e.) when you see a PBA player on TV bowl a 150 on his first ever show, so we at home don't get the mistake that we can "beat him" in our league when they aren't bowling on our lane conditions in the first place.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/22/14 12:11 PM

I never have had the thought that I could beat any of them, on any lane condition. It's been interesting to learn more about the different conditions, and fascinating to see the Xtra frame. Just watched Smallwood blow out Belmonte, and then lose the pocket in the next match. It makes me be a little less hard on myself knowing these guys have issues too.

I'm sure I'll never see it here in Vermont, but it would be nice to see touring pros come around and show us what they can do, and get some first-class instruction. I'd travel to see it as well. Set up an open type match on a THS pattern. Then do a PBA pattern. They'd blow us out most of the time for sure, badly wink

We've had one Storm demo day, and it was well-run. I bought my Lucid that day, plus an IQ Tour for the GF. The rest of the demo days are more like when they sell wine on sale from a trailer truck. Hurry up and buy, we're on to the next venue.

All it takes is time and money. I wish I lived in an area where the economics make it possible.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/23/14 12:38 AM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
I never have had the thought that I could beat any of them, on any lane condition. It's been interesting to learn more about the different conditions, and fascinating to see the Xtra frame. Just watched Smallwood blow out Belmonte, and then lose the pocket in the next match. It makes me be a little less hard on myself knowing these guys have issues too.
I'm sure I'll never see it here in Vermont, but it would be nice to see touring pros come around and show us what they can do, and get some first-class instruction. I'd travel to see it as well. Set up an open type match on a THS pattern. Then do a PBA pattern. They'd blow us out most of the time for sure, badly wink
We've had one Storm demo day, and it was well-run. I bought my Lucid that day, plus an IQ Tour for the GF. The rest of the demo days are more like when they sell wine on sale from a trailer truck. Hurry up and buy, we're on to the next venue.
All it takes is time and money. I wish I lived in an area where the economics make it possible.


One thing you might try looking at every once in a while is the PBA page dedicated to the PBA East Region, that is the region you live within.

There is bound to be a Regional Event near you every year as they do a great job spreading out the events, so just keep an eye out.

In that area you will see some of the best in the world at those events; Mike Fagan, Richie Allen, Ryan Shafer, Patrick Allen, Danny Wiseman, and Ryan Cimenelli. Those guys bowl that region quite often so chances are you will get to see them at whatever event is closest to you.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/23/14 08:58 AM

I have been thinking about this post a lot. Like a few others have mentioned, I feel that the problem is the overall lack of respect that bowling receives that translates up to the PBA. I wanted to post my thoughts/feelings on the topic.

When a moderately athletic person shows up to bowl just for fun and bowls around 150-160 just rolling a house ball straight down the lane, that person then thinks that it is not that hard to bowl well and that serious bowling is not difficult because they think that their score is not far from those who are averaging 200. Unless that person joins a league (which is unlikely because that person does not think it is challenging), they will never get the chance to see that they can not improve much with their current technique. Also, since most people do not understand the method of scoring, they do not understand how much difference there really is between a 160 game and a 200 game. They do not know how tough those last 40 pins can be to get or that for each open you need a turkey to catch back up to maintain a 200 game.

An average person who doesn’t bowl has no idea why bowlers make a ball curve. I would bet if you ask most non-bowlers who are sports fans that question that very few of them would give the general answer of “It increases your chance of getting a strike.” That same person probably knows why a particular athlete in a particular sport does something a certain way to perform at a higher level even though they might not participate in that sport.

Because non-bowlers are not aware of these things, they never realize the level of complexity added by lane conditions, ball selection, the ability to hit a target consistently at the same speed with the same hand position and lift, recognizing ball reaction downlane, reading pin action on pocket hits, and varying your release. The only way they would likely ever become aware of these points is if they joined a league and tried to step it up to the next level themselves. It amazes me how people could watch a top amateur bowler at their local center or a pro on TV and it never sinks in that there is much more going on mentally and physically to bowl at a high level.

Until non-bowlers gain knowledge of and respect what needs to be done to bowl successfully at a high level even just on a house shot let alone on sport shots, the PBA will struggle. Somehow, the industry as a whole (not just the PBA) needs to educate non-bowlers on the intricacies of bowling at a high level.

Mark
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/23/14 04:44 PM

To a certain extent, depending on where you are and what time. We practiced this morning later on, and had a few guys with new balls someone just sold them. One guy had a Fusion, and other a DV8, one used an old whatever. Next to them was a family of four lane balls. fly not getting it.

I could tell they were looking at our scores and the balls we used. We were doing some video, so we spoke what ball and position we were trying for a particular shot. First game we shot 195/178. Lanes were used, so I moved inside with my Byte. Front six in the second game, and my buddy was absolutely crushing strikes with a Freight Train I gave him. They kept listening and looking, but mostly not getting it.

My buddy asked if he could use this guy's new Fusion, OK. He ripped three strikes in a row which left this guy baffled. So he discussed what he was doing. Then, a group of very good bowlers came in next to them. 237/255/289 and on and on. At that point the family and the other guys were just watching them.

So a lot of people on weekends know there's something different, many ask questions. But yeah, it's viewed as a recreational beer-drinking sport for many. But heck, so is golf to many as well.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/23/14 06:19 PM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
But heck, so is golf to many as well.

Because of that, it amazes me how the PGA flourishes with tons of money and sponsors while the PBA barely exists. Once upone a time, the money difference between the two was not huge even though the PGA still gave more money even in the PBA's heyday. The PGA prize funds grew a ton in the 80's while the PBA started to lose sponsors and prize money barely rose at all.

I have had people ask questions while practicing, but I'm not really sure if it led them to either join a league or start watching the PBA. Also, without seeing a skilled bowler while they are bowling as a fun outing and the PBA being in its current state, most people never see someone bowling at a higher level to see the differences.

Mark
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/23/14 10:01 PM

They have the Golf Channel, all weekend golf, notoriety and money. It's also been a time-honored games for a hundred years plus in the modern era. It takes some pretty tricky marketing.
Posted by: B-Hammer

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/23/14 10:25 PM

No comparison between golf and bowling. Golf is by far the more complicated and challenging game. To a non-bowler a driving range is a better comparison to bowling then golf.

A pro golfer can do things that your weekend hack can never imagine doing.

The perception by your once a year party bowler is a pro-bowlers technique can be mimicked by just taking your thumb out of the ball.

My prediction is that the PBA folds within the next couple of years replaced by the WBT. There will still be majors, but not all of them will be US domestic. Bowling has a better following in other countries and with the nationality aspect of a "world" tour it gives non-bowling fans someone to root for. How many winter olympic athletes can you name other then Shaun White? Yet the olympics does just fine with people rooting for their countries.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 06:45 AM

On a positive note, yesterday's telecast of the USBC masters was the best I've seen yet. Having, I believe, Johnny Petraglia in a commentary role was very nice. The matches were all very good, back and forth. The final with Tackett as the top seed versus Belmonte was a great match. Belmo had a tough time all week long, and in the stepladder as well. He had to rely on skill, luck, and competitor errors to win.
I wish he had the time to bring young Tackett to the mike with him after he won.

I thought it was a great telecast, with much better commentary when it counted.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 08:55 AM

I think one of the things that is discouraging for the sport as well is the fact that many fans call out the PBA for not being radical enough change wise, yet when a guy comes out on tour that doesn't throw the ball like the rest of us (but is one of the best personalities on tour) people absolutely hate him for it.

I couldn't tell you how many posts I saw on Facebook yesterday just crushing Belmo for "cheating" or not "real bowling". I just don't get it, the dude is the best on the tour and has proved it over the last few years.

People want change but hate it when it comes, if our own players say the guy that wins almost every week is a cheater, why would those on the outside even want to waste their time in tuning in?
Posted by: VFF57

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 10:44 AM

I thought the Masters event was done pretty well. Would’ve liked to see Michael Haugen Jr. or EJ Tackett win but that’s life at the lanes. I’m probably the only person at work today who watched the event. Other than at the lanes and bowling forums I can’t just walk up to someone and say “what did you think of Belmo?”…..lol. On the other hand with football or baseball events just mention “the game” and most everyone knows what you’re talking about. Bowling has a lot of inertia to overcome to regain popularity with our current culture. It’s not just the PBA but also the USBC that needs to promote bowling more
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 12:21 PM

Originally Posted By: sk8shorty01
I think one of the things that is discouraging for the sport as well is the fact that many fans call out the PBA for not being radical enough change wise, yet when a guy comes out on tour that doesn't throw the ball like the rest of us (but is one of the best personalities on tour) people absolutely hate him for it.

I couldn't tell you how many posts I saw on Facebook yesterday just crushing Belmo for "cheating" or not "real bowling". I just don't get it, the dude is the best on the tour and has proved it over the last few years.

People want change but hate it when it comes, if our own players say the guy that wins almost every week is a cheater, why would those on the outside even want to waste their time in tuning in?

Hmm, sounds like 2-handed is the new left-handed among haters. It's time they form a new IH2H club to go along with the IHL (I hate lefties) club. I am sure there is plenty of hate to go around. All it takes is for somebody to become a dominant player, and everything unique about them becomes a target. It seems that everybody liked Jason Belmonte, and all the publicity he generated for bowling with his 2-handed style, until he started winning. To all the haters, if you think rolling 2-handed is easy, try it yourself.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 12:44 PM

... And not just winning, but dominating the sport.

People love to hate dynasties and I think Belmo is quickly putting himself in that category.

People hate the Cowboys because they were dominant in the 90s, people hate the Yankees because they dominated over the years in quite a few different decades. People hated Earnhardt because he was dominant on the NASCAR circuit and now they hate Jimmie Johnson. Belmo is mostly hated because he wins, and people decide they don't like him because he is two handed but in all reality they don't like him because he is a champion.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 01:53 PM

I personally do not like Belmo, but it has nothing to do with him winning or the fact that he bowls two-handed. I was a Walter Ray fan when he was running over people in the 90's. I was a Earnhardt fan when I started following Nascar in the late 80's/early 90's. I also like and will pull for Osku to win when he is on TV. I just do not like Belmo's personality. I will never say that he not extremely talented because that is not true.

Mark
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Mkirchie
I personally do not like Belmo, but it has nothing to do with him winning or the fact that he bowls two-handed. I was a Walter Ray fan when he was running over people in the 90's. I was a Earnhardt fan when I started following Nascar in the late 80's/early 90's. I also like and will pull for Osku to win when he is on TV. I just do not like Belmo's personality. I will never say that he not extremely talented because that is not true.
Mark


Out of curiosity what is it about his personality you don't like?

Not arguing, just curious, as I personally think he has one of the best personalities on tour.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 02:33 PM

No problem, I know you are not being argumentative. Keep in mind that I've never met him in person, so my impression only comes from watching him bowl on TV. When I watch him bowl, he comes off as being smug to me and it rubs me the wrong way. It makes me not enjoy watching him bowl even though what he can do is remarkable. If I did have an opportunity to meet him in person, my impression probably would be a bit different based on the positive things about him I have heard from others.

Mark
Posted by: VFF57

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 03:04 PM

Quote:
When I watch him bowl, he comes off as being smug to me and it rubs me the wrong way


+1
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 03:51 PM

From the PBA's perspective, fans feeling strongly for or against a bowler is good since they are either going to root for or against them. It's viewers that don't care that don't watch that don't help.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 04:35 PM

The personality thing is funny really. Belmo's the handsome guy, fairly well-spoken, and he's there to win. A good analogy would be Jeff Gordon in NASCAR. He didn't come from the right training grounds, didn't run moonshine, and he could talk well. He's another handsome guy that sticks out from the crowd. Oh, and worst of all, the SOB won! LOL

Just look at the smug bowlers on the PBA tour. Pete Weber comes to mind, but in the same way, I love watching him and Belmo because they don't sit around on a log staring. Makes the game more interesting for me.

The only one that irritates me is Sean Rash. I know he's just being hyper-competitive, but it's not fun to watch him, unless he's losing LOL I don't hate him, it's just part of the game. One of the best things that's happened to golf over the last decade plus is the influx of hyper-competitive athletes and big personalities. I still love the older guys as well, but I'd rather see Phil, Rory and the brighter personalities than Davis Love the smug zzz and others like him.

But that's what draws crowds.

It's now the Lucky Strikes and the flashy lane centers that have done remarkable things to attract people to bowling, or just get people near the sport. Whether they bowl or not, you'll attract far more people with Bemo, Sean Rash and some others like Pete Weber than you ever will with Walter Ray. You Need the mix.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 05:08 PM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
Just look at the smug bowlers on the PBA tour. Pete Weber comes to mind, but in the same way, I love watching him and Belmo because they don't sit around on a log staring.

That is interesting because I do not see much similarity at all between Weber and Belmonte when they are bowling. I like watching Weber bowl, he is an intense bowler and Belmonte is intense too, but in different ways. Also, I still have the perception that Belmonte is smug when he is bowling well and Weber is not. I like watching pros that do get animated like Weber and others when they bowl, they have always been my favorite bowlers to watch on TV. I could deal with Rash's intensity if he turned it down a few (or many) levels.

Mark
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 05:41 PM

Fully understand what you mean. Sometimes it's better in small doses. When I think I'm overboard after a front 4 or 5, most people think I fell asleep wink But it's good for the fans to get a show if they can have one.

Hey, I have the perfect solution to the PBA issues of marketing and awareness.

Posted by: mfreeman73

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 07:03 PM

I may not care too much for the 2-handed technique, but I do think Belmo has been good for the sport. I tried not to like him because of the whole 2-handed "non-pure" technique, but the guy comes off as a likable person and it makes me want to root for him. Also, he's really good, which brings some excitement.

I was at the USBC Masters yesterday and Belmo brought much more excitement than the other guys did. Although, I did think Ryan Ciminelli was fun, too. Tom Smallwood looked angry (although, I just think he looks like that naturally), Haugen is boring to watch, and EJ Tackett looked like a scared little kid (which may be kind of accurate). But, Belmo really brought the crowd to life and he seems like a nice guy.

In fact, when I watch bowling, I'm always more excited when I see that either Weber or Belmo is on there. And to a certain extent, Sean Rash. Mainly because I know it's going to be more entertaining to watch. That doesn't mean that everyone in the PBA has to act like that. If it comes off as fake, that will turn people off. But, we need more personality in the people competing.

Actually, I think the TV shows have been pretty good the past few years (that's as long as I've been watching). I remember attempting to watch bowling back in the 90's and I was pretty bored. So, I think the show has actually gotten more entertaining. I think the PBA is still inheriting a problem from the past. When I told a friend the other day that I was going to the Masters, he said, "why? watching bowling is so boring." I asked him if he had watched bowling in the near past and he said "no." And to be honest, I felt the same way before I started watching. Once I started watching it, I kept thinking, "why didn't I start watching this sooner?" It wasn't that I was anti-bowling. It's just that the thought of actually watching it on TV, just didn't cross my mind. And I didn't know any of the stars.

Sure, there are a various list of issues that the PBA will have to deal with, but I think the marketing part is the biggest challenge. They need to somehow get the word out that this is not the same bowling that your parents watched on TV when they were younger. They need to find a way to market the great players they have and the excitement of watching competitive bowling. Now, how to market that? Not, sure, but they have a built-in potential market at the bowling alleys across the U.S. If you can get the casual bowlers interested in the PBA, I think that would be a start. And the more people watching the PBA, the more they may want to go to their local bowling alley to bowl. I know it makes me want to bowl and get better. Anyway, just some thoughts.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/24/14 09:40 PM

I've watched him bowl quite a bit now. Basically he uses his left hand to hold the ball and steady his thumbless release. Not really a two-handed release.

Sometimes, like this past week, it hurts him. But the pin action is phenomenal. And no, it's not an easy thing to do at all. I love it when he's on. I love to watch Weber and Duke as well. The sport needs some excitement.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/25/14 10:03 AM

I have always said the two handers (the good ones anyways) have a two handed approach with a one handed delivery.

You watch Belmo, Osku, Kyle Troup, etc. and you will see that they all take that left hand off without using it to impart revs on the ball.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/25/14 11:01 AM

I have watched when slow-mo is available, and it's true, the left hand moves to the balance arm. There are quite a few people that don't use there thumbs that could possibly benefit from the same move. It appears to be more about getting back some of the balance and accuracy that the thumbless bowler sometimes has lost.

A member on our league team bowls thumbless, and puts speed and fast revs on the ball. The more I watch him bowl, the more I think his off-balance approach and excess speed is due to having to hold the ball that way. Belmo's method is not flawless by any means, but it's very effective (obviously). The achilles heel is on short patterns and drier, or well-travelled lanes.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/25/14 08:52 PM

Is this Smug?

Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/25/14 08:56 PM

This is social media marketing.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151947664096603
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/25/14 10:23 PM

Quote:
Is this Smug?

To me it is. Yes he does bring energy and he is extremely talented. The split conversions are ridiculous, (I've punched 4 through the head pin more times than I would like to and I've only made it twice) but to me his reactions to those splits and the way he acts at other times says "Look at what I just did, I am awesome." It could be a matter of my perception and he is likely not like that in person, but when he is bowling his reactions seem more pompous than energetic to me and it makes me not enjoy watching him bowl.

Mark
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/25/14 10:26 PM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
Is this Smug?



Nope, it's SICK, but, it's so awesome to watch when Belmo is on (and he's been ON for a long time now), and his talent is no mistake. As for the two-handed style, I tried it a few years back and it is NOT easy by any means. First you have to have a lot of hand and wrist strength and heavy fingers to get the rev rate you need, and it's almost impossible without hours of practice to generate the BALL SPEED needed to keep such a powerful shot online without it going high. Bottom line, Belmo and Osku are THE best two-handed players in the world and Belmo is our Player Of The Year.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/26/14 06:57 AM

Belmo has different reactions for sure. Look at PDW's BAM!! Sean Rash's yelling. They're all different, which makes it kind of fun. Belmo's body language and style remind me a little of Tiger Woods. They Know they're good, and nothing but Number One is acceptable. That's the way they carry themselves. I've always tried to view Pro sports of any kind for what they are, entertainment. Some of the PBA bowlers have all the excitement of a head of lettuce, but I still enjoy watching them bowl, and I love seeing the varying degrees of style.

Belmo and others are great for the game, because they have marketable personalities.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/26/14 08:53 AM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
Belmo and others are great for the game, because they have marketable personalities.

Trust me, I agree that he is great for the game of bowling and I wish he could bring more attention to the PBA. Not Belmonte's fault, but I do feel that the PBA is in a worse state than during his rookie season. If it was not, this whole thread would not exist.

As for the way bowlers react, I agree that it keeps it interesting to watch and I am entertained by watching it. It also means that there are some athletes/teams in sports I am a fan of and others I am not a fan of. It does not mean I won't watch when Belmonte is bowling or not enjoy shows when he makes the finals because I am a fan of the PBA. I am also a big hockey fan. Sydney Crosby is a very talented, popular player in the NHL who has brought a lot of attention to the NHL. Alexander Ovechkin has done the same. I like Ovechkin but do not like Crosby and I'm not a fan of either the Penguins or the Capitals.

Mark
Posted by: VFF57

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/26/14 05:50 PM

Quote:
Some of the PBA bowlers have all the excitement of a head of lettuce


That's what non bowlers think about bowling events in general. Doesn't matter who's bowling to them unless they're hotties wearing bikinis.
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/26/14 10:57 PM

Originally Posted By: VFF57
Quote:
Some of the PBA bowlers have all the excitement of a head of lettuce


That's what non bowlers think about bowling events in general. Doesn't matter who's bowling to them unless they're hotties wearing bikinis.


I assume one of those bikini models would be Cindy Margolis, who is STILL the undisputed "Most Downloaded Woman On The Internet".

But I agree, bowling, not just the PBA, has suffered a chronic image problem due to not just our poor time slot we are stuck with, but also with there not being enough Belmo/PDW/Sean Rash-type guys out there, we need more of them, for the PBA to start getting seriously noticed again by the mainstream media, as not only talented athletes but also as entertainers as well, what they do on the lanes IS NOT EASY by ANY chance, all of us house hacks out here only WISH we had HALF of the talent that these guys (and gals) have out there, and on their tough lane conditions in which we will never bowl on in our lifetime or any other lifetime for that matter.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/27/14 07:30 AM

Originally Posted By: BIGHMW
... but also with there not being enough Belmo/PDW/Sean Rash-type guys out there, we need more of them, for the PBA to start getting seriously noticed again by the mainstream media ...


I agree that the PBA does need big personalities, but they need to be recognized as being talented athletes and bowling needs to be respected by people as being a legitimate sport before we get to that point. Energetic personalities bring occasional mentions from the media when something happens, but that will not help non-bowlers take bowling seriously. I once showed someone at work PDW's "Who do you think you are I am" moment and that person said something along the lines of "Why is he making that big of a deal, it is only bowling." They think its like someone getting excited over a game of checkers. That needs to be fixed.

Mark
Posted by: VFF57

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/27/14 07:58 AM

Quote:
I assume one of those bikini models would be Cindy Margolis, who is STILL the undisputed "Most Downloaded Woman On The Internet".


I think she would do just fine.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/27/14 06:02 PM

It's definitely hard to change the perception of blue-collar, beer drinking, Galactic night out bowling for a ton of people. For most, that's all they know. Which is fine in one way, it sells lanes and keeps bowling alive.

But it's a recreational activity, a way to do something indoors for many, not a serious sport.

As I watched this, I darn near feel asleep. I'd be pretty happy about how the PBA has grown. But if you look around in the video, the level of decorum is different than today, more formal. It also looks like the two bowlers don't dare to bend.

Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 02/27/14 11:18 PM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
It's definitely hard to change the perception of blue-collar, beer drinking, Galactic night out bowling for a ton of people. For most, that's all they know. Which is fine in one way, it sells lanes and keeps bowling alive.

But it's a recreational activity, a way to do something indoors for many, not a serious sport.

As I watched this, I darn near feel asleep. I'd be pretty happy about how the PBA has grown. But if you look around in the video, the level of decorum is different than today, more formal. It also looks like the two bowlers don't dare to bend.



R.I.P. Billy Welu, and boy what a difference 50 years makes in this great sport. I know Billy Welu up above would be smiling right now if he knew how Jason Belmonte has become so dominant in majors, and winning back-to-back Masters titles is NO EASY FEAT AT ALL, especially coming from the losers' bracket like both of them did.

As for the lack of knee bend, back then it didn't matter much knee bend you utilized to make a shot and make it count. Back in 1965, it was the era of lacquer-finished wood lanes, rubber bowling balls and the full-roller release (where the ball tracked in between the thumb and fingerholes), and the players back then were in pretty good shape, but the majority of them then smoked, and sometimes during the course of a match, there weren't too many restrictions as far as smoking on TV in either the settee areas or even laneside for that matter.

We have to work on what should be the modern image of our great sport, in which players would be of the well-fit, health-conscious, and consummate training/weightlifting/benchpressing/20-30 game-a-day-practicing type like many of the great players on Tour are today, but also, there is still one very looming problem, even 50 years later, people are lead to believe by the mainstream media that we are still of the old stereotypical image of being beer-drinking, smoking, out-of-shape Fred Flintstone lookalikes like we all see many of in our local leagues in our home bowling centers every week. We have to work on eradicating that image or this great sport will never be taken seriously, by the media, the brainwashed general public, or for that matter, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) as well.
Posted by: mfreeman73

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 03/01/14 02:40 PM

I think most people these days don't give any thought to competitive bowling on TV. When I tell people I watch bowling, they look at me like I'm crazy and mumble something about it being boring. Even though most of them haven't watched any bowling in recent years. I think the TV shows are pretty well done. Definitely better than the "olden" days. But, with most people it's kind of "out of site, out of mind" when it comes to bowling. Bowling, for them, is something you do every once in a while at the alley with the black lights. It's certainly not something you'd spend time with watching on TV.

Now, I'm just talking about perception. I think if any of those kinds of people actually watched bowling on TV, they might actually like it. So, as much as the PBA needs sponsors, they first need ratings. And to get ratings, there has to be a change in how people perceive professional bowling. Then it's a matter of the PBA trying to stay afloat while people's perceptions are changed.

So, how can they change people's perception? Haven't got a clue. :P But, I do think it starts at the local bowling alleys. Most everyone I know bowls at least sometime during the year, but not regularly. If they can at least find some way to get some of those people to watch bowling, that might be a start. If there were some way to market the PBA in the small amount of time that the regular folks are at the alley, I think that would be a good start. But, it would take the PBA somehow getting more into the local alleys and a big part of it is the local bowling alleys getting behind the PBA. But, the PBA can't afford to advertise in all of the alleys across America and the alleys probably aren't going to do free advertising for the PBA. So, not sure what the answer is.
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 03/01/14 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: mfreeman73
I think most people these days don't give any thought to competitive bowling on TV. When I tell people I watch bowling, they look at me like I'm crazy and mumble something about it being boring. Even though most of them haven't watched any bowling in recent years. I think the TV shows are pretty well done. Definitely better than the "olden" days. But, with most people it's kind of "out of site, out of mind" when it comes to bowling. Bowling, for them, is something you do every once in a while at the alley with the black lights. It's certainly not something you'd spend time with watching on TV.

Now, I'm just talking about perception. I think if any of those kinds of people actually watched bowling on TV, they might actually like it. So, as much as the PBA needs sponsors, they first need ratings. And to get ratings, there has to be a change in how people perceive professional bowling. Then it's a matter of the PBA trying to stay afloat while people's perceptions are changed.

So, how can they change people's perception? Haven't got a clue. :P But, I do think it starts at the local bowling alleys. Most everyone I know bowls at least sometime during the year, but not regularly. If they can at least find some way to get some of those people to watch bowling, that might be a start. If there were some way to market the PBA in the small amount of time that the regular folks are at the alley, I think that would be a good start. But, it would take the PBA somehow getting more into the local alleys and a big part of it is the local bowling alleys getting behind the PBA. But, the PBA can't afford to advertise in all of the alleys across America and the alleys probably aren't going to do free advertising for the PBA. So, not sure what the answer is.


First idea, would obviously be "word of mouth"-type marketing, and for the past 6 years, both Gemini and now High 5 Gear are doing their part with those great-looking jerseys that the players wear, I myself have ordered all 8 PBA League jerseys for this season from High 5 Gear (they will be in in 3-4 weeks) and I also own Storm's own player jerseys when they used to put them out and wearing them (and representing your favorite players on Tour on your back) in a more-off-lane, more public setting (like at the mall or just everyday) would definitely be a start.

I'm thinking, if I wore my Silver Lake Atom Splitters PBA League jersey out to the mall rather than exclusively at the lanes, more people would (first) compliment me on it or ask me what sports league they're from, and I would definitely (and proudly) tell them "The PBA League", that's one way for the Splitters (or whomever I'm rockin' on my back) and the PBA (or at least the League) new fans whom may try watching it on TV, at least that's a start, and in this social media world we live in, that might very well spread out to more sports fans either watching the shows on ESPN or seeing footage on YouTube at anytime, this can lead up to the same type of hoopla that in 1995 got Cindy Margolis 70,000 downloads in less than 24 hours.

Just think, 70,000 downloads back in 1995 is like millions of hits now by today's standards, if Cindy Margolis can do it, why can't we (and the PBA) do it?

Also sending links to existing YouTube video highlights of great moments in the PBA, much like i.e., Belmo's back-to-back tough split conversions is definitely a great idea. They show all the doubters just how talented these guys (and gals) are, and that indeed they (and we) ARE athletes as much as anyone in the big 4 sports leagues.

Any other ideas guys (and gals)?
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 03/01/14 07:30 PM

You two guys have added some great perspective, and very good opinions. Obviously, the centers are the easiest place to attract an audience for peanuts. The reruns are readily available, as are highlights, You Tube, etc… I've discussed this with a center manager a couple of times. I told him that only once have I seen bowling on the TV's in the lanes, on a Sunday. People were glued to it while bowling. They do watch, if they know it's on.

Put in in front of them. High school teams. Today I went to another center to see what they've done to refurbish it. State HS tournament going on. Massive crowd. Most towns don't have a bowling team. Big towns. That needs to change.

I know people that watch rugby and other sports because they play it, and it's on TV. Same with soccer. Bowling is mostly a participant sport, not a spectator sport, as are many, many sports.

Is there a PBA magazine? The PBA website is in need of help, and that's a very inexpensive way to beef up marketing and promotion.

Takes time, everything worthwhile does.

Another way is to connect with the occasional player. "Ever want to bowl better and impress your co-workers"

Coaching is desperately needed at all levels. I believe we have one certified coach in the state. The junior leagues are filled.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 03/03/14 08:18 AM

I can tell you High School Bowling in Florida is a huge success and it draws many kids. For instance, I had more kids on my girls team (for those that don't know, I am a Varsity Bowling Coach) than both tennis teams (or golf teams) combined. This didn't even include the players on the boys side for me.

For those that finish in first or second in their district (as a team), you get the opportunity to participate in the State Tournament. State is held in an 80 lane center and its full, 80 lanes with 8 players on each team.

Just interesting that here in Florida bowling has more participants at the high school level than both golf and tennis yet those sports have much higher pay outs at the top tier.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: The dismal state of the PBA as it stands right now - 03/03/14 08:39 AM

They want to stay cool there wink

It is interesting, and very encouraging. After the fire on the MI lanes, and the closings of the centers inland and the one in Rockledge, I began to wonder why I just started bowling when the sport is dying.

But it's not dying, as the many adults working with kids can attest. Very encouraging to hear what's going on down there in Florida. Bowling is the perfect sport for this icebox state I live in now wink