What the PBA needs to do to still exist

Posted by: BIGHMW

What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/22/14 10:03 PM

1) Get High 5 Gear either its own sponsored segment (like the "Hammer Tough Spare Replay" they have for great split conversions, etc.) or have it buy its own commercial/rotational ad signage space to promote its exciting and awesome lineup of custom-built apparel (including both its replica PBA player and PBA League jerseys and its new Chromacolor pants), and also get out to the beverage industry and get Bud Light and Pepsi back on board or even get the folks at Ice-Watch (www.ice-watch.com) to advertise its colorful lineup of fashion (and expensive) watches with a segment called the Ice-Watch "Change Of The Match" (involving a key technical ball/line change that wins a match or title) their company slogan currently is "Change. You Can", also, do better than cramming the many "As Seen On TV" ads down our throats for the other TV commercial space, heck, even CindyMargolis.com would do men in the 18-49 demographic (the prime one for Nielsen for sports on TV) much better than the Ye Olde Brooklyn Lantern or the Pocket Hose will do them right about now.

The Ice-Watch commercial, a 15-second one for its Ice-Forever collection, one of its many different lineups, from its massive international market, can be seen right here:



2) Cancel its lame, futile contract with ESPN and get on a legitimate other cable network with heavy TV provider carriage such as FOX Sports 1 (and have Erin Andrews be laneside interviewer, huge ratings booster right there!!!) or NBCSN (with Rebecca Lowe, the current Premier League Football hottie!!!) and retain the terrific and bowling-knowledgeable tandem of both Mike Jakubowski (the best PBP man the PBA has had since Denny Schreiner and the late great Chris Schenkel last graced us in the 90s) and Randy Pedersen, the best and most up-to-date and era-correct color analyst we've had since Bo Burton retired (all apologies to Marshall Holman, Mike Durbin and the late great Earl Anthony although they were great too they were just not tech-savvy/21st Century-ready enough).

3) Get off that (and avoid at any cost) horrible time slot coinciding with the NFL/NBA/NCAA/NASCAR juggernaut on Sunday Morning/afternoons and have our telecasts air LIVE on TV (at least on basic cable if not the Big 4 Networks) instead of this taped-in-advance garbage that they are doing now, there is too much room going that route for spoilers from Xtra Frame viewers and others putting up spoilers on sites like this one and others, as well as a backlash from those (like me) who won't wait 'til they air on TV this time around (I plan of getting Xtra Frame when I move to a rental house (since my late mother's trust fund no longer can keep us at the house they currently own and now have to sell) early this coming month.

4) Invite celebrities who are just-as bowling savvy like Kevin Hart, Chris Hardwick (of my PBA league Champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters!!!), and of course Chris Paul to join the crew in the booth and also invite PBA legends like Johnny Petraglia (I enjoy hearing him critique player shots during a telecast) or for old-school sake good-ol' Bo Burton (I just love it how he calls Belmo's powerful strike ball a "Big-Train" and indeed it is!) or even Marshall Holman recalling his great moments and insight on today's game.

Any other ideas guys? I've come up with mine, how about some others.
Posted by: wronghander

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/22/14 10:24 PM

I can understand wanting to see the PBA go to another network but in all honesty they need to stay on ESPN. More people watch ESPN than any other sports network. If you go to a sports bar they almost always have ESPN on by default. Less likely they have FS1 or NBCSN on the tube. Even with Erin Andrews FS1 has yet to really gain any ground on ESPN. They need the viewers ESPN brings in to have any chance of attracting sponsors.

I will say that the PBA is going in the right direction by visiting some new places that may not be major cities but that are excited to host and will give the PBA plenty of coverage in the local media. I really think the stop in Maine next winter is going to do wonders.
Posted by: B-Hammer

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/22/14 10:27 PM

Originally Posted By: BIGHMW
1) Get High 5 Gear either its own sponsored segment (like the "Hammer Tough Spare Replay" they have for great split conversions, etc.) or have it buy its own commercial/rotational ad signage space to promote its exciting and awesome lineup of custom-built apparel (including both its replica PBA player and PBA League jerseys and its new Chromacolor pants), and also get out to the beverage industry and get Bud Light and Pepsi back on board or even get the folks at Ice-Watch (www.ice-watch.com) to advertise its colorful lineup of fashion (and expensive) watches with a segment called the Ice-Watch "Change Of The Match" (involving a key technical ball/line change that wins a match or title) their company slogan currently is "Change. You Can", also, do better than cramming the many "As Seen On TV" ads down our throats for the other TV commercial space, heck, even CindyMargolis.com would do men in the 18-49 demographic (the prime one for Nielsen for sports on TV) much better than the Ye Olde Brooklyn Lantern or the Pocket Hose will do them right about now.

The Ice-Watch commercial, a 15-second one for its Ice-Forever collection, one of its many different lineups, from its massive international market, can be seen right here:



2) Cancel its lame, futile contract with ESPN and get on a legitimate other cable network with heavy TV provider carriage such as FOX Sports 1 (and have Erin Andrews be laneside interviewer, huge ratings booster right there!!!) or NBCSN (with Rebecca Lowe, the current Premier League Football hottie!!!) and retain the terrific and bowling-knowledgeable tandem of both Mike Jakubowski (the best PBP man the PBA has had since Denny Schreiner and the late great Chris Schenkel last graced us in the 90s) and Randy Pedersen, the best and most up-to-date and era-correct color analyst we've had since Bo Burton retired (all apologies to Marshall Holman, Mike Durbin and the late great Earl Anthony although they were great too they were just not tech-savvy/21st Century-ready enough).

3) Get off that (and avoid at any cost) horrible time slot coinciding with the NFL/NBA/NCAA/NASCAR juggernaut on Sunday Morning/afternoons and have our telecasts air LIVE on TV (at least on basic cable if not the Big 4 Networks) instead of this taped-in-advance garbage that they are doing now, there is too much room going that route for spoilers from Xtra Frame viewers and others putting up spoilers on sites like this one and others, as well as a backlash from those (like me) who won't wait 'til they air on TV this time around (I plan of getting Xtra Frame when I move to a rental house (since my late mother's trust fund no longer can keep us at the house they currently own and now have to sell) early this coming month.

4) Invite celebrities who are just-as bowling savvy like Kevin Hart, Chris Hardwick (of my PBA league Champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters!!!), and of course Chris Paul to join the crew in the booth and also invite PBA legends like Johnny Petraglia (I enjoy hearing him critique player shots during a telecast) or for old-school sake good-ol' Bo Burton (I just love it how he calls Belmo's powerful strike ball a "Big-Train" and indeed it is!) or even Marshall Holman recalling his great moments and insight on today's game.

Any other ideas guys? I've come up with mine, how about some others.


Listen to any Tim Clark interview on the subject and he welcomes any and all sponsors who are interested in sponsoring the PBA. They are not turning away sponsors in favor of As Seen on TV stuff, that is the only sponsor that they can get. Of course they want Bud, Pepsi, or any other major brand on board, there is just no interest from those brands.

ESPN owns part of the PBA, hence they have a say on where the PBA can go and when it will air. Remember the PBA pays ESPN to broadcast not the other way around, and as such it can't afford a better slot, unless you want "live shows" to air late at night.

Lane side reporters cost money, the PBA can not afford Erin Andrews nor would she even consider it. Erin Andrews makes more hosting Dancing with the Stars then all the PBA bowlers make in a year combined.

They tried the celebrity thing in the past and will continue to do so, the problem with a lot of celebrities is that they know nothing about bowling and intentionally/unintentionally end up mocking the game or the bowlers. The Bill Simmons show was embarrassing, Michael Wilbon wasn't bad.

To me the PBA, USBC, and BPAA need to unite and market bowling as a collective group on all levels. It will take a decade + to bring bowling back as you have to drum up interest at the youth level, wait until they grow up, and hope they are still interested in bowling.

There is no short term answer or quick fix, it took decades to put bowling in this hole, it can not be fixed overnight.
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/22/14 11:22 PM

I agree about and remember the Bill Simmons one, the comments he made about Randy Pedersen losing to Ernie Schlegel when he left that stone-8 in the 1995 TPC was inappropriate, Randy has been trying to forget about that one for years, and also the other one he made when a player was blowing air in the thumbhole (for a better grip) was a bit over the top for me, a guy-somewhat-celeb like me (as "The Heavy Metal Warrior" from 1994-2002 with my old hardcore/metal band S.M.F., in one of my two musician roles, the current one I've done since 2004, is as "AK47" doing old-skool 1980s-inspired gangsta rap) who actually does bowl and can provide perspective from that of a league player who is also a fan of the PBA and has great respect for the touring players and what they go through (and at one time had aspirations of being one years ago like my old bowling idol Brian Voss) that is much better and certainly more knowledgeable than that of a moron like Bill Simmons who indeed was acting like one in that telecast, I agree.
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/23/14 12:33 AM

(Taken from my website, BIGHMW.com, and my "Q & A" page on it):

http://www.bighmw.com/site/page/qa

Question 8:

Q: Future plans after the music business is all said and done?

A: Well, at one time I wanted to become a professional bowler (PBA member), and maybe become a PBA Tour champion like my bowling idol, 1988 PBA Player Of The Year and PBA Hall Of Famer (inducted in 1994), Brian Voss.

When I first met my common-law wife, Alice Yantz at the now-defunct Key City Lanes back in 1989, she was bowling in a mixed league, and I had been a long-time viewer of the legendary ABC Sports’ Professional Bowlers Tour series with the late Chris Schenkel and Nelson (Bo) Burton, Jr., since the mid-1970s.

My late grandmother, at my insistence, got me my first ball back in 1989, an Ebonite Thunderbolt, and I have been a huge student of this great sport since, and in all of the years that I have watched those shows, back then on ABC, and now on ESPN, I still haven’t yet found another bowler with a better, more classic form, solid release, mental toughness, and, the physical strength to overpower a tough lane condition (if necessary) than that of Brian Voss.

I am also currently in the process of learning more about the newer, more powerful bowling balls, the latest equipment, speed control, hand action, and how to hook the ball more so I can become a more versatile player so that I can play different shots on different lane conditions, no matter what the oil pattern or lane surface is. Plus, Brian Voss also cross-trained by weightlifting and also running, which is so important for the long, constant grind of the PBA Tour.

It’s just like Nelson Burton, Jr. once said on ABC a few years back, “…how many miles can YOU walk with 16 pounds in your hand???” It is all about endurance, as well as of course, winning, especially when you bowl for a living like they do on Tour.


Obviously I know more about our great sport than a moron like Bill Simmons ever could, that question and its answer on my website are definitive of that.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/23/14 09:06 AM

I agree that this is something that is a long road to fix and hopefully the road gets a little easier as we go.

One of the other major issues with the PBA (which nobody really notices) is the fact that the Regional Tour supports a huge portion of the National Tour (financially) which is backwards of every other sport.

Look at the payouts for any Regional Event and total up the difference in money paid in and how much the prize fund pays out. Rarely are they close.

For instance, in the last Regional I bowled (Merritt Island in the South Region) there was a minimum of $16,000 paid for entry fees if every single person was a member (which isn't the case). There was also $5000 donated into the event by the bowling center and another $5000 donated by local businesses. So in total there was $26,000 brought in by the PBA that weekend for the South Region alone. The total prize fund was $15,000 so it seems pretty obvious that there is a ton of money going somewhere. That somewhere is the National Tour I am sure.

I think if the Regional Tour's struggle the National Tour will fall apart, they are the only thing making any money at all right now.
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/23/14 07:04 PM

With several of bowling's all time greats crossing over to the 50 and over division, I would expect the PBA50 tour to be doing better, but prize money is lacking there, too. Look at the names you would have to beat to win the top 5 prizes in the recent PBA50 United Healthcare Sun Bowl In The Villages:

1. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., $9,000
2. Tom Baker, King, N.C., $4,500
3. Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., $3,000
4. Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., $2,500
5. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., $2,000
Posted by: SteveH

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/23/14 11:08 PM

Don't forget about the House Fees in the regionals.

As far as prize money? Who watched the PBA 50? Anyone that follows hockey knows they salaries were extremely low until the NHL finally decided to play by the rules, and give TV a chance to like them.

It's all about advertising and promotion, it has nothing to do with talent, name recognition. The PBA needs to follow the NHL for promotion. It was a decrepit league in a sport only known to most northern states. They made the best of it. During the Lockout, they realized that Poker was more popular than the NHL. They adjusted.
Posted by: BIGHMW

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/23/14 11:45 PM

To sk8shorty01, I read you hail from (and most recently bowled in a Regional event in) Merritt Island down in Florida. In the late 1980s, the PBA National Tour held the Bowlers' Journal Florida Open at Shore Lanes for a few years, Brian Voss won there in 1989 and Robert Lawrence won his first Tour title there in 1990, both Finals were televised on ABC, was that Regional event you bowled at Shore Lanes, and if not, does that bowling center still exist, I was just wondering.

Thanks, and let's all hope the PBA goes by the way of the NHL the previous post mentions instead of going by the way of the buffalo, we all both as bowlers and bowling fans can agree that we don't want to see the latter happen to the Tour.

Ray Jackson
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/24/14 05:41 AM

Quote:
It's all about advertising and promotion, it has nothing to do with talent, name recognition.

Talent and name recognition do factor into building a fan base. Without fans regularly watching and spending money, no advertising/promotion campaign will be successful. Who would watch if it was always random bowler A competing against random bowler B? In a perfect world, I would think the best of the best bowlers of all time competing against each other should make the evening news! We are in the middle of a golden era for the PBA50 tour. It seems like an unleveraged asset to me.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/24/14 08:42 AM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
Don't forget about the House Fees in the regionals.


What do you mean by House Fees? I am just not sure what you mean thats all.

As far as lineage, the house has to donate lineage for the event if they want an event at their location, that is one of the stipulations to taking in the PBA.

Originally Posted By: BIGHMW
To sk8shorty01, I read you hail from (and most recently bowled in a Regional event in) Merritt Island down in Florida. In the late 1980s, the PBA National Tour held the Bowlers' Journal Florida Open at Shore Lanes for a few years, Brian Voss won there in 1989 and Robert Lawrence won his first Tour title there in 1990, both Finals were televised on ABC, was that Regional event you bowled at Shore Lanes, and if not, does that bowling center still exist, I was just wondering.
Thanks, and let's all hope the PBA goes by the way of the NHL the previous post mentions instead of going by the way of the buffalo, we all both as bowlers and bowling fans can agree that we don't want to see the latter happen to the Tour.
Ray Jackson


Yes the last Regional PBA Event I bowled was at Shore Lanes in Merritt Island. The center is still doing very well (two leagues actually fill the entire house, 40 teams each league). Shore Lanes is my home center.

If you would like to see what it looks like now you can see it in my YouTube videos.

http://youtu.be/GFhdo1SCF5o
Posted by: SteveH

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/24/14 11:30 AM

I did mean lineage sk8, I wasn't aware it was "donated".

As for the PBA and budgets, I found this link.

http://www.mrbowling300.net/post/pba-bud...678739?trail=15

I've now been to both Shore Lanes locations, Palm Bay and Merritt Island. Since it's new, the Merritt Island location is pretty sweet. We'll be there next month Sk8, hopefully equipped and ready wink

Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/24/14 01:46 PM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
I did mean lineage sk8, I wasn't aware it was "donated".
As for the PBA and budgets, I found this link.
http://www.mrbowling300.net/post/pba-bud...678739?trail=15
I've now been to both Shore Lanes locations, Palm Bay and Merritt Island. Since it's new, the Merritt Island location is pretty sweet. We'll be there next month Sk8, hopefully equipped and ready wink


Yeah most of the tournament host centers make their money back (that they lose from lineage) on the food and bar profits.

Hosting a PBA Event is not cheap for sure.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/24/14 07:17 PM

It explains why it's where it is now, and how perilous some of the existing events are. The PBA League bowlers are on salary for now, no prize money.

Just not enough revenue to get all of these things done.


Quote:
A key edict Clark had to meet was providing enough competition to fill the 36 hours of ESPN time for 2014.

Ultimately, the changes that were adopted included eliminating the Indianapolis competition that included the Tournament of Champions and PBA League Elias Cup Finals and moving the TOC to the already scheduled Detroit competition in January, and the Elias Cup Finals to North Brunswick, N.J. the night of Sunday, Feb 23, the TV finals date of the USBC Masters.

“That saved us a couple hundred thousand dollars in production expenses” for the Indianapolis competition, Clark said.

The moves led to the Xtra Frame event scheduled for Detroit being canceled, with the TOC essentially replacing it.

In addition, PBA League prize money was eliminated, though Clark said there technically still is time to raise revenue to cover it. PBA League players still will get their salaries.

The USBC Masters, which is a USBC event, in New Jersey Feb. 17-23 is not impacted by the cuts.

Clark said the PBA50 Tour and Regional program also will not be impacted by the cuts. (The PBA50 schedule will be released as soon as contracts for all the events come in, PBA50 Tour manager John Weber said this week.)

The fate of the Summer Swing, which is tied to a CBS Sports Network contract that has two years left on it, appears to be up in the air — Clark said there still is time to sell it, but that implies that if revenue can’t be raised for it then it could be cut.
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 04/29/14 01:31 PM

Quote:
In a perfect world, I would think the best of the best bowlers of all time competing against each other should make the evening news!

Note: It's possible "The Villages" PBA50 field was the toughest championship group in PBA history. For more info, click here.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 05/02/14 02:11 PM

Despite the ongoing love-hate relationship some people have with Jason Belmonte, I can't think of a more visible promoter of both the sport of bowling, or himself. He's done a great job using social media, as well as traversing three continents. As a younger guy, his own performances and the way he comes across have been enormous benefits to the sport, and the PBA.

Whenever I bring up the subject to other bowlers, his current name recognition is leaps and bounds ahead of anyone else, PDW is probably second. As is the case in every sport, you have marketers and you have players. You have John Daley's in golf, and then you have a more polished star in Belmo.

What I like about him is that not only does he pop up in venues such as local leagues, promotional "fun" outings, but in the grudge match against Sean Rash. He's both creative and cleverly funny. He's also desperately needed in a sport that has such dynamic personalities as Walter Raye Williams Jr. and Norm Duke.

If anyone on earth was going to be used for promotional purposes, it would and should be Belmo. People are actively involved in his informative FB page, an he's actually far more diverse outside of the bowling world.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 05/02/14 02:18 PM

I honestly think Belmo could be the Tiger Woods of bowling. I think he has the talent, winning attitude, and personality (something Tiger didn't show often) to make it happen.

He could be the thing that saves bowling at the professional level just as Tiger did for golf. At the time Tiger came up there was very little recognition among casual sports fans for golf and the prize funds weren't real high. Tiger brought sponsorship revenue and viewership wherever he went and I think Belmo is slowly becoming that way as well.

Of course you just can't have a good personality, you have to win and do it often and that is something Belmonte has been doing frequently here lately.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 05/02/14 03:42 PM

Even though I am not a Belmo fan, I do agree that if anyone on tour could save the tour, it is him. With that said, I don't feel that any one bowler could get the PBA out of its current hole. The PBA has been on the decline for way too long and although Tiger did infuse a bunch of money, sponsors, and fans into the PGA, the PGA was in way better shape than the PBA even before Tiger showed up. The 1990 PGA championship had a total purse of 1.35 million with $225,000 to the winner. The 1990 Firestone TOC had a total purse of $250,000 and a top prize of $50,000. I'm not sure if golf's rise with Tiger is the best comparison for the PBA. The problems are too big to be fixed by one star.

Mark
Posted by: Fin09

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 05/02/14 03:59 PM

I agree that Belmo is as close to this sport's Tiger Woods as we have, and in many ways, he's doing more for bowling than Tiger has done for golf. It hasn't had quite the same impact on bowling yet, at least in the states, but it's not for a lack of trying. He's become our sport's greatest current ambassador, and he's doing everything in his power to keep bowling relevant.
You know what Tiger did for golf? He won, and he spoke eloquently in interviews. He's an intelligent, well-spoken young man who happened to be the greatest golfer we may have ever seen, but frankly, he did little more than exude confidence and excellence on the course. Did he work to promote the game of golf through youth clinics and coaching sessions, or made for TV grudge matches, or much of anything else for that matter? Not really. He cashed huge endorsement checks from Nike, Buick, Tag Heuer, and EA Sports, as well as other sponsors, so his face was everywhere, but most of that was done for him, not by him.
If the PBA chooses to develop the international game as much as golf has, it has a chance. Trying to depend on American audiences to keep the tour afloat will fail miserably. As I've mentioned earlier, Americans have so many more choices today than they did 40 years ago. I discovered that about 100,000 Americans played soccer in the late 1960s. By 1984, that number had grown to 4,000,000, and you cannot tell me that at least 1,000,000 of those soccer players, who were a little smaller than their football and basketball playing peers (think Norm Duke/PDW/Amleto/Dave Ferraro/Parker Bohn sized guys) were destined to be bowlers, but Mom and Dad dropped them off at the soccer field on a Saturday morning instead of the bowling center.
The reason soccer is so big in most countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America is that they don't have the choices we have here. The marathon runners from Kenya who grow up running from point A to point B (many of them barefoot, I might add) do so out of necessity. None of them run to the country club with their golf clubs and tennis racquets on their backs.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: What the PBA needs to do to still exist - 05/03/14 01:10 PM

Outside of the obvious, what Tiger did for the PGA was to showcase a handsome, athletically fit young guy who won right out of the blocks. He had no beer belly, he was likable, and spoke with confidence. He was also heavily marketed and "managed", and quite professionally I might add.

While nobody's ever made a huge deal out of it, except maybe Gary Player, the PGA was filled with great golfers, about 2/3rds of which looked like they had several refrigerators in their homes and frequent eater miles at fast food franchises. But they were still great golfers. To be fair, golf was in the stages of being overbuilt as he entered the Tour.

Nobody writes much about it, but even as Tiger was making the PGA ratings jump higher, golf in general was in decline. Tiger didn't bring back the sport of golf, he brought ratings success and $$$ to the PGA and the networks. Working people had long become tired of long tee time waits, rising prices, and lengthy games. Tiger did contribute to the Youth goals of the PGA, things like First Tee and so on.

Getting back to bowling. There were organizational failures, declining numbers of bowling centers, and a complete failure (IMO), of bowling proprietors that recognized the socio-demographic and cultural changes going on. Far more competition for people's money, very little marketing of the sport, and rustic old bowling centers where the only thing missing from the "Old Days" was the smoke. I'm extremely new to this sport, but I can recognize some of the old scoring equipment from the '70's and 80's, the carpet that looked like it was borrowed from the set of "The Hustler", and the steady and quite noticeable deterioration of the buildings themselves.

Up until circa 2008, I had probably bowled perhaps 1-2 games of Ten Pin in my entire life. For over 8 years, I actually drove by a bowling center (now closed) every weekday. Not sure why, but never once did the thought of entering ever cross my mind. I knew nothing of the PBA, Cosmic Bowling, nor did I know anyone that bowled. I knew absolutely Zero about bowling, and never heard anything about it either. But years ago, I do remember watching the likes of [censored] Weber and Earl Anthony on TV.

Hey, this has gotten far longer than anyone cares to read, which is typical of me and a keyboard on a boring day wink

Suffice it to say that more publicity and more exciting people like a Sean Rash, Pete Weber, Jason Belmonte will work wonders for the sport. People that look like they could do other sports. They speak well, articulate their thoughts well, and they're exciting to watch when they play. I disagree with aspects of the WWF analogies, bowling doesn't need to become a circus, unless that's the only way. If it does, you probably would lose the likes of the newer guys coming into bowling.

The Leagues are entertaining, and far easier to promote. They do need tweaks here and there, but they have team owners, pay salaries, and could well be the future model if successful.