Improving Your Bowling Game in the New Normal While Creating Marketing Opportunities for Bowling Centers

We are coming out of the Covid pandemic and getting back to something of a normal life. But admittedly it will be a new normal, whatever that will be. Bowling centers have reopened as well and I’m happy to see some are already doing a strong business. I drove past a center near my home on a recent Saturday and the parking lot was packed with cars. The weekends are back to being busy which is good for the industry as they are usually filled with events such as birthday parties and versions of cosmic bowling.

Even without special events the weekends draw a lot of kids and families to enjoy the game and allow the centers to compete with some of the new bowling entertainment centers such as Pinstripes, Lucky Strike, and the Main Event. But while these special events are good for business – which I fully understand from a marketing perspective and as someone who has been connected to the game all my life – it poses a challenge for those bowlers who wish to engage in serious training to improve their game, especially if they work for a living and only have the option of practicing on the weekend.

Looking To Get Back In The Game

Over the past few years I’ve gone to my local bowling center to practice but find it difficult to get a somewhat secluded lane away from the kids and families as I have had to avoid numerous near-collisions. I certainly don’t want to injure myself or others and tend to spend more time paying attention to my surroundings than my game. It would be great if there were always a few lanes set aside for serious bowlers to reserve for practice. But can this be done in a way that does not impact a center’s profit margin by effectively turning away potential open play?

Pro Training Lanes

I grew up in the suburbs of New York City and one of the more prestigious bowling centers was Paramus Bowl on Route 17 in New Jersey, owned by the late PBA Hall of Famer Frank Esposito. It was an elegant 54-lane establishment with a rich history, hosting numerous PBA tournaments over the years as well as one of the top scratch leagues on the east coast. Watching their Monday Night Classic League made you think you were watching a pro tournament as half of the bowlers were PBA members. The public figured that out too as the grandstands were always filled with fans, similar to the Seaboard Classic League at Garden City Bowl on Long Island.

What many people didn’t know was that Paramus Bowl had a private 6-lane setup on the second floor. While it was primarily used to film special segments for the weekly Pro Bowlers Tour telecasts it was also a perfect place for providing private instruction programs and for many years was the testing ground for new equipment, tournaments and TV shows. Thinking about what Paramus Bowl had gives me an idea for what bowling centers could possibly provide as we emerge out of the pandemic.

A Marketing Opportunity

What Paramus Bowl had was clearly exceptional and not feasible for many centers to replicate from either a structural or cost perspective, and certainly not what I would be envisioning on a startup level. But there could be a way to create a semi-private “Pro Training Area or PTA” (we can name it later) that could lead to marketing and other revenue-generating opportunities. While a completely closed-off section would be optimal the construction cost would be prohibitive. A quick solution to get up and running could be utilizing a folding wall that would separate the training lanes from the rest of the house. When there are no training sessions scheduled the wall could be collapsed and the lanes made available for open play.

Curtains or Mobile Whiteboards

I’ve participated in tournaments that didn’t take up the entire house and a simple separation was created using curtains on rolling poles which would also work. However, the recent pandemic has provided a more useful alternative. Many companies began using portable whiteboards on wheels to create barriers for separating employees in their offices and removing them after widespread vaccinations. These portable whiteboards can be used to separate the PTA and can be easily removed to open up the lanes for open play when not in use. An additional benefit is that the bowling center can earn revenue through advertising placements on the whiteboards. And if the PTA starts on Lanes 1&2 – which would be the optimal location – ads can be placed down the wall opposite Lane #1, either on the walls directly or on their own set of whiteboards.

Resident Pro on Staff

Even the smallest golf course as well as many driving ranges have a PGA pro on staff to provide lessons to interested customers and the bowling center could make arrangements with a local PBA or PWBA member to be on their staff. Paid lessons could be offered in the PTA and could even include video services. For those bowlers who wish to participate in tournaments offering the opportunity to practice on different lane conditions could also be a premium option, which could involve both the PBA and PWBA as active participants.

Sponsorship opportunities could also bring additional revenue streams as the bowling products companies would be excellent advertising targets and might even sponsor the PTA, similar to how most sports arenas today have corporate sponsors. Some of the bowling ball manufacturers might want to utilize the PTA to test out new products on various conditions with select bowlers from the local center. Finally, ad placements don’t have to be limited to only bowling companies; local businesses might like the opportunity to be visible in an area that has a bit of a professional aura around it and attracts a customer base that has more money to spend. Regular customers may look at this area as a premium service that they might want to take advantage of.

Looking For Feedback

This is an idea that I think could help individual bowlers, add additional business opportunities – as well as increased revenue – to bowling centers, and also expand the number of bowlers who wish to take the game more seriously and improve their skills. And that helps the entire industry.

While my whiteboard proposal is a low-cost way to start the ball rolling (no pun intended) there are some centers out there that might have the financial capability to take this idea to the next level.  

So I’m asking all those marketing and bowling industry professionals out there to provide their thoughts and comments. What do you think? I wanted to start the conversation and I know there are many of you out there with years of experience who can add their insights into how this can work and become a positive reality.

Thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to hearing from you. As my grandfather always used to say, “Keep ‘em Rolling!”

Andy Varipapa II

Upcoming Webinar: 5 Use Cases for AI in Content Marketing – Thursday, August 6

Take advantage of this time – when you may have more of it – to enhance your marketing strategy skills and learn about using AI for Content marketing. Register for the upcoming webinar tomorrow, Thursday August 6.

See below for information and registration details.

 – Andy V

MarketingProfs Event: Join us online for our Marketing Strategy Forum – Friday, August 14

Take advantage of this time – when you may have more of it – to enhance your marketing strategy skills. Register for the MarketingProfs upcoming forum on Friday, August 14. 

See below for information and registration details.

 – Andy V

Join us online for our Marketing Strategy Friday Forum. RSVP today.
MarketingProfs | Friday Forums
Marketing Strategy Friday Forum
Marketing’s job is to drive revenue. But, sometimes it’s hard to know how to choose and measure the best strategies to help you reach that goal—and then to scale them.

Join us for our Marketing Strategy Friday Forum for these three incredible (and incredibly useful) sessions:

Robert RoseRobert Rose
The Secret to a Truly Measurable Content Strategy

Learn how to treat your content as a business model that can create, optimize, measure, scale, and ultimately succeed.

Mike NierengartenMike Nierengarten
Build a Virtuous Revenue Cycle With Digital Marketing

Gain insights from case studies of success and failures at B2B SaaS companies, and learn to achieve your own virtuous revenue cycle.

Maribeth RossMaribeth Ross
Marketing Strategy: A Must-Have Planning Framework

It’s time to raise the bar on your marketing strategy and execution, from awareness to engagement to driving new business.

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KEY DETAILS

Date: Friday, August 14
Time: Sessions start at 11:30am ET
Where: Online (check out the agenda)
Speakers: Robert Rose, Mike Nierengarten, Maribeth Ross

P.S. Already have plans on August 14? No problem. RSVP now and you’ll still receive all of the sessions and resources on-demand for 90 days after the event.

1 – 5 Huge Mistakes That Bloggers Make

1 – 5 Huge Mistakes That Bloggers Make

Source: Blogging 101

Having just gotten my website up and running and dipping my toes into the blogging world I was happy to come across this post from Blogging 101. I will pay close attention to these lessons and they could be helpful to any other bloggers out there, both new and veteran.

Look forward to comments and feedback from established bloggers out there.

 – Andy V

*****

If you have actually entered the world of blogging or if you’ve been blogging for a short time and find that things are not working out as you expected, it will serve you well to spend some time comprehending the common mistakes that blog writers make, mistakes that make it tough to enjoy what should be an enjoyable, rewarding experience: Blogging!

The five most common new blogger mistakes are:

  • Diving in (instead of pitching in).
  • Having impractical expectations.
  • Losing focus
  • Plagiarizing
  • Disregarding the reader.

Diving in! Numerous blog writers are so distressed to get started that they dive in instead of pitching in slowly– it’s an error in an unknown pool or pond and it’s a mistake when going into a brand new arena such as the ‘blogosphere.’

Consider these things before you begin your Blog:

  • Find a focus for your blog site … a focus that shows what you understand, what interests you and what you take pleasure in talking and writing about.
  • Make the effort to check out dozens of various blogs: keep in mind the colors, graphics and layouts to get a concept of what appeals to you. Likewise note that some blog writers are verbose and others are quick and to the point … others are just chatty and entertaining and have no particular point to make … this too is an individual style you get to pick.
  • You require a host for your blog site, some are complimentary, some charge a small amount each month for their service, some are basic to use and some require more technical knowledge, some have more features than others; select carefully, as soon as you’ve established your blog and have a couple of regular readers you may not wish to alter your address (your URL).
  • You may or may not wish to use your real name on your blog, this depends upon many elements, not the least of which is your position on controversial issues and how openly you wish to be related to your opinions.
  • Unrealistic expectations! If you get into blogging anticipating instantaneous outcomes –  a large readership and many complimentary comments – you may be dissatisfied. There are tens of thousands of blogs online vying for the same audience.
  • Patience and persistence are essential on your part. If you compose well, discover a distinct specific niche to fill, have enticing titles for your posts and tirelessly promote your blog site the readership and remarks (some of which will be complimentary) will come.
  • Losing focus! When you began your blog you had a particular reason for doing so; it may have been to express your views on a topic or it might have been to simply interact with a close circle of pals about your daily activities. Readers will visit your blog site for the very first time and either have an interest in your subject matter or not, will either like your design or not and, if they like your subject and style they might comment and after that return later. As soon as you have actually developed a subject and tone for your blog you’re free to alter it, but if you decide to do so you’re basically starting all over.
  • Know that you can have more than one blog site, every one dedicated to a particular topic and every one, if you choose, under a different identity.
  • Plagiarizing! There are some excellent bloggers out there and as you surf through blogs you may find one who stated something actually well, something that resonated with you and something you wish to put in your blog site. DON’T just copy and paste someone’s words in your blog without giving them credit, making it seek to the world like the words are yours.
  • If you compose it, write it in your own words and compose it much better, adding your own ideas and feelings and then be gracious, mention where you understood and provide a link.
  • Disregarding the reader! A few of the people who read your blog site will leave remarks; some readers will agree with you and some readers may even applaud your insights but many may choose a point you’ve made and slam it. Individuals leave comments on other blog sites for the very same factor they themselves blog site, to exchange concepts and reveal their viewpoints.
  • Always respond to your readers remarks; thank them for reading and putting in the time to comment (even the extreme critics) and after that react, as appropriate, to their remark. If you neglect your remarks your readers may end up neglecting your blog site.

Bowling Centers across NY State are ready to reopen safely

Every business is trying their best to re-open during this very difficult time. The bowling centers across NY State have done a remarkable job preparing their centers for the new reality and are ready to reopen safely as soon as New York State gives their approval.

Keep ’em Rolling!