Barbasol to Sponsor PBA ‘T of C’

by Bob Johnson 0

Barbasol, a men’s shaving product with a heritage as rich and enduring as the Professional Bowlers Assn. itself, has been retained as the title sponsor for the 2013 Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions.

The tournament will be held March 27-31 in the city where Barbasol was invented: Indianapolis. Woodland Bowl will be the host, and ESPN will televise the stepladder finals in a two-hour block on March 31 beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

Barbasol, invented by MIT professor Frank Shields in 1919, was the first men’s shaving cream that did not have to be worked into a lather by hand. Since its introduction, it has gone through many refinements and versions, but remains one of the world’s most popular shaving creams, easily identified by its red-and-white striped can — designed to mimic a barber’s pole.

“We are very excited and proud to continue our partnership with the PBA,” said Dustin Abels, Vice President-Business Development. “Barbasol’s rich legacy of sports sponsorships and strong American heritage are a great fit with the PBA and its loyal fan base.”

Owned by Dublin, Ohio-based Perio Inc., Barbasol has been involved in sponsorships with the Professional Golf Assn., National Basketball Assn. and Major League Soccer, as well as numerous movie and television placements. During its formative years, product spokesmen included baseball legends Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby and Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne.

And Barbasol has been aligned with bowling, at least tangentially, for more than 60 years, as this 1948 magazine advertisement ( illustrates.

“Barbasol’s longevity and rich history align perfectly with the traditions and history of the PBA Tournament of Champions,” said PBA Chief Executive Officer Geoff Reiss. “The fact that the product was created in Indianapolis, a city that has hosted dozens of major PBA championships, makes this new partnership even more special.”

The Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions will return to its traditional roots this season, featuring an elite field of 48 PBA Tour champions (plus any past TOC champions who elect to participate).

The event will get underway on March 27 with two eight-game qualifying rounds. After a third eight-game round on March 28, the top 24 players will advance to eight-game match play rounds on March 29 and 30. The top five after 48 games will advance to the ESPN finals.

A pro-am program and the PBA Hall of Fame induction dinner, honoring newly-elected hall of famers Doug Kent and Danny Wiseman, will highlight Saturday’s schedule.

PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will provide live coverage of all activities leading up to the ESPN telecast.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.