Those wanting a glimpse of the personality behind the blockbuster sale of Brunswick's retail bowling centers to Bowlmor AMF for $270 million, a deal Brunswick announced on July 17, will want to read some of the straight talk recently served up by Bowlmor AMF CEO, Tom Shannon, during his recent, in-person interview with Bowlers Journal at his New York City office.
If Shannon is aware of the chatter the deal ignited throughout the bowling industry, he clearly is not letting it influence his business decisions.
Asked if he follows much of the talk in the bowling industry, Shannon said "We try to make our intentions very clear. We put them out there publicly. People will come up to their own conclusions, which have nothing to do with reality. I really don't have the time or the interest in listening to that stuff. It's a big distraction."
"We're doing 12 full-scale renovations in fiscal year 2015, which just started for us," Shannon continued. "It really is a 100-hour-per-week job. And then to try to focus on what other people who aren't necessarily informed about what's really going on have to say? I don't have time for it."
If Shannon is indeed aware of the chatter, he also is aware of one of the more common catch-words tossed about in the bowling industry: passion. For Shannon, however, passion can be a double-edged sword.
"I know that one of the strengths in bowling is the passion people have about it," Shannon said. "In a way, it's also a weakness, and I think it's been a weakness for the industry for a long time. There has to be a balance, and that really hasn't existed."
Be sure to check out the September 2014 issue of Bowlers Journal for much more from our interview with Tom Shannon and comprehensive coverage of this game-changing deal from every angle.