Ebonite and Strike Force Join Forces for Bags, Shoes and More

by Bob Johnson 0

Ebonite International has announced a strategic eight-year partnership between the brands of EBI and Strikeforce Bowling, a leader in the design and development of bowling bags, shoes and accessories.

Beginning January 1, 2016, Strikeforce Bowling will take on the responsibility of designing, developing, sourcing and selling all bags, gloves, shoes and accessories under the brands of Ebonite International (Hammer, Columbia 300, Track, Ebonite, Robby’s and PowerHouse).

“Ebonite International is a specialist in the design and manufacturing of bowling balls here in Hopkinsville Ky.,” said Randy Schickert, CEO of Ebonite International. “I am thrilled to be partnering with a company that has the same expertise, but on the soft good side of the business.”

Brad Handelman, President of Strikeforce Bowling, said Strikeforce looks forward to creating outstanding products to tie back to the strong consumer brands of EBI.

“Each brand under the Ebonite International umbrella has its own distinctive fit and feel,” he said, “and our goal will be to work seamlessly with EBI to make sure that the bags, gloves, shoes and accessories we are developing, work hand in hand with the bowling balls they bring to market.”

The effective date of the partnership is Jan. 1, 2016, with the goal of a smooth transition. While EBI and Strikeforce Bowling will have their own sales teams and internal structures, there will be strong go-to-market integration between the companies from trade shows to player promotions and sales loyalty programs (EBI’s Pro Shop Gold Program, for instance).

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.