Link Strategy Group Selected to ‘Sell Bowling’

by Bob Johnson 0

The United States Bowling Congress, Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and Strike Ten Entertainment have contracted with Link Strategy Group to develop sponsorship partners for the industry.

Combined, the USBC, BPAA and STE provide access to the more than 67 million consumers who bowl each year, and more than 5,000 bowling centers across the U.S.

Link Strategy Group will serve as the strategic partnership agency to introduce the bowling platform to potential non-endemic corporations interested in access to the sport of bowling.

“After an in-depth search for a partner in this area, the consensus was that Link Strategy Group was a great fit for bowling,” said John Harbuck, President of Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm of the industry. “They immediately grasped the significant power that our organizations collectively offer and have the contacts to get bowling front-and-center with potential sponsors.

“Bowling is the number one participatory sport in the U.S. and, to date, is really untapped when it comes to non-endemic partnerships,” he added.

In addition to providing companies with access to consumers through bowling centers, Link Strategy Group will be able to offer exclusive naming rights for the Professional Women’s Bowling Association and PWBA Tour events. Current PWBA sponsors include Pepsi, Nationwide, Smithfield and Go Bowling.

Link Strategy Group will also be able to provide partners with unparalleled access to the USBC membership, which is larger than the combined memberships of similar organizations in golf and tennis. Opportunities also exist around the USBC’s national events, including the Open Championships, Women’s Championships, USBC Masters, USBC Queens, U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, Junior Gold Championships, Team USA and others.

“Bowling is the original social network. It’s a game that’s been enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels for literally centuries,” said Jeff Benton, CEO of Link Strategy Group. “We are excited that for the first time a company can own the sport of bowling through the collective assets of the major bowling organizations. We can deliver this platform, truly unique in the world of sports, to companies who want to reach a very loyal, expansive audience. And, with the PWBA, we have a new platform and women’s sports property that is perfectly suited for companies wanting to connect with the female consumer.”

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.