Royal Pin Leisure Centers Buys 270 Lanes of Sync

by Bob Johnson 0

Veteran center operator Jim Doty was happy to join a group of his peers to help Brunswick design the Sync center management system. But he didn’t really have any intention of buying it.

“I didn’t see how new graphics in a scoring system would really impact our bottom line,” said Doty, general manager of Royal Pin Leisure Centers, which operates 270 lanes in Indianapolis. “But Sync is a lot more than scoring. Once I saw Sync’s in-center and social marketing features, along with all the management tools, I knew it would be a great way to increase sales and profitability.”

Sync will soon be up and running at Royal Pin’s four Indianapolis-area entertainment centers: Woodland Entertainment Center (70 lanes), Expo Bowling Center (80 lanes), Western Bowling Center (80 lanes), and Southern Bowling Center (40 lanes). Doty makes upgrades during the league season so customers can experience — and get excited about — improvements as they happen.

“I’m especially excited about the in-center marketing,” notes Doty. “If managers notice food and beverage sales are down, they can have special offers displayed throughout the center with a couple quick clicks. We’re also looking forward to using Sync to improve our social marketing efforts.”

Doty has been pleased with Brunswick’s installation and in-center training; in fact, Brunswick’s customer service was a key factor in his decision to install the system.

“We’ve worked with Brunswick for years, and they’ve always had our back,” said Doty. “If we have a glitch, they're extremely responsive and helpful.”

Brunswick invested more than $2 million in market research and enlisted input from proprietors at several points during the design process for Sync. Research included more than 500 hours observing customer behavior in centers around the world and several years of data from more than 100 retail centers.

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.

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