Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bad News for the PBA?

They have a lot invested, so they’re not going to walk away from their investment. But at the same time, they’re evaluating how well their investment is performing, as one would in any business activity. I can assure you that they’ll not invest the same amount of money over the next 10 years as they did during the last 10.”
--PBA Commissioner Fred Schreyer

I just read an article that reinforces concerns I've been having and anxieties I've been feeling about the future of the PBA.

According to this Bowlers Journal article, Chris Peters, the Microsoft-rich guy who organized a partnership group with Rob Glasser and Mike Slade to rescue the PBA from bankruptcy and dissolution a decade ago, is now going to be taking a much less prominent and active role in the organization. And while PBA Commissioner Fred Schreyer says that Peters, Glasser, and Slade continue to believe in the potential of the PBA and will continue investing money in it for the time being, the organization is losing a lot of money, and those who are bankrolling it are going to be taking a hard look at the wisdom of their involvement.

"There’s no internal dissension, and they’re united in their belief that pro bowling can be a viable sport,” says Schreyer. “It’s just a matter of who wants to continue to accept financial responsibility for supporting the PBA. Chris is going to play a less prominent role, and exactly what that means remains to be seen."

What it strongly suggests to me is that the PBA's days may be sorely numbered unless it can stop losing sponsors like H&R Block, CLR, Edward Jones and Flomax and start earning money fast. But how can it do this? And what will happen to bowling in this country if it doesn't?

The PBA is planning its 2011 season, and there will be a big meeting next Wednesday between the bosses and players to discuss its plans. Bowlers Journal will be reporting on the results, and so will I.

Stay tuned, and keep your fingers crossed.

1 comment:

  1. I am a Rip Van Winkle who slept 20 years without bowling or paying much attention to it. Instead of the Adirondacks, I woke up in the Ozarks. I am alarmed to find that my local bowling center makes more money from kid's birthday parties than league bowlers. The low class image of bowling in media, the engineering of equipment that has led to such incredible (at least to me who was not aware of it for 20 years)score inflation, the preponderance of top bowlers who look like anything but fit athletes and the popularity of video games are a few of the many factors that have undermined the value of our sport in the minds of the general public. Overall, the PBA and its broadcasts are a wonderful showcase for our sport. I am encouraged that as more and more of us discover Xtra Frame and subscribe that the money will eventually be enough to sponsor the tournaments without so many big corporate sponsors.