Bowling Industry Online

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It is nice to say we want to grow the legacy of Bowling rather than spend it, but why? We are all very busy in our lives today. The last thing we are looking for is something more to read or another item on our seemingly endless “Action List”. Why go through all of the hassles of creating change? Why spend the time, effort, money, and emotion building and then working a plan for Bowling to be successful in 2035?

The easy, knee jerk answer to the question of, “Why do it?” is Bowling deserves to have a future worthy of its past, a line I used in several of my visits to the BPAA podium. The real answers are however not quite so easy. There are as many correct answers to the questions above as there are stakeholders for Bowling. If we are going have a plan that will work we need to understand the needs of each stakeholder. The first step is to identify the stakeholders for Bowling and then to determine the needs of each. The list below is a starting point (no particular order intended):

-Bowling Participants

-Bowling Operating Businesses

-Manufacturers and Suppliers
-Communities served by Bowling Centers

-Bowling Pro Shops/Skill Centers

-Bowling Coaches

-Bowling Press

-Training and Support Companies

-Bowling Tournament Operators

-General Vendors to Bowling

-Lenders to Bowling Businesses

-Staff of Bowling Businesses

Note that the USBC and the BPAA are not on the list. Both organizations exist to represent the interests of stakeholders. The BPAA exists to serve bowling operators. The USBC exists to serve the sport of bowling and therefore a segment of bowling participants and bowling operators. Support organizations have no right to a future past their present ability to provide value to their stakeholders. Also note the major groupings of stakeholders can be broken into categories. As an example Communities Served by Bowling Centers would include schools, local government, religious and civic organizations, along with businesses.

Who is missing from the list? What are the needs of the each stakeholder? Will the current needs of each stakeholder change over the next twenty-five years?

Please reply with a couple of additions to the list, your thoughts on the needs of a couple of the stakeholders, along with your thoughts as to whether the needs will change over the next twenty-five years.


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Comment by Kathleen Kuryliw on August 24, 2010 at 11:06am
International Play Company designs, manufctures and installs indoor playgrounds, climbing walls, laser tag arenas, toddler soft play areas for bowling centers. We have many indoor sample designs and photo installs on our website. We offer free designs for bowling centers, plus they can view our indoor sample designs to get fantastic ideas. We can build for any size, low ceilings, and we have great theming.

Comment by Joe Schumacker on June 3, 2010 at 8:24am
It is interesting that you address military centers. Just a couple days ago I exchanged messages with David Overbagh, the director of the USMC bowling centers. We discussed the community nature of a military bowling center. In many ways it is the prototype for commercial centers. You are also correct about the slicing of stakeholders groups. I think the key is to recognize when a further break out becomes a tactical exercise rather than a strategic exercise. As an example a bowling operator may set a strategic goal of driving growth in league bowling. The tactical piece would be the enhancement of youth, seniors, and adult leagues.
Thanks for the response, keep them coming!
Comment by Reed Freeman on June 1, 2010 at 5:59pm
Joe, Under the heading of "Bowling Participants" or "Communites served by Bowling Centers" I think it would be interesting to break it down more specifically. For example under communities we could add sub levels such as the military. Bowling centers on military installations world wide serve as a community center for our troops offering them a feeling of home whether around the world or here in the states.

Bowling Participants....where to start? We have seniors, adults, teens, people with handicaps (mental and physical), day camps, day care centers, etc. Bowling centers offer something for all these people but each group has different needs.


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