Bowling proprietors look to make their world a smaller place


    BPAA News

    Global popularity of sport is seed of idea for international association

    2008BPAALogo.jpg The Bowling Proprietors' Association of America board of directors has approved a recommendation by the group's International Relations Committee to create and pursue a plan to reach out to international proprietors. The approval was given during bowling's recent Mid Winter Summit in Napa, CA.

    The initial plan includes inviting bowling proprietors from around the world to the International Bowl Expo 2009 (IBE09) for the purpose of discussing the possible formation of what is tentatively being called the Bowling Proprietors' Association International (BPAI).

    The invitation will be extended to individual country bowling proprietor associations similar to relations BPAA has with state bowling associations in the U.S. The intent of the meeting is to explore areas of mutual assistance to help grow the sport and to expose the groups to already available resources, membership programs and services.

    The idea was suggested by Ferdi Janka of Switzerland who says he was inspired by the recent membership of the Canadian bowling centers with the BPAA. "Bowling is an international sport and business," said Janka. "International proprietors can learn from the experience BPAA has generated in the last 78 years."

    He added, "In exchange, fresh input from outside the country will strengthen the organization in the U.S." Janka, a member of the international committee, sees the BPAI as the global arm of the BPAA. "The BPAA can successfully generate new business through worldwide relationships, making the new International Bowling Campus in Arlington, TX a true international meeting place."

    In conjunction with IBE09, a special condensed version of BPAA's Bowling Center Management School will be held with the specific intent of permitting overseas visitors to combine activities and attend on a cost-effective basis.

    Wally Hall, past president of the BPAA sees the BPAI as a natural next step in bowling's international popularity. "As bowling continues to grow throughout the world and bowling proprietor groups are formed in different nations, the progress of such organizations might be accelerated if they had the opportunity, through an international association, to learn about, and possibly take advantage of, the membership programs and services provided by the larger and longer-established associations."

    Hall added, "At the same time, the establishing of such an international association would provide a regular forum for the exchange of thoughts on issues of importance to bowling and provide an opportunity for cooperative action."

    Bowl Expo is the bowling industry's premier event where bowling center owners, operators, managers, bowling suppliers, pro shop owners/managers and various other industry leaders will have a chance to roam the trade floor and visit approximately 800 exhibit booths and nearly 300 companies showcasing the latest trends, bowling-related products and services, marketing ideas, profit center opportunities and tools designed to help build their businesses and spread the excitement of bowling throughout their communities.

    Also on the schedule are 50 educational seminars and workshops designed to cover nearly every aspect of the bowling business.

    This year Bowl Expo will be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, June 21-25. Former Tennessee Senator and presidential candidate Fred Thompson is this year's keynote speaker. The legendary Grammy-winning rock band, Chicago will provide the entertainment when IEB09 brings back its popular Club Xpo to close out the venue, June 25.