International Bowling Museum and Hall Of Fame rolls out 2011 line-up of nominees for the Celebrity Bowling Hall of Fame

    07/13/11

    Industry News

    Fans worldwide are invited to cast their votes at www.GoBowling.com

    201IBMHOFLogo.jpg2010BPAALogo.jpgBowling fans across the world will once again have an opportunity to grant bowling immortality to a chosen celebrity nominee. The Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) and International Bowling Hall of Fame have announced its list of candidates for consideration into its Celebrity Bowling Hall of Fame wing.

    The roster of candidates includes celebrities who have helped support and popularize bowling, contributing to its status as the nation's number one participatory sport. The bowling industry is once again placing the power in the hands of the public, inviting fans to visit www.gobowling.com to cast their vote - and receive a coupon for a free game of bowling that can be used at one of more than 4,000 participating bowling centers across the United States.

    The 2011 list of candidates includes celebrities from a wide cross section of pop culture including superstar entertainers Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne and Nick and Joe Jonas, legendary actors Jeff Bridges and Bill Murray, TV personalities Kim Kardashian and Jimmy Fallon and sports icon Michael Jordan.

    Following in the footsteps of 2010 inductee Taylor Swift - who edged out Justin Bieber in a competition that went down to the wire - one celebrity will forever become a part of bowling history with the online vote to take place between July 12 and August 6.

    "This star-studded line-up of celebrities speaks to the tremendous relevance and popularity of bowling and showcases the widespread appeal of bowling - as diverse as this group of celebrities is, one thing that they all share in common is public support for the greatest game in the world," said Steve Johnson, executive director of the BPAA.

    "We are excited to once again empower the 69 million bowlers throughout the country to have an opportunity to help us create history by making one of these celebrities a part of bowling history."

    Beginning on July 12, fans and enthusiasts can cast their vote online at www.gobowling.com. The voting process will occur throughout the month of July and will culminate during National Bowling Week (July 31 to August 6).

    The final votes will be tallied on National Bowling Day, August 6 - a day where more than 4,000 centers across the United States will join forces to try to set a new world record for the most bowling games played in a 24-hour period.

    To help create a call to action to drive fans to cast votes for their favorite stars, more than 4,000 bowling centers across the United States are working together to provide a free game of bowling to everyone who casts a vote in this year's nomination vote. By voting for their favorite celebrity at www.gobowling.com, consumers can download a coupon for a free game of bowling on National Bowling Day, August 6.

    Added Johnson, "The tremendous level of support that we have received - more than 4,000 bowling centers across the country opening their doors to fans who cast their HOF vote - speaks to the welcoming environment that can be found in bowling centers and the tremendous solidarity within our industry."

    "Each of these 2011 candidates has had a significant impact in helping to keep bowling as one of the nation's most treasured pastimes," said Keith Hamilton, chairman of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. "If last year's down-to-the-wire showdown between Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber is any indication of what to expect for 2011, we'll be ready for a fierce battle to determine who is the next star to achieve bowling immortality."

    Below is the complete list of the celebrity nominees:

    Justin Bieber - In a closely contested 2010 Celebrity Bowling Hall of Fame race, teenage heart throb Justin Bieber was edged by 2010 HOF inductee Taylor Swift. Bieber, a bowling enthusiast, returns to the 2011 ballot looking for redemption and induction. In 2010, the music video for Bieber's smash hit single "Baby" was set in a bowling center and has since garnered more than 550 million views on YouTube.

    Jeff Bridges - Oscar award-winning actor Jeff Bridges reinvented "cool" when he starred as "The Dude" in the 1998 critically acclaimed bowling film "The Big Lebowski." The movie has since become a cult classic amongst bowling fans and has spurned an annual "Lebowskifest" circuit nationwide.

    Miley Cyrus - Mega hit children's television show, check. Hit solo music artist, check. A-List movie star, check. Killer bowling game, check! At only 18, Miley Cyrus is certainly a busy girl, but when she's not filming or recording, she's been spotted at various bowling centers with celebrity friends, including fellow nominees Nick Jonas and Justin Bieber, and charity bowling events.

    Jimmy Fallon - Late night talk show host and former Saturday Night Live star Jimmy Fallon looks to rebound from his last place showing in last year's HOF competition and celebrate a "worst to first" success story in 2011. Fallon regularly conducts zany segments with celebrity guests including Grapefruit Bowling with Jennifer Anniston, paying Drew Barrymore $10 to lick a bowling ball and a perennial show favorite - Human Bowling.

    Lady Gaga - Lady Gaga has risen to the top of the pop charts behind her risqué persona and hit songs, garnering an army of "Monsters" who follow and cheer her every move. Popular culture has even begun to refer to anything "cool" as "Gaga." Often spotted by celebrity magazines on the bowling lanes, she has done her part to help elevate the sport and make people go "Gaga" for bowling.

    Nick and Joe Jonas - The uber-popular Jonas Brothers, Nick and Joe, have been spotted battling it out on the lanes by celebrity magazines during their downtime from touring. There hasn't been an official word on who's the better bowler of the two, but Jonas friends can rejoice that they share a nomination for HOF induction in 2011.

    Michael Jordan - In 2010, Michael Jordan was inducted into pro basketball's Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame as the greatest basketball player of all time. Known for his unmatched competitiveness, leaping ability and athletic skill, His Airness is also an excellent bowler, according to Chicago Lucky Strike Lanes general manager Michael Porn, who dubbed Michael "the best (celebrity) bowler," he had ever seen.

    Kim Kardashian - The beautiful Kim Kardashian certainly has a way of gracing bowling centers with her beauty, style and grace. A bowling enthusiast, Kardashian's photos have graced the pages of celebrity magazines and tabloids nationwide hitting the lanes and featured bowling on the smash hit "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." One of the 2010 candidates, Kardashian lobbied for her fans to vote her into the HOF.

    Bill Murray - Like fine wine, some things just get better with age, none being truer than comic genius Bill Murray's performance as the infamous Ernie McCracken in 1996 comedy "King Pin." Since his role as the flamboyant McCracken, Murray has been a bowling icon with the popularity of his character living on through millions of internet views.

    Lil Wayne -A multi-talented hip hop artist, Lil Wayne has certainly earned his share of street cred through his smooth lyrics and poetic rhymes, but who knew that his skills extended to bowling? Lil Weezy paired with PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke at NBA star and 2010 HOF candidate Chris Paul's Annual Celebrity Bowling Invitational in 2011, earning a spot in the finals before being defeated by Paul and Jason Belmonte. Since, rumor has it that Wayne has been spotted on the lanes practicing for their rematch.