Wednesday Buzz: Resurrecting One of Bowling’s Biggest Events

Days after announcing it was canceling a high-profile bowling tournament for the second year in a row, a bowling association had a change of heart—thanks in part to social media. Also: Can you convince your attendees to unplug?

It looks like one of bowling’s biggest events will live to see another frame.

As we reported this month, the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) found itself struggling with the likelihood that it would have to cancel its premier event, the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, for the second year in a row due to sponsorship concerns.

Soon after making the announcement, however, the association found a little help from its friends—including the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), the sport’s governing body. The two groups have agreed to help fund the event between 2015 and 2017, with each group offering $100,000 per year for the event, which costs $500,000 to put on annually.

The deal was made without sponsorships in place or a TV deal, but the organizers are optimistic that getting the plan back on track could help get things moving again.

“A television package is certainly not out of the question and something we will work to acquire moving forward,” USBC President Andrew Cain said in a statement. “We will be re-engaging partners and other sponsors in an effort [to] develop a model that will benefit the entire industry.”

One of the sport’s biggest stars, Jason Belmonte, praised the two organizations for “not giving up and finding a way to bring back the pulse of the US Open” after he led a social media campaign to keep the event going.

Pretty good comeback story, huh?

Step Away From the Device

It’s crazy to think of letting go of our devices in this day and age, but some facilitators aren’t afraid to push people to step away from those devices for a couple of hours, all in an effort to boost education.

If you’d like your event to be on that list, event planner Liz King, writing at Cvent’s Event Planning blog, has a few ideas.

She notes that there’s a lot of value to the move—and the potential for some big rewards for keeping devices away from the event—but you have to make it worthwhile, as well as give attendees ample breaks so they can spend time catching up, if needed. Oh, and some warning helps, too.

“If your game plan includes asking people to unplug, you need to let them know in advance. Send an email to all attendees explaining your plan and emphasizing the benefits of being unplugged for this event,” she writes.

Think you could ever tell your attendees to put the devices away? (ht @adrianoarwin)

Other Links of Note

Strong membership offers a lot of side benefits for associations, according to the Membership Marketing Blog.

The American Occupational Therapy Association’s social media guru, Maggie McGary, is bullish on Pinterest’s new ads. Here’s why.

Over at the NonProfit Marketing Blog, marketer Nancy Schwartz compares a good donor relationship to a strong family relationship: If you stop putting effort into the relationship, things fall apart.

Does it ever make sense to discount a membership? Christina Green weighs the pros and cons on Frank J. Kenny’s blog.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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