Future Success of Bowling is in the Younger Demographics
The popularity of bowling continues to increase each year, partially due to a younger demographic gravitating to the sport. Students, for example, find bowling a fun and inexpensive form of casual entertainment. However, there is also a growing trend among high school and college students joining competitive bowling. In 2010, a record number of students competed in bowling tournaments.
The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) reports over 50,000 high school and 3,500 college athletes competed in bowling tournaments in 2010.
According to the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA), the bowling industry’s trade association, as of 2010 high school bowling had seen double-digit growth in five of its last eight seasons, and the number of varsity bowlers has more than doubled within the past decade. In 2010, 47 states recognized bowling on the high school varsity or club level – a drastic increase from 20 states in 2002. During the 2010-2011 bowling season, there was a record number of participants at the varsity level. As a result of the popularity in bowling among students, many colleges now offer bowling scholarships through the NCAA.
“Bowling has become quite popular as a competitive sport among high school and college students, as we have seen trends change drastically to include bowling as a varsity sport. Many bowling centers helped nurture this growth by creating youth-oriented leagues to spark an interest in student bowlers and create a passion for bowling at a young age. This forward-thinking concept created a new generation of bowlers that will continue to impact the popularity of bowling in years to come,” says Gary Smith of Brunswick.
In 2010, the USBC created the Youth Education Services (YES) Fund. YES initially began developing a sports model for bowlers 12 years of age and older. This specially-designed program involves testing team-based competitions, development of training and recruitment programs which targets the younger demographic. “Brunswick is proud to be a part of the YES Fund industry initiative. It is great to see companies make an investment into the future of our industry as we work together to create a more positive experience for our youth bowlers,” states Brian Graham, Brunswick Consumer Products.
Recently, Brunswick Bowling & Billiards announced its support of a new bowling exhibit located in the Iowa Hall of Pride. The exhibit was designed to celebrate notable achievements over the past 100-plus years by high school graduates in Iowa communities. A project of the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), the Iowa Hall of Pride honors past and present Iowa high school students involved in extracurricular activities including athletics, academics, and the arts.
Most recently, Brunswick has offered $50,000 in matching funds to the World Tenpin Bowling Association for youth development worldwide. These funds will be used to help build the next generation of bowlers.
To request more information from the Brunswick Investment Team, please visit www.investinbowling.com or call Londa Klinger at 847-735-4555.