Bowlero Corporation, the world’s largest owner and operator of bowling centres, has purchased the Professional Bowlers Association.
With the purchase, the two parties hope to “bring unprecedented innovation to the sport, combining Bowlero’s industry expertise with the PBA’s global talent pool and fan base, which together will elevate the sport of bowling to new heights,” according to a statement.
Under the new agreement, Bowlero will establish itself as the first media company in the sport, dedicated to growing and enhancing the PBA experience. All scheduled tournaments and programming will continue, with plans to build upon key initiatives including the PBA’s Fox Sports partnership, featuring enhanced telecasts with new technology and storytelling, while bringing an “engaged community of fans further into the fold.”
Bowlero’s chief customer officer, Colie Edison, will serve as the CEO while the PBA commissioner, Tom Clark, will continue in his current role.
"The PBA is rich with history and home to the top players in the sport, with thousands of members and millions of fans throughout the world," said Edison. "This acquisition is about leveraging resources to give the PBA Tour the support and funding it deserves, building value for dedicated members nationwide, and expanding the brand’s overall visibility."
Clark said the acquisition is a major step forward for the PBA and a watershed moment for the sport itself. "Bowlero Corp has proven itself to be a champion for bowling in the entertainment world, enhancing the experience for the over 28 million guests who visit their bowling centres each year.”
He added: “They’ve transformed the game for a new generation of competitors and enthusiasts, and with this acquisition we will build on our current momentum and create more opportunities for our players and fans."
Bowlero operates more than 300 locations, across the US, Mexico and Canada and its portfolio contains brands including Bowlero, Bowlmor Lanes, AMF Bowling Co and Brunswick Zone.
The PBA is an organisation of more than 3,000 members from 30 countries who compete in a multi-level competition programme each year.