Welcome 2 Bowling program returns Terry Bigham October 3, 2012 ARLINGTON, Texas – The Welcome 2 Bowling program, a collaborative effort by the United States Bowling Congress and the leading brands in the bowling industry to engage first-time league bowlers, returns for the 2012-13 season with more to offer those new to the sport.“We surveyed last season’s program participants and more than 85% said they planned to return this season,” said Kevin Terry, USBC Chief Revenue Officer. “Each year we have about 300,000 adult bowlers join a league for the first time; in previous years, more than half decided not to return. We needed a way to engage new bowlers and we believe the Welcome 2 Bowling program is accomplishing this.”The Welcome 2 Bowling program, which started in the 2011-12 season, has two components: • Program partners Brunswick, Ebonite, Storm and 900 Global each offer a ball for the promotional price of $59.95, an incredible value for a mid-performance bowling ball. • A coaching lesson from a USBC certified coach.For the 2012-13 season, the coaching component had been upgraded to a free, 30-minute lesson. Bowlers also will be able to go online for video tips from the top coaches in the game.The first-year bowlers will be mailed an activation code along with their membership cards. They can then go to BOWL.com/Welcome and use the activation code to select their bowling ball.Veteran league bowlers, and those in the industry such as pro shop operators and center managers, understand the importance of proper-fitting equipment and coaching. They should encourage new league bowlers to take advantage of the Welcome 2 Bowling program because retaining bowlers not only will strengthen their league, but also the sport.“Anyone who plays a new sport needs to see improvement in their game; otherwise, they tend to move on to something else,” Terry said. “By providing some coaching and the proper equipment, we believe the new bowlers not only will feel more comfortable on the lanes, but will begin to develop their game and are more likely to stay involved.”The survey also showed nearly 50% of the bowlers who participated in the program last season purchased additional equipment – bags and shoes were the main items – from the pro shops, thus generating new customers for the pro shops, bowling manufactures and bowling centers.The Welcome 2 Bowling program once again will be offered exclusively to 2012-13 season USBC members who have not been members the last three years.Go to BOWL.com/Welcome to learn more about the program.