This Could Be An Uplifting Experience For PWBA Sponsorship

by Dave Williams

After writing last week’s column about finding a sponsor for the regional women’s tournaments, I decided to take a look at possible candidates in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, where the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) still appears to be housed and under the auspices of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA) umbrella. The number of Fortune 1000 companies in the area is quite impressive, with a total of forty-five organizations listed by

A couple of the really big firms are Exxon Mobil (#6) and AT&T (#13). But the one that really got my attention was American Airlines (#114). I’ll tell you why in a moment, but first I’d like to share a story with you about a recent experience I had that could provide the impetus for a sponsorship program with the PWBA. It all began innocently enough while preparing my weekly story which I distribute to bowling publishers every Sunday morning.

The Cell Phone Conundrum

While wrapping up the story and preparing final edits, I noticed that my cell phone was in need of a charge. I went to the kitchen counter and plugged in the charger and then inserted the connector to my cell phone. I did not hear the customary click noise that accompanies this motion, so I unplugged the phone and inserted the connector once again. This time there was nothing — the phone was a total blackout.

Although there is a telephone manufacturer in the mall close to my home, I knew that it might take a day to secure an appointment, so I decided to visit a local phone store in my block to see if they might be able to help me with the device. The store representative indicated that the phone was five years old, and typically they only last about five years. This would make sense because my first purchase of a cell phone was in 2007, and this would make my fourth phone purchase.

I decided to go ahead and purchase a new phone that was on sale, so that I would be able to coordinate my photos and other downloads with the article the next day. Everything was fine up until this point, as the representative began the process of transferring the information on my existing phone to the new version. The retailer was able to transfer the phone number and some of my recent calls made, but that was about it. The representative said that I would have to take the old phone to the telephone manufacturer in order to retrieve the other information.

The store representative also informed me that the initial month for the new phone service would be approximately twice what I had been paying, but after that it would revert to what I had been paying, or possibly less. I asked about an invoice explaining all of this and I was told  that it would all be explained in my next statement. This all sounded suspicious to me, and I kept thinking to myself, “If it sounds too good to be true… you know the rest!”

Shannon O’Keefe – Photo provided by PWBA

Later that weekend I made an appointment with the phone manufacturer. I looked on line for what might be the problem with my old phone, and discovered that it could be lint that had lodged in the plug-in position. That indeed was the problem and the area was cleared. The agent said that the phone would take quite awhile to recharge, so I was to take it home and charge it overnight and then return to the phone store.

Back and forth this process went for a couple of visits. I won’t bore you with all the details. Eventually I was able to retrieve all of the photos on my phone that I had not previously downloaded to my home computer, and somehow I was able to add my email address and saved messages to the new phone. Don’t ask me how!

Danielle McEwan – Photo provided by PWBA

My impression from this experience was that both parties were very interested in selling me a  new phone, but beyond that I was on my own. This got me thinking about what an opportunity the PWBA tour might be to provide image advertising for a cell phone manufacturer or carrier. Picture the commercial as we fade in, with Danielle McEwan and Shannon O’Keefe comparing their cell phones. Danielle comments to Shannon, “I was having trouble figuring out all of the new functions of my phone, until I discovered that they provide classes to help explore all that can be done.”

Birgit Noreiks – Photo provided by PWBA

Here’s another possible scenario: “Leading money winner on the PWBA Tour this year, Brigit Noreiks of Rendsburg, Germany, relies on her cell phone to keep in touch with everyone at home.” Another example might be her sharing a video with friends and relatives in Germany. Whatever the result, it would be safe to say that there’s a need for more communication (no pun intended) between telephone customers and providers.

The American Airlines Connection

Leila Wagner – Photo provided by Dave Williams

While all of the above provides an interesting opportunity to partner with the PWBA, it was American Airlines that really came to the fore in my mind when I remembered a pro bowling  representative that had it all… she had the charm, the determination and the good looks to go  with a phenomenal bowling career; and an equally legendary career as color analyst alongside Denny Schreiner on television broadcasts. Her name is Leila Wagner, who in her spare time was also a stewardess for American Airlines!   

Can you imagine all of the possibilities? Here’s one feasible storyline: “Hi, I’m Leila Wagner, former pro bowler and color analyst for ESPN. Whenever I had to make a choice of what airline to use while traveling to the next stop on the PWBA tour, I always chose American Airlines. I liked the airline so much that I even went to work for them!”

Stock analysts are predicting robust air travel for this holiday season and all of 2023, in spite of the surge in fuel prices and inflation. The demand for travel could be based upon pent-up demand for leisure trips that dropped sharply during the COVID years. Whatever the reason, there appears to be enough interest to spawn an advertising campaign for travel. Why not use the PWBA, and Leila Wagner… and not just for regional sponsorship, but for all PWBA events. 

To be continued?