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Striking the mark

Twenty five years after the UK’s ten-pin bowling invasion from the US, the industry found itself lacking a clear, positive positioning amongst increased competition from other, more favourably perceived leisure activities.

At RLA, our first and most important role was to reposition and reignite the brand. We needed to make bowling fun and exciting again and expel the damage done by less credible USA chains flooding the market. In addition, the indoor, dimly-lit world of bowling did not sit favourably with fresh-aired, healthier outdoor pursuits.

Hence, we tackled this matter head on. Whilst we’d be the first to admit that on warm, summer days bowling would not be our first choice, for the other 300 days of the year in the UK, it’s a sanctuary out of the cool temperatures and damp for family fun. Yes, welcome to our new strategic positioning – THE GREAT INDOORS, where warmth, music, refreshments and friendly family competition awaits you.

This new, fresh platform spoke in a confident tone, reassuring consumers that indoor bowling is a great choice of leisure fun – for all the family.

  • Bowlplex image
  • Positioning image

Positioning

Once the positioning was agreed and rolled out throughout the estate, the immediate job was to translate it across a range of media driving footfall into the centres. This was done with a wide range of price-led and event-led promotions, keeping the centres full wherever they had spare capacity.

We also got involved tactically, from launching local centres, such as Cardiff, to creating special town-centre engagement weekends to reverse the fortunes of underperforming local centres.

GETTING ACTIVE

Our most recent work involved supporting the roll-out of SEGA Active Zones within Bowlplex, which featured all the latest arcade thrills and excitement and added a further reason to visit, and drive footfall. This was communicated via advertising, eCRM and POS services, using the hit character ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’.

Our relationship with Bowlplex now goes back 7 years and Bowlplex is the leading ten-pin bowling brand, with 20 large entertainment centres across the UK.

If you want noticeable marketing to support your leisure services, lets just say you’ll be bowled over with our thinking.

Ten-pin bowling reached UK shores in 1960, the first centre being opened by Sir Henry Cooper
Helping build the UKs largest bowling chain| RLA