HAMMER AND TNBA COLLABORATE WITH SWAGGA
Respect. Style. Swagga.
Among the definitions presented for Swagga on urbandictionary.com, you’ll find that it means “how you present yourself to the world.” More specifically, it’s a particular sense of style that commands respect.
Something that members of The National Bowling Association (TNBA) can definitely relate to. The TNBA was founded in 1939 to service bowlers, and the group’s focus is on sportsmanship, fellowship, and friendship. Their commitment to these tenets is so strong, that the words are included in the TNBA’s logo.
“TNBA’s commitment to the mantra ‘Sportsmanship, Fellowship, and Friendship.’’ was first introduced on August 20, 1939 on a Sunday afternoon when our founders gathered for their organizational meeting in Detroit, Michigan,” explained Michael Boykins, TNBA President. “Historically, ABC and WIBC’s membership exclusion limited their members to ‘whites only.’ However, it was TNBA’s position to demonstrate an organization that would first include everyone, second welcome athleticism towards the sport of bowling, and finally recognize through Fellowship that we are all brothers and sisters.”
As a result of the emphasis their organization places on sportsmanship, fellowship, and friendship, its members exude a great deal of pride in their organization and their sport. This pride is what drew Hammer bowling to be a sponsor of TNBA over two years ago.
Hammer’s support of TNBA has been more than financial. Representatives from Hammer have attended all National TNBA tournament events in the last two years, providing guidance and support to the bowlers in those events.
In 2008, Hammer introduced a high performance bowling ball offered for purchase only by TNBA members, The Chalk. These balls were sold to TNBA members, and boasted the TNBA logo on the ball as well. The ball was sold at TNBA events and was advertised in the TNBA newsletter. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from each Chalk ball sold was donated to TNBA.
The Chalk was a huge success; in just two short years, over $12,000 was donated to TNBA by Hammer. The money was a great help to the organization, according to Boykins.
“While the effort was a surprise it was also a tremendous success,” said Boykins. “TNBA immediately felt the use of those funds to enhance our Youth Program was paramount. This assisted TNBA with their yearly Scholarship Awards Program and provided our youth funding towards their visits to premier developmental skills events. Finally the continued generated revenue will be used to aid our National Tournament and TNBA Week.”
The success of the Chalk led Boykins to recognize an opportunity. If the Chalk could be so successful, what would happen with a TNBA ball that was openly available to all bowlers?
Together, Jeff Ussery (Hammer Brand Manager) and Boykins set to work to develop a product and program that would help to accomplish the constitutional purpose of TNBA - to grow the sport of ten-pin bowling. Their collaboration led to a Hammer bowling ball that boasts the TNBA logo, and is available world-wide for a limited time only.
The result: the Swagga.
The Swagga is a combination of one of the most successful cores in Hammer history, the Widow core, and a recently developed coverstock that is the strongest of the summer, used on the Hammer Plague. The result of this combination is a ball that is stronger than the original blockbuster Black Widow, but with more downlane movement.
The fact that the Swagga is not a member-exclusive ball is a deliberate decision by TNBA to increase awareness of their organization.
“With the SWAGGA bowling ball being available non-exclusively (open to all bowlers), I feel we will open the door to all bowlers across the World who are not familiar with TNBA,” explained Boykins. “The question will immediately come to mind, ‘Who is TNBA?’ We are so excited knowing Hammer’s history with equipment and the fact that Hammer is respected throughout the world. Now on the SWAGGA project there stands our TNBA Logo right along side of the Hammer logo. Wow, that’s unbelievable!”
The Swagga will be available world-wide on October 5, 2010, on a limited basis, from your local pro shops. Inside each ball box, along with the standard Hammer warranty card, you will also find a TNBA membership card and a TNBA tournament schedule, all part of the effort to increase awareness of TNBA.
“The best thing that could come from the SWAGGA project would be to someday (soon) see one of Hammer’s PBA Staff members, male and/or female, on national TV bowling with the SWAGGA in hand,” said Boykins.
“There rolls the TNBA Logo across the screen for the nation to see. Secondly, knowing bowlers across the country are throwing a great piece of equipment which delivers great reaction and high scores, wouldn’t hurt either.”
Hammer will also be accumulating royalties from sales of the Swagga, and will present a check for the entire amount to TNBA at their National Awards Dinner in May in Detroit, Mich. Their expectation is to surpass the amount donated from sales of the Chalk ball.
“We’re excited to be a part of TNBA’s success,” said Ussery. “The Swagga is a great ball, and we’re going to sell a ton of them. To be able to help a worthy organization like TNBA with our products really takes our relationship to the next level. We look forward to many more years together.”
“I again want to thank Hammer Bowling, Jeff Ussery and his entire staff for all their assistance in making this project a reality,” added Boykins. “TNBA is eternally grateful for the vision and the constant open ear toward our needs and development as a partner. Our TNBA bowlers will continue to support Hammer and their work. With this effort we now open TNBA and our mantra ‘Sportsmanship, Fellowship, and Friendship,’ to every bowler across the world. Welcome aboard!”
— Hammer Bowling Balls & Bowling Equipment -Based in Hopkinsville, Kent., Ebonite International is a privately-owned company that currently services bowling centers, distributors and retail outlets both domestically and internationally. In addition to Hammer, the company’s consumer product brands include Track, Robby’s, Columbia 300, Ebonite and Powerhouse™; its commercial product brand is Ebonite Bowling Center Direct.
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