NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Millennials seeking cool, new experiences are trying -- believe it or not -- bowling. And that's why Bowlmor AMF is on a roll, said the company's CEO Tom Shannon.
"We've made centers in cool, industrial chic spaces that are highly appealing to millennials," said Shannon. "The response so far has been terrific."
Privately held Bowlmor AMF is the largest recreational bowling company in the world. The company acquired Brunswick Lanes last year, going "all-in" to invest in the industry and reinvent the sport by modernizing it to suit the times. The company's strategy has been to convert traditional bowling centers into trendy, upscale bowling concepts that serve as entertainment destinations, especially designed to lure millennials.
Shannon said his converted bowling centers have shown a 100% average sales increase after becoming either Bowlmors or Bowleros. He added that Bowlmor AMF plans to convert 80 of its traditional bowling properties to new concepts by 2020, including the brand's first upscale conversion in New Jersey, set to open later this month.
Bowlmor AMF's fiscal 2015 revenue was $550 million, a 42% increase over 2014, and Shannon said he expects further double-digit growth. Shannon said the company expects to lay out $60 million in capital expenditures in 2016 to continue with its revitalization plan. He added that the company, which counts private-equity giant Cerberus Capital Management among its owners, has no immediate plans to go public.
Part of its plan is launching new advertising campaign which will hone in on the millennial market by showcasing the world's No. 1 professional bowler and viral video sensation, Jason Belmonte, who is known for his famous trick shots.
"It's going to be an iconic ad campaign because it's fresh, unique and legitimate," said Shannon, who grew the bowling chain to its present state from a single alley in New York City.
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