Bowling ball is a sporting equipment used in the bowling sport to hit bowling pins. Coverstock and weight block are the two main parts of a bowling ball. Coverstock, which is the outer shell of the ball, is considered the most influential part of the ball, as it gets in contact with the lane surface. On the other hand, weight block is the core part of the bowling ball that determines how the ball will perform in terms of acceleration, rotation and curvature. Raw materials used to manufacture bowling balls are polyester, urethane, and reactive resin. The history of bowling balls dates to the ancient Egyptian protodynastic period in 3200 BC, where husk of grains, covered in leather and bound with strings, were used as bowling balls.
Adoption of innovation is expected to drive the bowling ball market. Leading manufacturers of bowling balls have been innovating their products to garner higher market share since the last few years. Growth in the global millennial population (age 20–35 years) is also a key factor driving the bowling ball market. There has been an increase in disposable income, acceptance of western culture, rising demand for different forms of entertainment, and growing urban youth population in Asia Pacific. These factors are anticipated to augment the global bowling ball market. However, the industry requires high initial investments. This leads to difficulties in creating brand equity and providing cutting-edge technology. Local players find it difficult to meet these requirements. Such local players are acquired by larger companies. However, the ability to spread fixed cost over an increasing revenue base can be considered an opportunity. Expansion in regions where the concentration of the bowling ball market is low can prove to be a good opportunity. The Middle East is likely to offer lucrative opportunities to the bowling balls market.
Technological innovation is one of the key trends in the bowling ball market. Storm Bowling, a leading manufacturer of bowling balls, introduced an innovative core and coverstock technology. Fast reviving shape and supercharged velocity core helps the ball to avoid undesirable last second movement. Storm Bowling created TX-16 (Traction-X 2016) technology that is considered the finest coverstock on the planet. Kingpin Max, a product innovation of Brunswick Bowling, uses a new innovation in outer core technology called DynamicCore. This creates more durable outer materials that yield less compression upon impact, thereby increasing the hitting power by 12%. Large companies such as AMF Bowling and Brunswick Bowling are acquiring various local bowing centers, thereby creating monopoly in the market. Once monopoly is created, companies cut down on services and raise prices. This leads to higher profits, but downgrades brand equity.
The global bowling ball market can be segmented based on product type, application, and geography. In terms of product type, the bowling ball market can bifurcated into coverstock and weight block. There are four sub-types of coverstock: polyester, urethane, reactive resin, and particle (proactive). The weight block can be divided into symmetrical, asymmetrical, and pan cake or high mass. Polyester bowling balls are the entry level variants owing to their low price, durability, and smooth finish. Bowling balls made of urethane are easy to control because of higher hook potential. They are durable with better pin action. Reactive resin bowling balls provide higher hook potential with more fiction and better pin action. Proactive bowling balls are primarily for professionals which have rough surface to create most friction. Bowling balls with symmetrical cores have low flare potential that results in less hook. These type of balls are beneficial for those who bowl on drier lanes. On the other hand, bowling balls with asymmetrical core have greater weight distribution. Such balls react faster to friction at breakpoints, increasing the hook. Based on application, the global bowling ball market can be segregated into public clubs, private sports clubs, leisure places, and others. In terms of geography, the global bowling ball market can be split into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America.
Prominent players operating in the bowling ball market include Brunswick Bowling (U.S.A.), Murrey International, Inc. (U.S.A.), Storm Products, Inc. (U.S.A.), Qubica Holdings S.r.l. (Italy), Ebonite International (U.S.A.), Business Design Express, LLC (U.S.A.), U.S. Bowling Corporation (U.S.A.), Champion Sports (U.S.A.), and Radical Bowling Technologies (U.S.A.).
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