Bohan Is on the Ball for Ebonite

Bohan Carden & Cherry has added Ebonite, a leading bowling products manufacturer, to its client roster.

“We are happy to have found an agency with the marketing and creative experience that we need,” said Bob Reid, client vice president of marketing. “They have a real passion for our business.”

The Nashville, Tenn., agency grabbed the estimated $2-3 million account from incumbent Doe-Anderson Advertising and Public Relations of Louisville, Ky., after producing a spec creative campaign for a new high-end bowling ball.

“They had been on our radar,” said agency president David Bohan. “When they gave us the assignment, we showed an array of new thinking and approaches. Basedon that work, we were given the business.”

Some quick research, a good part of it at Nashville bowling alleys by account supervisor Steve Chandler, senior art director Kevin Hinson and creative director Kerry Oliver, turned up what Bohan called”myriad new ways to approach selling this product.”

Marketing done in support of Ebonite’s competitors, Brunswick Corp. in Lake Forest, Ill., and AMF Bowling in Richmond, Va., Bohan suggested, had a “sameness … the products generally had a name—’Monster this or that,’ which became the theme of the ad.”

BC&C’s research showed serious bowlers were more than willing to spend $250 on a state-of-the art bowling ball and buy eight or more per year. “The key is that these folk are ultra-competitive,” said Bohan. “They want to win.”

Ebonite, founded in 1905, is a privately held corporation credited with developing the modern bowling ball. Based in Hopkinsville, Ky., the company’s revenue tops out at about $80 million annually, much smaller than the highly diversified Brunswick and AMF, which owns more than 500 bowling venues around the world.

“Ebonite is not a huge advertiser,” said Bohan, “but they are rapidly expanding their business. They felt they needed the kind of attention we’re more than willing to give.”

The company’s product lines include bowling balls, bags, attire and other accessories.

Bohan’s upcoming branding and positioning efforts for the still-top-secret model will be based on the “technology behind the ball.”