by JEFF RICHGELS – | Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2024 3:00 pm

When Amos Barshad first called me last year, I was intrigued but didn’t get my hopes up: He didn’t know bowling but was aiming to write a deep dive into the business of Bowlero Corp.

The more we talked the more I realized that Barshad was a journalist I’d be happy to work with at my newspaper job or He asked all the right questions to understand bowling stuff, which isn’t simple stuff for a non-bowler, and he clearly was on the right track with the overall story.

When I got the final result this week and read it I could not have been more impressed.

Barshad told me he was writing it for, where it’s posted as Meet The New Kingpin.

But I saw many people sharing it posted at where it’s under the catchier Private Equity–Backed Firm Bowlero Is Ruining Bowling.

It’s similar to the story I’ve long had designs on doing but haven’t been able to carve out the time for, with my focus more on how the company’s business impacts the sport.

Barshad included some interesting material from financial journalist Herb Greenberg and Katherine Spurlock, a Louisiana-based research analyst and former short seller. He also took a well-deserved shot at CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who has conducted multiple fawning interviews with Bowlero CEO Tom Shannon.

And — shocker! — Bowlero didn’t respond to his requests for comment.

I was happy to see that Robin Goldberg, proprietor at Madison’s Dream Lanes, did peak with Barshad and gave him the same answers he has given me.  

He used a couple of quotes from my writing and from my talking with me, including one I’ve used in varying forms over the years: “The tragedy of Bowlero is that they’re the biggest and most important company in bowling and they care nothing about the sport.” 

The context of that is nothing about the sport that doesn’t make them money, like the PBA.

I’d also add that the tragedy includes how much potential good they could do for bowling if they cared for anything beyond the bottom line.

But they don’t … which should be the point of any serious story about the business of Bowlero Corp.

Barshad nailed that.

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