United States Bowling Congress

A Journey to Elevate a Declining Sport
Overview

USBC came to Phase 3 with what they perceived to be a PR problem; their membership numbers were declining, due in part to a small but outspoken group of bowlers who were publicly questioning the value of USBC membership. No matter how clearly USBC communicated the many benefits of membership, this vocal minority felt the $15 annual dues were unjustified and wanted everyone to know it.

Task

To start, Phase 3 flew to Dallas to spend a day with USBC leadership, touring the International Bowling Center, talking to people from every department, and taking in the amazing work USBC does to ensure a future for the sport of bowling.

From there, we arrived at an important insight: every bowler benefits from the work of USBC, regardless of whether they’re a dues-paying member. In the same way listeners don’t support NPR for the tote bag, bowlers don’t certify for the perks. They do it because they support the greater cause and bowling is part of their identity.

We saw that it was time for USBC to shine a light on those members, which is how the “Why I Certify” campaign was born. In a new messaging platform, we shifted the way we talk about members, referring to them as “certified bowlers”, to emphasize the significance of their commitment to the future of the sport. We featured bowlers of all ages and asked them to tell us why they certify. While everyone certified for a different reason, they all shared the desire to ensure a future for the sport they love.

Result

With fresh and dynamic campaign visuals and professional photography, we highlighted a diverse and multi-generational group of certified bowlers online, in-print, and in-person at bowling events across the country, showing the shared passion and vision of USBC and its members. The emotional impact of the campaign was palpable when it launched at USBC's annual conference, and members took the stage to share their “Why.” Stories continue to pour in through the campaign landing page, making this a success.

Since USBC launched its "Why I Certify" campaign through a landing page, emails, social channels, and printed materials, they were able to gain over 6 million impressions in one year.

key metrics
6.5m
Campaign Impressions Over All Channels
$.03
Cost Per Impression

Together, we can make something great.