ARLINGTON, Texas, July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- From Hollywood "A"-listers and the stars of the silver screen to pro athletes and celebrities who like to bowl for fun, the revitalization of bowling is evident across all sectors of pop culture. To pay tribute to celebrities and notable individuals who help contribute to the enduring popularity of bowling, the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) announced today its 2010 class of nine nominees for consideration into the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.
Nominees include Hollywood megastars Bill Murray (Kingpin), Jeff Bridges (Big Lebowski) and Paris Hilton, pop music artists and bowling aficionados Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, NBA athletes and recreational bowlers Chris Paul and Dwight Howard and TV personalities Jimmy Fallon and Kim Kardashian (see below for complete list of nominees with bowling-themed biographical information).
For the first time in bowling history, the industry is opening up the Hall of Fame celebrity induction process to a public vote. Beginning on July 12, consumers will be empowered to vote online at www.gobowling.com for the candidate who they would most like to see forever enshrined in bowling history. The voting process will occur throughout July with the one celebrity, the leading vote-getter, being inducted into the Celebrity Hall of Fame. The final votes will be tallied on World Record Day, August 7th, a day on which more than 3,000 centers across the United States will join forces to try to set a new world record for the most bowling games played in a 24 hour period.
"Recognizing that the popularity of bowling lay in the hands of the nearly 70 million people who bowl annually, we've decided to give the power to the people," said Steve Johnson, Executive Director of the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA). "We've assembled a line-up of celebrity nominees who have helped to make bowling the nation's number one participatory sport, from promoting our great sport in entertainment pop culture to simply showing their love for the sport."
As an added incentive to urge consumers to cast votes for their favorite stars, thousands of bowling centers across the United States are teaming together to provide a free game of bowling to everyone who casts a vote. Simply by voting at www.gobowling.com, consumers can download a coupon for a free game of bowling on World Record Day.
Added Johnson, "By offering a free game of bowling to everyone who casts a vote, thousands of bowling centers across the United States are coming together to show their gratitude to bowling lovers everywhere and the celebrities who embrace and promote our sport. This year's Celebrity Hall of Fame campaign will demonstrate both the tremendous popularity of bowling and the incredible solidarity that exists within our industry."
Added Pat Ciniello, chairman of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, "No matter how the vote goes, we know that we're going to have a tremendous addition to our Celebrity Hall of Fame. From Hollywood stars and starlets to professional athletes and celebrity notables, each of the candidates has had a significant impact in helping to keep bowling as one of the nation's most treasured past times."
Below is the complete list of the celebrity nominees:
- Justin Bieber – Teenage heart throb Justin Bieber demonstrated his love of bowling in the music video for his smash hit single "Baby" that has garnered nearly 232 million views on YouTube. Bieber also hosted a bowling-themed release party in New York City for his album "My World 2.0," where he defeated R&B star and New York radio personality Nick Cannon in a bowling showdown.
- Bill Murray – Comic genius Bill Murray starred as the memorable Ernie McCracken in the 1996 comedy "Kingpin." Since his role as the flamboyant McCracken, Murray has been a bowling icon with the popularity of his character living on through millions of Internet views.
- Jeff Bridges – Oscar award winning actor Jeff Bridges starred as "The Dude" in the 1998 critically acclaimed bowling film "The Big Lebowski." In Bridges' role he reinvented "cool" and the movie has since become a cult classic.
- Jimmy Fallon – The former Saturday Night Live star turned late night talk show host regularly conducts zany segments with celebrity guests including Grapefruit Bowling with Jennifer Anniston, Drew Barrymore's bowling ball lick and a perennial show favorite – Human Bowling.
- Taylor Swift – Since country music star Taylor Swift's rise to fame, she has been frequently spotted and photographed hitting the lanes with celebrity friends like Selena Gomez and Cory Monteith.
- Chris Paul – NBA all-star point guard Chris Paul is an avid bowler who has served as an advocate and youth ambassador for the United States Bowling Congress. Paul, who dubs bowling his "second favorite sport," regularly runs a celebrity invitational pro-am bowling tournament on the PBA tour that pairs celebrities with professional bowlers.
- Dwight Howard – A true bowling aficionado, NBA all-star center Dwight Howard frequently hosts charity bowling tournaments in Orlando and has been honored in the pages of U.S. Bowler Magazine for his support of the sport.
- Kim Kardashian – Photographs of Kim Kardashian at bowling centers and charity bowling events have graced the covers of celebrity magazines and tabloids nationwide. Kardashian also showed her skills on the lanes with sister Khloe on her hit reality show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."
- Pauley Perrette – Perrette is best known for her portrayal as the lovable and upbeat gothic forensic scientist Abby Sciuto who regularly enjoys bowling with nuns in the hit CBS series NCIS.
For more information on the Hall of Fame induction process or to cast a vote for today, visit www.gobowling.com.
Headquartered in Arlington, Texas, the 78-year-old Bowling Proprietors' Association of America is a trade association representing the business interests of bowling center owners worldwide. As the voice of the bowling industry, BPAA's mission is to enhance the profitability of its member bowling centers.
International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame
Located at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, TX, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame collects, preserves and researches bowling's history, provides a suitable home for bowling's major halls of fame, and makes the museum's information and collection available to interested parties globally for education, promotion and entertainment.
SOURCE Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA)