Mike Jakubowski’s chair is directly behind the biggest pillar in Red Rock Lanes at Red Rock Resort. But he has the best view in the house.
As director of cross-marketing and a multimedia specialist for the Professional Bowlers Association, Jakubowski will help bowling fans keep on top of the action at his sport’s biggest-ever event, which started Monday and will run through Saturday at Red Rock Lanes.
With bank of video monitors and computer screens on a table near the pillar, Jakubowski and his team can control what is broadcast to thousands of fans who log onto their computers to see live action.
Jakubowski, who has the unique distinction of having bowled a perfect 300 game and having called two of them during telecasts, is mashing up the old-school side of the sport with the newest technology. PBA.com offers fans live action and constantly updated scoring, online chats and an on-demand video library of past tournaments.
The website’s premium service is called Xtra Frame, and it’s the official streaming video site for the PBA. Fans can pay $64.99 for a year or $7.99 for a month of access. With XTra Frame, fans can see top matchups during the Tournament of Champions, watch live scoring updates of all 175 entrants and ask questions or chat live with Jakubowski or other commentators.
The tournament is the sport’s richest ever, with a total purse of $1 million and a top prize of $250,000. The finals will be telecast live for the first time in 14 years at 11:30 a.m. PST Saturday on ABC, locally on KTNV-TV, Channel 13. The PBA.com crew on PBA 39×60, a special feature of Xtra Frame, will handle the pre- and postmatch programming, Jakubowski said. The program’s title comes from the measurements of a bowling lane, which is 39 boards wide and 60 feet long.
Jakubowski also updates the PBA’s Facebook page at facebook.com/professionalbowlersassociation. Fans of the site have the opportunity to answer trivia questions and win prizes every Wednesday as part of the PBA Winning Wednesday feature.
PBA.com also has plenty of free information. There are photos, tips, results and archives along with an occasional free test-drive of the full paid version. Check it out in your spare time.
Mike Jakubowsk, seated, center, at the controls of PBA.com live webcast of action from Red Rock Lanes. Also at the table are Jason Thomas, left, producer, and Jeff Mark, right. Mark is known on PBA.com as "The Bowling Doctor," and also provides commentary during programs. (Al Gibes photo)