About Longmarch Bowling
Longmarch Bowling is
a bowling ball manufacturer
a bowling center proprietor
a provider of New Center Packages and worldwide installation service
a bowling promoter
Founder of Longmarch Bowling was Frank Zhao. His bowling career began in 1994 as a translator for American bowling technicians doing installation work in south China. During the period of China bowling boom in the 90's , Frank led his installation crews and contracted hundreds of bowling center installation jobs from companies such as American Bowling, Brunswick, AMF, DBA, etc,
(Frank's Crew Building Wooden Lanes in 1996)
In 2000, China bowling market was declining sharply, Frank went on an MBA program offered by Napier University from Scotland and he graduated in 2002.
Frank Zhao (right) with John Topping, a teacher on the MBA program, later became friend and business partner of Frank Zhao. Picture taken in 2005.)
In 2003, Frank Zhao founded Longmarch Bowling in Shanghai. At the time there were lots of bowling centers closing in China. Longmarch bought used equipment in China then sold refurbished to international markets. Longmarch also sent its crews to install the equipment in many countries such as Australia, Germany, Korea, Syria, Bulgaria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.
(Longmarch Installed Strike Bowling Bars in Australia in 2004)
In 2006, Longmarch started to make bowling balls. Longmarch today is one of the major bowling ball manufacturers in the world, producing a complete line of bowling balls from house balls, clear balls, to performance balls with designed cores and surfaces.
In 2009, Longmarch built the first of its own bowling centers, a 24-lane in Shanghai. This center has hosted many important events ever since and is still in operation today.
Longmarch invested two more bowling centers, including one in Chengdu which was closed after four years' operation, and one on the famous Shanghai Bund called Bund Bowl. Bund Bowl was boutique type, consisted of bowling, restaurant and a bar. It opened in 2016 and its unique concept soon attracted many people especially expats living in Shanghai and many world famous companies for their corporate events. But unfortunately this center had to close in 2020 due to the lockdown for the Covid-19.
Longmarch is committed to developing bowling in China. With its success and failure as a bowling center proprietor and operator, Longmarch has now gained better understanding of the bowling center business. Such experience has enabled Longmarch to serve its customers better today.
Longmarch has spared no efforts to grow the sport of bowling, here are a few examples:
- In 2012, Jerry Norris, a USBC silver level coach, was invited by Longmarch to coach in China for three months.
- In 2013, Longmarch invited Walter Ray Williams Jr. to visit China the first time then in 2016 the second visit.
- In 2014, with the support from PBA (Professional Bowlers Association), Longmarch set up a special program called 'Pioneers League' through which bowlers bowl for qualifications to be members of PBA. Since its first edition in January 2014, 13 editions have been held and over 100 bowlers got qualified to become PBA members, including bowlers from mainland China, as well as some from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippine.
- In 2019, Longmarch brought the first ever PBA event to China.