Los Angeles, CA, United States (AHN Sports) – The fourth annual Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational, presented by Sheets Brand, provided enough all-new story lines to create a script that will make Hollywood proud. The unique aspects of the event will become apparent when the special two-hour telecast airs on “Super Bowl Sunday,” Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Some of the highlights: It was the first PBA event to be contested in a Lucky Strike center. Lucky Strike LA Live is part of a chain of 21 cutting-edge bowling-based entertainment facilities scattered across the U.S. and Canada. Lucky Strike LA Live features 18 bowling lanes, billiards tables, private party rooms, plasma TVs, full-service bar and an electronic arts show. It hosts corporate events and private parties from birthdays to bachelorette parties, along with catering to everyday recreational enthusiasts.
The Los Angeles facility, which is located across from the Staples Center where Paul’s Los Angeles Clippers play, hosts the ultimate nightlife experience in its Luxe Lounge, a four-lane private suite featuring high-definition projection screens that span the pins and also boasts a theatre-quality surround sound system.
The Chris Paul Celebrity Invitational is the second time the PBA has used an upscale “boutique” bowling center as host for a special event. In the summer of 2011, the PBA visited 10pin bowling lounge in downtown Chicago as host for its GEICO Team Shootout, a summer series of made-for-television singles, doubles and team competitions pitting bowling ball companies against each other.
Paul, who joined the L.A. Clippers at the start of the 2011-12 season, has made a lot of friends during his brief stay in Los Angeles, and several of them joined the special fundraiser benefitting the CP3 Foundation.
Among the celebrity bowlers were former Southern Cal and current Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, L.A. Clippers teammate and NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin, former New York Giants star defensive end and current Fox NFL analyst Michael Strahan, actors Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy) and Jerry Ferrara (Entourage), comedian Kevin Hart and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Ciara. Comedian and “The Price is Right” host Drew Carey also was in attendance. “Mindless Behavior,” one of the hottest groups on the contemporary music scene, provided the musical entertainment.
The Chris Paul Invitational also introduced Sheets Brand in a key sponsorship role. Sheets Brand is “the new way to do energy,” using sugar-free, no-calorie energy strips loaded with vitamin B. For the third year, Storm Bowling Products also was a major sponsor, sending staff players Pete Weber, Wes Malott, Ryan Shafer and defending champion Jason Belmonte (with partner Chris Paul) to partner with the celebrity bowlers.
From a social media exposure standpoint, the celebrity guests combined reach in excess of 10 million followers through their Twitter accounts, and those numbers are magnified to close to 40 million through their Facebook pages. That doesn’t include standard newspaper, magazine, bowling publication, website and radio/television exposures.
The 2012 version of the Chris Paul Celebrity Invitational featured a format change from its previous doubles competition to a new three-player Baker Team format, with a PBA star anchoring each team. All proceeds from the event benefit Chris Paul’s charitable causes.
The CP3 Foundation, founded in 2005 as a tribute to his late grandfather and the Winston-Salem, N.C., community where Paul grew up, has provided funding for activities ranging from a scholarship program to food drives to recreational support programs for underprivileged children.