History of Columbia 300
The first major innovation in the manufacturing of bowling balls occurred in 1960 when Columbia Industries Inc. successfully utilized polyester resin for manufacturing the Columbia 300 bowling ball. At that time Columbia was a fledgling corporation headquartered in Ephrata, Washington, near the famed Columbia River. Its production capacity was about 40 balls per day. The company has come a long way in the intervening years. Columbia 300, Inc. is now located in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio is the base operation. It is one of the few industries located in the San Antonio area involved with this nation's leading past-time - that of leisure sports, and bowling is America's Number One participation sport.
One of the factors contributing to the success of the company was the eye catching colors and designs which go along with using the pearlized bright-colored polyester materials. The sheer beauty of the product makes it instantly acceptable. However, Columbia realizes no bowler will sacrifice one single pin off his score for the prestige of owning a beautiful ball.
As bowling balls are the exclusive product of Columbia, all research and development goes into the improvement of the striking sphere. Therefore, the company has gone all out for researching the physical properties which make for what the bowling fraternity calls "impact" and "mixing" of the pins. More recently such terms as radius of gyration, coefficient of restitution and amount of flare are factored into the manufacturing process. Research into every aspect of making a better ball for the bowler goes on every day at Columbia.
Columbia sells both polyester and polyurethane bowling balls with distribution in all 50 states and about 30 countries overseas.
In 1990 Columbia 300 entered the accessory business, introducing a line of bowling bags developed with the bowler's needs in mind. Today, Columbia is known as the leader in bag design and sales all over the world.
To further enhance accessory sales, Columbia acquired ProGrip in April 1995. ProGrip was the accessory division of a bowling chemical company with a very good reputation for quality, so it seemed a natural marriage for Columbia, as the distribution channels were already in place. Staff was added and ideas have been pouring in for future additions to the ProGrip line.
Domestically, Columbia 300 products are marketed through distributors and pro shops. Internationally, Columbia 300 products are perceived as the quality and performance leaders. The products are sold through distributors, including exclusive distributorships in the key market areas of the Pacific Rim. In addition to the Columbia label, private label balls are also manufactured for various national and international customers.