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Record Setting Match: Ewa Mataya Laurance and Brunswick Billiards Team Up for 25 Years!
Among the exciting events taking place during this year’s BCA Trade Expo, none was more exciting to one Hall of Fame player than her sponsor’s agreement to re-sign the veteran champion to a multi-year agreement. That will make Ewa Mataya Laurance a Brunswick Billiards pro player representative for a whopping 25 years, a record relationship that won’t be broken any time soon!
“It’s meant the world to me, being able to be connected to a company and product I believe in,” said Ewa on learning of the announcement. “I have always tried to represent Brunswick well and they have also been very good to me. I have been together with this company long enough to feel like we’re family.”
According to Brunswick Billiards president Austin Rothbard, “Ewa is a wealth of knowledge in regards to how the sport is played, as well as understanding design elements and testing new products. Her level of professionalism is very aligned with Brunswick.”
Brunswick Billiards, now celebrating its 165th anniversary as one of the oldest companies in our industry, has embarked on a campaign that reflects the reality of the historic pool table manufacturer: connecting generations. “Ewa embodies our vision and values in this regard,” explained Rothbard. “She’s as comfortable playing with and introducing youngsters to the game as she is entertaining with celebrities or competing against professional peers. Her presence as a Brunswick representative therefore allows us to better connect with all facets of our sport, from people playing in their homes, to casual players in the billiard clubs, to the sport’s top professionals, setting an example as a pro athlete.”
Ewa Mataya Laurance first became a Brunswick player representative in 1988, under the reign of then president, James Bakula. The sponsorship was a godsend for the young player from Sweden, who was trying to manage the rigors of a pro career in a not-so-lucrative sport, while raising her daughter Nikki, then just four years old. “When I first started, the industry was not in great shape,” admitted Ewa. “Brunswick still believed in, and supported the game, by sponsoring both men’s and women’s pro events. Besides playing on the then struggling tour, I did a lot of Brunswick dealer appearances.
“As the game enjoyed an upswing with the general public over the next several years, my role as Brunswick’s spokesperson became mostly about performing at openings of poolrooms. In the early to mid nineties, a Brunswick room opened every few weeks somewhere in the country. It was amazing! As the game’s popularity grew, I also started to do a lot of corporate events, TV appearances and print media, largely on Brunswick’s behalf.”
Indeed, through a career with Brunswick that now officially spans a remarkable four decades (80s, 90s, 00s and 10s), Ewa made sure that Brunswick tables were featured in hundreds of high exposure events in outside the billiards industry, from the Game Show Network (GSN) show, Ballbreakers, to a No Nonsense Panty Hose commercial, to exhibitions at the Women’s Sports Foundation banquets, along with dozens of golf celebrity events, a sprinkling of national infomercials, several NBA half-time shows, and many more corporate meetings and trade shows.
Within the sport, she connected the pool table manufacturer with international events (Brunswick Munich Masters, Sweden’s Challenge Cup and the World 9-Ball Championships, to name a few) as well as solidified their relationship with the women’s pro billiard tour. “Being able to assist with bringing the WPBA and Brunswick together for most of the past 23 years - both of whom are so close to my heart - has also been great,” said Ewa. “I think that’s an important part of being a player representative in our sport; to always try to bring quality media, PR and marketing opportunities to your sponsor when you get the chance.”
Since those early days as a struggling player, Ewa has become a force to be reckoned with in the industry. A multi-term WPBA president, board member and member of the Billiard Education Foundation board of trustees, she is also an ESPN commentator; author of three pool instruction books; producer of several Brunswick pool DVDs and most recently Facebook instructional videos; and of course a regular instructional columnist for P&B. That, combined with national, international and world titles in a variety of disciplines including 14.1, 8-Ball, 9-Ball and even a world trick shot title, made Ewa Mataya Laurance one of the most versatile commodities our sport has ever produced, and both the Billiard Congress of America and the Women’s Professional Billiard Association bestowed on her the highest honor a player can achieve, induction into each organization’s Hall of Fame.
While terms of the multi-year deal with Brunswick have not yet been revealed, it’s evident that both Brunswick and Ewa will continue to working to evolve their relationship. “We have both realized the importance of being willing to change with the times, good or bad,” says Ewa.
Austin Rothbard agrees: “We’re still working through the details, but expect that as the components of our marketing change to become more aligned with today’s interactive and social media outlets, Ewa will play a key role in our efforts to continue connecting generations in pool.”
Congratulations to Ewa and Brunswick on their record-setting match! For more info on Brunswick Billiards, visit brunswickbilliards.com; for more on Ewa Mataya Laurance, visit strikingviking.com.
Stauch, Shari. “Record Setting Match: Ewa Mataya Laurance and Brunswick Billiards Team Up for 25 Years!” Pool & Billiard Magazine August 2010: 34–35.