When Bill O’Neill signed with Ebonite International in May of 2009 it was with the goal of building a relationship that could span his entire career. In a continuation of that relationship, O’Neill has signed a three-year contract extension with EBI, FloBowling has learned exclusively.
A nine-time champion on the PBA Tour, O’Neill is the face of EBI’s Hammer brand. His new contract with EBI will keep him with the company through the end of 2021. He will continue to be able to throw all four EBI brands - Hammer, Track, Columbia 300 and Ebonite.
“One of my main goals when I started on tour was to sign with a company and make that my home for my career,” O’Neill said. “I look at guys like Jason Couch or Parker Bohn III as examples of what it did for their career. I’m glad to continue to do that with EBI for three more years.”
O’Neill, 37, was the PBA Rookie of the Year during the 2005-06 season and won his ninth career title earlier this year at the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship with Jason Belmonte.
The win with Belmonte was O’Neill’s third PBA Tour title that came in a doubles event, the other two coming with Shannon O’Keefe in the PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles in 2015 and 2016.
O’Neill also has six singles titles, including the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open, the biggest win of his career.
The three-year deal with EBI is the longest deal O’Neill has signed with the company. Previously, his deals were two-year or one-year deals.
“It shows that there’s a commitment and that they believe in me, so that’s great,” O’Neill said. “You don’t want to have to renegotiate all the time, so it’s nice to know that you have a place. They’ve been tremendous to me, and I wanted to be able to extend that to them, too.”
O’Neill signing is the second major deal for Ebonite during what is traditionally the time of year bowling ball companies are re-signing or signing new players to contracts. Dom Barrett recently signed a three-year contract extension with EBI, under the Track brand, as well.