Have you heard of the Archery Trade Association’s outreach and education team? Whether you have or not, this important team reaches beyond our industry to do vital archery and bowhunting work on behalf of ATA members. This not-so-secret team of motivated individuals makes our sports relevant, purposeful and meaningful in society and culture.
How? The team’s five pros help connect the dots between recruitment, retention and reactivation efforts nationwide. They also work with private and public programs and partnerships to promote awareness and education about archery and bowhunting across the United States.
“Our team tries to extend ATA’s reach in proactive and purposeful ways,” said Emily Beach, ATA’s senior director of education and outreach. “We provide educational tools to ATA members and partners who work with archery and bowhunting’s newcomers. We try to help them boost participation and equipment sales, and fulfill service needs.”
Emily Beach, ATA’s senior director of education and outreach, manages the ATA’s five-member outreach and education team, and oversees the ATA’s initiatives to grow archery and bowhunting, and make them relevant, purposeful and meaningful in society and culture. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo
Beach said it’s important to boost participation, but that requires a two-pronged effort: First, retailers must be prepared to handle more participants. Second, manufacturers must create products designed for emerging markets, which means more youths and women, and more group-based equipment for lessons and classes.
Beach’s outreach team helps ATA members and the industry in two vital ways:
1. It creates programs, tools and resources through the Retail Growth Initiative to help make ATA members significant and competitive in their markets.
2. It also creates programs and strategic partnerships that boost archery and bowhunting participation.
Who are the people, programs and partnerships that are building a grassroots base in communities to make archery and bowhunting mainstream sports? It all starts with Beach, who manages the following initiatives and team members, and oversees their outreach and education efforts.
Archery Academies and Partnerships
Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s director of archery and bowhunting programs, manages the ATA’s Archery Academy and partnerships, including partnerships with USA Archery, the National Field Archery Association, Isaak Walton League of America, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other private and public groups. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo
Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s director of archery and bowhunting programs, manages the ATA’s Archery Academy and partnerships. The Academy is a one-stop shop for programming and certification. Mazur teaches these workshops, and helps certify participants as Level 1 or Level 2 instructors, as recognized by USA Archery, NFAA and ASA. She also teaches them how to build and implement archery programs throughout the United States.
Strategic partnerships help the ATA work with organizations to extend the industry’s reach, and create more archers and bowhunters. Mazur develops and maintains these partnerships by working with USA Archery, the National Field Archery Association, Isaak Walton League of America, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other private and public groups.
To learn more, contact Mazur.
Retail Growth Initiative, Archery Equipment Development Program, and Archery Park Guide
Nicole Nash, ATA’s member outreach manager, introduces the ATA’s Retail Growth Initiative to retailers, manages product testing for the ATA’s Archery Equipment Development Program, and helps communities build and operate archery parks by following the ATA’s Archery Park Guide. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo
Nicole Nash, ATA’s member outreach manager, introduces the ATA’s Retail Growth Initiative to retailers. This retailer-driven program provides multiple resources and techniques to help retailers grow and expand their customer base. Nash also manages product testing for the ATA’s Archery Equipment Development Program. This program benefits retailers and manufacturers by testing new equipment objectively. It also identifies reliable products retailers can provide archery’s newest customers.
Nash helps communities build and operate archery parks by following the ATA’s Archery Park Guide. The guide was written for park-and-rec agencies eager to build archery parks in their communities. ATA members have access to reliable, time-tested blueprints that offer everything from site plans and recommendations to tips and endorsements from city and state officials who built ATA-designed parks.
To learn more, contact Nash.
Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing Programs
Katie Haymes, ATA’s senior manager of education programs, helps develop, implement and evaluate programs like Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing. She also helped develop the ATA’s Archery Safety Brochure, and works with ATA’s director of government relations to encourage state agencies to adopt “R3” programs. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo
Katie Haymes, ATA’s senior manager of education programs, helps develop, implement and evaluate programs like Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing. These ATA programs help instructors, educators and program leaders teach youths basic archery, bowhunting and bowfishing skills to boost participation in these fun sports.
Haymes often works with Dan Forster – ATA’s director of government relations and a former director of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources – to encourage state agencies to adopt strong “R3” programs. Recruitment, retention and reactivation efforts often include Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing. Haymes and Forster work with the ATA’s agency partners to offer these programs in schools and community-based programs.
Haymes also developed the ATA’s Archery Safety Brochure, which strives to make our sport safe in all venues. It outlines instructor certification, a key factor in keeping archery safe for participants. The brochure also helps schools, agencies, communities, organizations and anyone interested in teaching archery understand that archery is a safe and acceptable activity. It includes a comparison of archery’s low injury rates to those of football, baseball, soccer and other sports, showing that archery is one of the nation’s safest recreations.
To learn more about these programs, please contact Josh Gold.
Retail Growth Initiative
Kurt Smith, senior manager of retail programs, manages the ATA’s Retail Growth Initiative. He helps members assess their shop’s needs, and develops a customized plan based on business needs. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo
Kurt Smith, senior manager of retail programs, is the newest member of ATA’s outreach and education team. Smith manages the ATA’s Retail Growth Initiative. Smith helps members assess their shop’s needs, and develops a customized plan based on business needs, such as budgets and markets to increase foot traffic, range profits, equipment sales and website traffic. This free membership benefit helps retailers boost recreational archery in their communities.
Smith recommends ATA-member services like ATA ePRO, a comprehensive software package that helps retailers improve customer service, track work orders, integrate all shop operations, and increase archery-range profits. He also works with Footsteps Marketing, a team devoted to creating fully functional archery websites that drive new customers to retailers’ doors and make their businesses more credible.
Contact Smith at email@example.com to learn more about RGI and other ATA-member services.
Even with all these ATA professionals and programs working to grow participation, many challenges remain. “Outreach and education programs take time to generate results,” Beach said. “In essence, they’re trying to change people’s values and lifestyles. That takes time and patience.”
Beach said that’s particularly true for bowhunter recruitment. That’s why ATA’s outreach team also focuses so much time, energy and resources on recreational archery. The goal is to build an archery base that expands by opening doors to bowhunting, bowfishing, backyard recreation and competitive target archery.
Learn how these programs boost your bottom line.
Contact Emily Beach with questions and concerns about any outreach and education efforts described in this article.