January 9-11, 2020
The Archery Trade Association is the organization for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery and bowhunting industry. The ATA has served its members since 1953. It is dedicated to making the industry profitable by decreasing business overhead, reducing taxes and government regulation, and increasing participation in archery and bowhunting. The organization also owns and operates the ATA Trade Show, the archery and bowhunting industry's largest and longest-running trade show worldwide.
In December 2001, the Board put the Save Our Heritage grant program on hold to evaluate its effectiveness. McAninch also convened an industry-wide Summit meeting in Minneapolis to develop a long-term strategic plan to grow archery and bowhunting. Every major company in the industry attended this historic meeting. Soon after, the Board adopted the plan and McAninch began hiring staff and implementing the strategy, which is widely viewed as the foundation for the archery industry’s future. A key part of the plan is the annual ATA Archery and Bowhunting Summit meeting, which chronicles the progress of the archery industry, state wildlife agencies, and archery and bowhunting organizations in growing archery and bowhunting.
In July 2002, the ATA assumed control and operation of the Trade Show. For the first time, the industry’s trade show was managed by ATA staff. This generated greater profits for promotional efforts and improved the show’s value to the industry. Since this change, the show’s net proceeds have averaged nearly $2 million, has and have become the funding base for ATA, its two foundations, and ATA grants and support to grow archery and bowhunting.
In 2004 the ATA launched initiatives to work with state wildlife agencies as an investment partner. In addition to support the archery industry provides states through Federal Excise Taxes on archery equipment, the ATA also facilitates partnerships with states to recruit and retain archers and bowhunters. These efforts include building archery shooting facilities, especially in urban and suburban areas.
Also in 2004, the ATA began providing implementation grants to state wildlife agencies for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). To date, nearly every state has an active program that originated from individual ATA donations of $15,000. The total support provided for NASP exceeded $800,000 as of mid-2009.
As part of its cooperative work with state agencies, ATA launched the Community Archery Programs (CAP) in 2006. This strategy promotes archery in urban areas as a recreational activity equal to other sports enjoyed by most Americans. ATA’s CAP grants have helped develop shooting facilities, including archery parks and indoor/outdoor shooting centers. These facilities help promote introductory archery programs, primarily NASP, although the ATA also works to establish After School Archery Programs, Explore Bowhunting, the Junior Olysmpic Archery Development Program, and other archery programs nationwide.
To ensure we capitalize on every possible opportunity to grow our sport, ATA hired Mitch King to become the ATA’s director of government relations. In that role, Mitch works with state and federal agency leaders to encourage them to develop and support archery and bowhunting programs. Government Relations becomes a significant function of ATA’s work.
ATA launches the Archery Academy as part of its Community Archery Strategy. The Archery Academy focuses on Parks and Recreation agencies and trains their staff as Level 2 instructors in an effort to embed archery in local communities. Equipment is provided to outfit the parks that have long term implementation plans.
The Innovation Zone is introduced at the 2010 ATA Trade Show to showcase manufacturer’s new to the industry. Created for young, innovative companies and entrepreneurs, the Innovation Zone allows new companies to display their products on the Trade Show floor without incurring the expense of a full-size booth.
Beginning with the 2011 ATA Trade Show, all attendees were required to be a member, eliminating the option for non-members to attend or exhibit. 2011 also marked 10 years that the ATA Trade Show revenues have helped grow archery and bowhunting. The model serves as a revenue generator to fund archery programs and since the model was adopted, ATA-member benefits have invested more than $15 million in programs to grow the industry and archery sports.
The ATA launches Explore Bowhunting in response to a National Archery in the Schools survey that reflected that 60% of kids that have tried archery are interested in bowhunting. This curriculum provides an opportunity for teaching the skills of bowhunting without having a mentor within the family.