Business

Archery or Bowhunting? Smart Shops Have Both

The ATA partners with many organizations to help grow and promote archery which creates a stronger archery and bowhunting industry.
Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo

Author: Cassie Scott

Cake or cookies? Both. Friends or Family? Both. Archery or bowhunting? The answer is easy: both!

Having both recreational archery and bowhunting classes in your shop is better for your business, finances and customers. Plus, they’re both accessible and easy to implement in your shop, let the ATA Show show you how! Visit the Member Services Area in Exhibit Hall F at the 2018 Show to learn about profit-building programs and resources that can broaden your shop’s offerings so you can take your business to the next level.

Why Have Both?

The Responsive Management Study found that 9.9 percent of Americans 18 and older shot archery sports in 2015; 23.8 million Americans. And of that 9.9 percent, 6.5 percent shot archery only, 1.2 percent hunted with a bow exclusively and 2.3 percent did both. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

Although you probably built your business on backcountry bowhunters and their desire to provide for their family, arrow a nice buck or log countless hours in a treestand, bowhunting numbers are down. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported hunting participation was down 16 percent from 2011 to 2016.

That’s not the end though, state wildlife agencies are making strides in their recruit, retain and reactivation efforts across the country. Plus, crossbows give kids, women and people with disabilities the opportunity to hit the woods. As past president and ATA CEO Jay McAninch mentioned in his final blog post, “with increased commitment, a slow, steady effort will win this race.” Retailers must continue to push bowhunting equipment and educate folks about the benefits of bowhunting.

While we know bowhunting is critical to our industry, recreational archery provides a social advantage that expands opportunities for your shop and the community. A Responsive Management study found that 9.9 percent of Americans 18 and older shot archery sports in 2015. That’s 23.8 million Americans! And of that 9.9 percent, 6.5 percent shot archery only, 1.2 percent hunted with a bow exclusively and 2.3 percent did both. That means most archery participants shoot just for fun. If you’re not targeting recreational archers, you’re probably missing the mark.

Recreational archery programs will make your business more profitable,” said Teresa Johnson, ATA’s senior director of communications and administration. “Bowhunting is seasonal, but recreational archery programs can be run year-round, indoors and outside, and focus on field, target and 3-D archery. These kinds of programs can increase your profit on leagues, competitions, class fees, archery ranges, equipment sales, equipment upgrades, and private and group lessons. It’s profit waiting to happen.”

The truth is, the sport of archery and the future of this industry rely on both bowhunting and recreational archery. That’s why providing customers with options to participate in both sports is not only good for the industry, but it’s good for your business and your community.

How to Get Started

The ATA partners with many organizations to help grow and promote archery. ATA staff work with private and public groups to increase archery participation, which creates a stronger archery and bowhunting industry, and more customers and sales for ATA-member retailers. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

It’s a new year and it’s time for a new you. If you’ve been contemplating adding recreational archery to your business or you’re worried about bowhunting’s recent decline and aren’t sure where you’re going to make up the financial difference, the ATA has your back. Head to the Member Services Area in Exhibit Hall F at the 2018 Show to learn about these programs and services to get you started.

  • Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing

Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing are educational programs that help instructors, educators and program leaders teach kids basic bowhunting or bowfishing skills. These programs can grow your business one customer at a time because they help spark interest and inspire a passion for bowhunting and bowfishing among participants. They can also help you create lifelong customers who visit your shop regularly to purchase equipment and practice at your range.

  • The Retail Growth Initiative

The Retail Growth Initiative is a suite of programs that help retailers recruit archers and bowhunters, retain existing customers, and sell more products. After assessing your shop’s needs, an ATA staffer helps you create a plan customized to your business needs, budget and market. The RGI program can help you increase foot traffic, range profits, equipment sales and traffic to your website. Learn how to create your business-boosting archery program here.

  • Meet ATA Partners and Learn About their Programs

The ATA partners with many organizations to help grow and promote archery. ATA staff work with private and public groups to increase archery participation, which creates a stronger archery and bowhunting industry, and more customers and sales for ATA-member retailers. Many of these partners offer archery programs that can be organized by retailers and hosted at your store. Visit with experts from USA Archery, World Archery, the National Field Archery Association and the Scholastic 3-D Archery program in the Member Services Area to learn about the programs available to you.

It’s your year to shine! What are you waiting for? Program and opportunities await in the Member Services Area.

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