Author: Allison Jasper and Patrick Durkin
ATA CEO and president Matt Kormann announced the winners of the “Impact” and “Best in Show” awards at the 2020 ATA Trade Show on Friday, Jan. 10.
The awards program debuted at the 2020 ATA Trade Show. It recognizes members’ achievements and products that exemplify value, innovation or uniqueness.
Impact awards were given out to individuals and organizations that are making a difference in the industry. Photo Credit: ATA
“Impact” means having a strong effect on someone or something. The ATA considers any impact made through service, creativity or technology; or an impact that improves the industry’s longevity, sustainability or awareness. The ATA also considered those who made impacts by overcoming adversity or increasing engagement in archery. Anyone could nominate a business or individual making a positive impact on the industry.
Impact Award Recipients:
• Aaron Warbritton, of The Hunting Public – Individual
• Shane Hurt, University of Pikeville archery coach – Individual
• Archery School of the Rockies – Retailer
• T.R.U. Ball/AXCEL Archery – Manufacturer
• National Archery in the Schools Program – Nonprofit
Warbritton, a driving force behind The Hunting Public, said he was honored to receive the Impact award. “At THP (The Hunting Public), our goal is to show regular people they can have positive experiences while hunting with their friends and family!” Warbritton said.
Hurt, based in eastern Kentucky, is the head archery coach at the University of Pikeville. He’s also the region’s NASP coordinator, an S3DA trainer, and a USA Archery Level 4 instructor. News of winning the award left him momentarily speechless.
“I would like to thank the ATA for this incredible honor,” Hurt said. “This is the reason I coach; to make a positive impact on young men and women. For them to feel that and nominate me is humbling and fulfilling. My hope is that the University of Pikeville’s archery program can continue to incorporate kids from every organization, and continue to impact the lives of these young archers in a positive way.”
Another recipient, The Archery School of the Rockies, began as a one-day afterschool program, and became the “provider of choice” for all levels and types of archery in the Rocky Mountain region. Karin Bock works every day of the week operating the full-service pro shop, offering extensive programs and lessons from beginners to advanced archers.
“Archery chose me, and I’m extremely happy it did,” Bock said. “I love this sport for so many reasons, but the one I come back to again and again is that everyone can be a part of it. Archery is accessible to people with any ability. Those who partake in it build focus, character, self-confidence, mental and physical abilities, and so much more. Archery requires the shooter to be all-in while using their body and mind to master each and every shot. Developing archers is a passion for me because of that. I believe archery’s benefits spill into all aspects of someone’s life. That’s why I love the sport so much.”
Ben Summers, vice president of T.R.U. Ball/AXCEL Archery, was honored by the award, which coincided with the company’s 25th year in business. “Our mission statement is ‘We Make Archery Better!’ he said. “We hope it’s evident to everyone that we’re trying to do that. We have 95 Virginia employees, and we make every metal part in our factory to ensure quality. We go out of our way to ensure our wrist straps, packaging, and even our carbon is also made in the USA. That tells our customers they can depend on their equipment. We’ve also given back millions of dollars to retailers, tournament organizations, and professional shooters and hunters to keep archery’s grassroots community strong! Every level of our company employs people who give back to our sport through mentoring, speaking, coaching and advocating. We’re happy to be members of the ATA, which truly cares about archery and bowhunting in a big way!”
NASP has taught archery to over 18 million students, and trained over 80,000 educators through its grassroots, school-based effort that teaches and recruits in a positive learning environment. “The National Archery in the Schools Program is very pleased the ATA recognizes NASP’s beneficial impact on the industry, and its pursuit of student excellence and growth of shooting sports!” said NASP president Roy Grimes.
Awards were also given to new products that debuted at the Show or after Oct. 1, 2019. Photo Credit: ATA
New Product Launch Showcase:
The ATA also recognized recently and newly released products at the ATA Trade Show. The “New Product Launch Showcase Awards” covers two categories: new products debuting on Day 1 of the Show, and new products debuting after Oct. 1, 2019. Products in each category were eligible for gold, silver or bronze awards.
All exhibitors were invited to enter their products for the New Product Launch Showcase. Display cases, located across from Main Registration, featured all products entered throughout the Show. A panel of six industry experts voted on products for each category.
Winning the gold medal for products released after Oct. 1 was Shikar climbing sticks, which were created by Matt Garis of Out On A Limb Mfg. Garis said Shikar sticks stand apart in their category because of their extreme light weight and packability. “They fold up flat for easy packing, and have an optional platform atop the stick for hunting from a sling,” he said.
The Annihilator broadhead won the gold medal for products debuting at the Trade Show. Micah Brown, co-founder of Annihilator Broadheads, said this one-piece, cut-on-contact broadhead with a scoop design is unique to the category. It took 2½ years to create and perfect. “It’s not a large broadhead (0.910-inch cutting diameter), but its flight, lethality, durability and blood trails are off the charts,” Brown said. “We believe it’s the most efficient broadhead in bowhunting.”
New Product Launch Recipients:
Product Released at #ATA2020:
GOLD: Climbing Sticks, Out on a Limb, Booth 3602
SILVER: The Revolution Arrow Saw, Last Chance Archery, Booth 4121
BRONZE: Phantom Saddle, Tethrd, Booth 429
Product Released after Oct. 1, 2019:
GOLD: Annihilator Broadheads 125 Grain, 125XL Grain, 100 Grain, Annihilator Broadheads, LLC, Booth 247
SILVER: Summit 12 Volt Mossy Oak Heated Vest, FIELDSHEER Apparel Technology with MOBILE WARMING, Booth 4507
BRONZE: Multi-Fletcher, Bohning Company Ltd., Booth 1911
Voting for the products in this category took place on Day 1 of the Show and was open to buyers. Photo Credit: ATA
Featured Products Showcase:
Exhibitors have displayed products in the Featured Product Showcase for years to increase their exposure and promote sales. New for 2020, exhibitors could enter products in the Featured Product Awards in five categories: youth, women, archery accessory, bowhunting accessory, and breakthrough innovation.
Featured Product entries were categorized and marked on the Show’s first day, allowing all buyers to vote for their favorite product in each category. Voting opened Jan. 9, the Show’s first day, at 8:30 a.m. and concluded at 5 p.m.
Featured Product Showcase Recipients:
GOLD: Scentless Huntress Products, Southern Racks, LLC, Booth IZ-9
SILVER: Ella Jacket and Pant, DSG Outerwear, Booth 807
BRONZE: 6×6 Octagon Archery Blind, Shadow Hunter Blinds, Booth 721
GOLD: Faux Bows, Marky Sparky Toys, Booth 1625
SILVER: Valiant and Apprentice Bows, Bear Archery, Booth 905
BRONZE: Ragim Matrix Evo Bow, Ragim Srl Ragim Outdoors, Booth 5020
Archery Accessory Category:
GOLD: GO2, T.R.U. Ball Archery, Booth 3941
SILVER: Hassle-Free Light Holder, Tight Lite, Booth 111
BRONZE: Silent Connect System, Mathews Archery Inc., Booth 2029
Bowhunting Accessory Category:
GOLD: ACCUSTAT Scopes, Axcel Archery, Booth 4039
SILVER: Endsley Shacket and Scree Pant, Badlands Packs, Booth 4437
BRONZE: My Sling-A-Ling, JAKT Gear, Booth 4304
Breakthrough Innovation Category:
GOLD: Tactacam System (Stabilizer Mounted Camera, Rear-Facing Camera and FTS), Tactacam, Booth 3713
SILVER: VXR, Mathews Archery Inc., Booth 2029
BRONZE: Ultrarest Integrate MX, Quality Archery Designs, Booth 401
For more information about the ATA’s awards program, please contact Allison Jasper, ATA’s senior director of marketing and communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 392-3190.