Author: Matt Kormann
In recent years your ATA Board of Directors has met each April and held a follow-up meeting in June. As with all aspects of ATA business, your Board and ATA staff collaborate to ensure we do all we can to best use our resources. To that end, we consolidated the Board’s two regular meetings into one this year.
We’re fortunate to have a terrific Board of Directors. This year we welcomed Black Eagle Arrows and Conquest Archery to the Board, installing Randy Kitts after March’s election. Our most recent meeting May 20-21 in St. Louis attracted faces from long-standing director organizations, as well as a couple of guests for two busy days of work.
Our business focused primarily on the strategic plan the Board adopted nearly a year ago. We’ve already completed some of the plan’s one-year targets. In other areas we needed to shift our focus a bit. But the underlying plan – including its long-range pillars – remains the roadmap to your ATA’s future.
A 30-pound draw weight for bowhunting was agreed upon as the ATA's minimum weight standard. Photo Credit: ATA
Our government-relations work has generated requests from state agencies in recent years for your ATA to support more consistent equipment guidelines for bowhunting. Dan Forster, ATA’s vice president and chief conservation officer, presented the first such guideline: a minimum draw weight for hunting bows. The Board unanimously approved it. If you’ve bowhunted in several states, you likely know that bow-weight regulations vary from no bottom limit to a range of minimum draw weights.
After significant input from the ATA’s technical committee, and direct discussion with several state agencies, the ATA agreed to support a 30-pound minimum draw weight for states seeking such a standard. Far from asking all states to adopt that minimum draw weight, the ATA recommendation simply reinforces the ATA’s belief that a 30-pound minimum encourages the greatest number of hunters to take their bows hunting.
The ATA will continue to promote archery as a collegiate sport, and hopefully gain traction as a high school sport. Photo Credit: ATA
Another long-range pillar of our focus is academic archery. Our goal is to ensure more student-athletes participate at all levels. Recent efforts shifted our focus to empowering the growth of collegiate archery, which has seen significant changes the past year. USA Archery, for instance, helped consolidate two competing collegiate tournaments into one entity. We’re committed to partnering with all organizations to bring as many young people into archery as possible, and offer introductory bowhunting content for the sport’s many newcomers.
Be on the lookout for the new consumer campaign to air Aug. 1. Photo credit: ATA
The ATA’s marketing and communications team is also hard at work. It began 2019 by introducing a new ATA logo, and updating our mission and vision while accelerating ongoing efforts to attract more customers for our members. Your “marcom” team will launch a new consumer campaign this summer through video and audio-streaming platforms.
Our goal is to ensure new archers have first-time experiences behind a bow that spark lifelong loves for archery and bowhunting. We’ll provide more details in the weeks ahead before the August launch. Your Board of Directors viewed the first cut of a 30-second video spot to promote our sports, and their response was unanimous: We’re on the right track, and expect the campaign to grab new shooters’ attention.
Although it feels like #ATA2019 just finished, #ATA2020 is right around the corner. Your Board heard updates on our progress for returning to Indy in January. They also heard about our focus on the Show’s long-term future, which ensures your ATA delivers important education, meaningful networking, hands-on opportunities, and the business-to-business environment our members demand.
The Show’s “Buyer Day” is one aspect of change, but more is in the works. We want to create an event our members eagerly attend each year, regardless of what they hope to accomplish during their time together at the Show.
Our time together at May’s Board meeting was brief but beneficial. ATA staff and your Board of Directors are aligned on what we must accomplish in the coming year and beyond. Wherever your ATA focuses, our goal is to provide value to your membership. That goal is best accomplished by listening to your feedback. Please let us know how and where we can help your business. Almost all of our recent efforts arose from member feedback, so keep it coming. Help us bring more of the ATA into your business.