Author: Cassie Gasaway
Do you want to attract and retain customers? If so, consider working with clubs and tournaments to connect with archers, promote your brand, and boost your business.
Many clubs host indoor and outdoor tournaments year-round, but participants are most active in spring, so get involved now!
Why Get Involved?
Clubs and tournaments can reveal trends, perspectives and learning opportunities, while offering product and programming ideas for your business. They also connect you to the area’s most active shooters, said Michael Tyrell, Archery Shooters Association president.
“When you deal with club members, you deal with archers who shoot regularly, compete often, and burn through arrows,” Tyrell said. “If you build affiliations with clubs and their archers, and open your doors to them, you’ll be happy with the results.”
Some tournaments allow retailers and manufacturers to set up booths. Photo Credit: ASA
Pick an Organization
Get involved with organizations that mirror your shop’s goals and vision. Does your business center on bowhunting, 3D archery, field archery, recreational archery, or all of the above?
Study each organization’s rules, equipment guidelines, and shooting styles. Your options include S3DA, USA Archery, Archery Shooters Association, International Bowhunting Organization, National Field Archery Association, and the National Archery in the Schools Program.
Most have nationwide clubs, events and tournaments. Tyrell said ASA has 375 clubs in 32 states, and conducts six national events. The clubs host regional and statewide tournaments, so ATA members have many opportunities to get involved at varying commitment levels. Let’s review your options.
Sponsor an archer to create a bond with someone in competition and put your brand out there. Photo Credit: USA Archery
Ways to Get Involved
1. Attend tournaments to sell and repair equipment: Tyrell said archers often need on-location help with equipment at tournaments, and organizations welcome expertise. Interact with participants to make connections and build relationships in your down time. Contact tournament directors to discuss your options.
2. Start a club/host a tournament: If your area has no club or tournaments, consider creating one. Clubs help members practice, share tips, interact, follow equipment trends, and receive expert advice. Likewise, tournaments help participants improve their skills, develop friendships, learn from each other, and shoot in high-pressure situations. Contact leaders from distant organizations for tips and information.
3. Adopt a club/program: Become the shop that club members turn to by building relationships with them. Help them recognize your shop as a place to shoot, get professional service, and order products. If another shop is already affiliated with your local club, realize that dealers often work with several vendors and companies. Not every shop has easy access to parts for Hoyt, Elite, Mathews, Bowtech, Bear and other manufacturers. Tyrell said you might find opportunities to serve as the area’s official “Brand X” dealer.
4. Sponsor shooters or tournaments: Sponsorships are powerful marketing tools that maximize your business’s influence and visibility. Sponsoring events or archers gets you recognized, which increases traffic and sales at your shop while broadcasting your industry support.
5. Donate items: Donating products for tournament prizes is a great way to showcase your inventory and promote your business. Manufacturers often donate products, and retailers can donate coupons for service, classes, lessons or range time. All donations help your community while building brand awareness and boosting your business’s reputation.
6. Be a social hub: If you can’t get involved in a large capacity, you can still be an information source for your community. Hang a calendar or bulletin board listing local, regional and state events. Post a similar calendar on your website or social-media platforms. Promote events to customers by encouraging them to participate. Being an information conduit is an excellent way to become your archery community’s social heart.
Reach out to your chosen organization and discuss tournaments and how you can partner with them. Photo Credit: NASP
How do you start? Tyrell recommends contacting the club or tournament director online, by phone, in person, or through mutual connections.
– Online: Visit the organization’s website and social-media pages to find contact information and an events schedule. Reach out by phone or email to introduce yourself and offer suggestions. The ATA’s website also lists contacts for many partners and organizations. Visit the State Contacts page for specifics.
– In person: Visit a club or tournament to meet folks face to face. Tyrell suggests handing out flyers or business cards so people know which services you offer and where to find you.
– Mutual connections: If you have customers who are part of an archery club or shoot in tournaments, they might know ways to get involved. Ask them to connect you with tournament directors or other officials.
– Bonus idea: Tyrell said shop owners can also ask their dealer representatives to suggest opportunities. Many sales-rep groups are actively involved with ASA and other organizations, and know of state and national events.
If you need help as you consider your options, contact Nicole Nash, ATA’s range and retail-programs manager, at (502) 640-0944; or firstname.lastname@example.org.