Takeaways from Your ATA Town Hall

The ATA held a webinar on Aug. 27 to provide an update on ATA happenings, the ATA Trade Show, ATA's new Executive Committee members, and other important industry details.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Cassie Gasaway

The ATA’s leadership staff and its new Executive Committee recently informed ATA members about general happenings, the 2021 ATA Trade Show, outreach efforts, and recent government relations work during its first digital ATA Town Hall on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Here’s a recap of the topics discussed during the event.


Status of the Industry

ATA’s President and CEO Matt Kormann said the industry is doing well despite the pandemic. After conversations with ATA members, he said many retailers and manufacturers are experiencing business growth and getting creative in their approach to make products and recruit customers.

According to Kormann, the industry is seeing a significant increase in participation. He believes the industry will rebound quickly from the turmoil.

“People are tired of being at home and want to get out,” he said. “Most states are reporting increased participation. This points to tremendous participation this fall, which is great for our industry.”

Kormann also assured members that ATA staff and partners are dedicated to growing archery and bowhunting, and are working diligently to serve ATA members and the industry, regardless of the circumstances. Staff members now offer live webinars and video courses. They also provide regular updates regarding COVID-19 news, ATA resources, and information about federal excise tax payments. Finally, the ATA increased the production of online resources and materials to help ATA members stay connected and educated from afar.

He outlined several projects and partnerships aimed to increase participation numbers during the pandemic and beyond. These efforts include:

  • Working with MeatEater to help state fish and wildlife agencies grow their digital content. These articles and videos encourage newcomers to buy bowhunting licenses.
  • Introducing the Varsity Archery program and Archers USA to state agencies. Agency staff can teach students how to use sights, release aids, and other advanced equipment to prepare them for bowhunting and other next-step opportunities.
  • Piloting a real-time license data dashboard, which allows state agencies to respond quickly to changing participation and bowhunting climates, and helps them improve their marketing strategies.
  • Facilitating almost $1 million in programming to bring new bowhunters into the woods.

Kormann ended his message thanking ATA members for their membership and loyalty, as well as spreading their love of archery and bowhunting to help bring newcomers to archery sports.


A Message from Your New Executive Committee Members

The ATA Board of Directors voted a new Executive Committee into office in August. Mark Copeland, store director of Jay’s Sporting Goods, was named the new Executive Committee Chair. James McGovern, owner of Rinehart Targets, and Jeff Adee, president of Headhunter Bow Strings Inc., were voted into vice chair positions.

Committee members shared inspirational remarks during the Town Hall. Copeland said ATA members faced adversity and challenges long before the pandemic and encouraged members to stay strong as they work to maintain staff, provide excellent customer service, and ensure the safety of staff and customers. Adee said each business is up against unique issues and different state requirements, but it’s important to adapt and overcome. Meanwhile, McGovern encouraged members to capitalize on the opportunity to recruit and reengage people who find themselves with more time to explore archery sports.

Copeland also welcomed all ATA members to attend future board meetings and to get involved with ATA committees and have conversations to help improve archery sports.

Your ATA is planning for an in-person 2021 Trade Show. Photo Credit: ATA

2021 ATA Trade Show Update

Maria Lewis, ATA’s senior director of Trade Show and membership, said ATA staff are organizing and preparing for a live, in-person 2021 ATA Trade Show on January 7-9, 2021, at the Indiana Convention Center. She said the 2021 Show is in a unique position to bring ATA members together after a year of hardships and uncertainty.

Lewis said current attendee registration numbers are consistent with previous years, and exhibitors have already claimed more than 93% of the Show floor. She’s excited about a good turnout and said ATA staff and the Indiana Convention Center are taking extreme measures to ensure attendees are safe. In fact, the Center made $7 million in safety enhancements, such as hospital-grade filters that circulate fresh air from outside 24-7 and Clorox machines to deep-clean the building throughout the day.

She encouraged ATA members to register, book their hotel, download the ATA mobile app, browse the Show floor plan, and prepare for business at the 2021 Show.

Lewis will send Trade Show updates by email to inform and alert members of any changes. The ATA is also sending bi-weekly Trade Show Tuesday emails. If you aren’t receiving these messages, click here to join the ATA’s mailing list.


Recent Government Relations Work

Dan Forster, ATA’s vice president and chief conservation officer, shared information on three nationally relevant government relations happenings.

First, Forster discussed the “Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs” Act, which lets state agencies use federal funds to promote hunting. The act was passed in December 2019. The new legislation gives states the option to more wisely spend federal excise tax funds on customer engagement activities.

Second, he outlined the federal excise tax deferral for manufacturers in the sportfishing and archery industries.  Members can access a short video explaining the deferral.

Third, Forster discussed the recently passed Great American Outdoors Act, which funds many public-land projects and programs into perpetuity. Forster created a short video that gives an overview of the GAOA.


Outreach and Communication Efforts

Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s senior director of outreach and education, said the outreach team worked tirelessly to launch the Conservation Initiative, which strives to boost hunting participation nationwide by teaching archers and non-hunters about their role in conservation. The initiative also outlines how hunters contribute generously to wildlife management programs. She said the initiative includes a quarterly Conservation Newsletter to share news and R3 advocacy efforts.

The ATA will soon host virtual stakeholder meetings for ATA members and partners in each state to help facilitate R3 discussions and connections. ATA staff are also organizing virtual Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing workshops to train educators to teach these programs.

Mazur and her team also worked with Allison Jasper, ATA’s senior director of marketing and communications, and the communications team to produce videos that help educate members on R3, marketing, and much more. Jasper encouraged members to watch the following four new videos, which are available in the MyATA Learning Center.

1. How to Run a Successful Facebook Campaign

2. Building an Archery Academy

3. Building Your Most Accurate Arrow

4. Establish a Retirement Plan for Your Company

Jasper also reminded ATA members to subscribe to ATA’s email communications for news and information.

To ensure you’re receiving ATA emails, please confirm or update your company’s contact information in your MyATA member dashboard. Click here to log in. Then click “My Profile” in the gray menu bar on the left. Edit your contact information, and the ATA automatically adds you to its mailing list and updates your details in its membership directory.


Watch the Recording

If you weren’t able to watch the Town Hall live, a recording is available in the MyATA Learning Center. Click here to see it now. Please note: You must be logged into your MyATA member dashboard to access the video.

Questions? Visit the ATA Staff page to find contact information for all ATA staff members.

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