Archery Academy: Spreads Easier Than Peanut Butter
By Amy Hatfield
Since the rise of social media, the word "viral" conjures positive and hopeful thoughts, especially if you are a marketer banking on a brand or product spreading. But before the Internet, things that were catching - like SmallPox, Polio or Ebola - didn't conjure any positive or hopeful thoughts at all.
For the ATA, "viral" is a positive thing and to find out why we must go back to Alabama. Alabama has generated a lot of local community archery news, but also serves as a benchmark for other states, thereby making the state extremely relevant to us all.
In November 2010 the ATA hosted an Archery Academy in the city of Cullman. The academy attracted 30 adult participants, primarily from 17 Alabama community parks and recreation departments. Among those participants were three Birmingham parks-and-rec staffers. They liked the class so much they became attracted to the idea of infusing archery into their own parks-and-rec program. To do so, however, they needed more staff trained in instructing archery, which lead to a training academy for the City of Birmingham staff.
"The significance here is the fact that Alabama's state wildlife agency has been trying to get something archery related going in Birmingham," said Michelle Doerr, the ATA director of archery and bowhunting programs. "Then, to suddenly have these folks show up at an academy in November and now, to see a group of takers in Alabama's largest city excited about archery, it's a big swing."
Cullman (the site of the first Alabama Archery Academy) has a population of more than 15,000. By contrast, Birmingham's population is roughly 1.2 million and represents a hot target thanks to its density and number of potential archers.
Birmingham Academy Quick Facts:
ATA archery academies are made possible through an Easton Foundations grant to the ATA. The ATA regularly partners with agencies, schools, retailers, parks-and-rec departments, and state and local organizations to expand archery opportunities for people of all ages and ability. For additional information on the ATA and programs it offers, such as Explore Bowhunting and community archery strategy, visit www.archerytrade.org.
Did You Know?
Sales from the archery industry in 1952 were estimated to be $20 million. In 2007, the industry generated more than $535 million in estimated sales.