It's On Like Donkey KongBy Amy Hatfield
"The Daily Beast" posted a piece titled "Paul Ryan's Bow-hunting Bump" and the "Washington Examiner" quickly posted an article Aug. 10 - the day Ryan's candidacy was announced - with this title: "Bowhunter Ryan Attracts ‘Hunger Games' Vote." Then there was "ABC.com's" bowhunting-related gem.
Meanwhile, "The Huffington Post" put its focus on legislation Ryan authored in 2004 that closed a tax loophole and fixed other tax laws affecting archery equipment manufacturers. That one piece spun off many other articles focusing on the legislation, causing a bottleneck of media requests for Jay McAninch and the ATA. In addition, the link to that article was tweeted and retweeted hundreds of times since Aug. 12, when the article was posted.
Although the ATA has honored every interview request and provided enough materials - written and visual - to bolster our industry's profile, events of recent months (archery-related movies, upcoming archery-themed television shows, Olympic archery and a bowhunting VP candidate) are doing most of the work for us. We can't know for sure what the record-setting interest in Olympic archery will mean for competitive archery, and we don't know how Paul Ryan will affect public perception of and interest in bowhunting.
And, anyway, I'm not interested in telling you what I think the impact will be because, instead, I can show you what regular people are saying. A few months ago, I could search "archery" on Twitter and there were few talking about the sport. Now, I search that term and the list of posts featuring "archery" is a long one.
Twitter can be a great measuring stick of what "regular" people are talking about, as this piece in the Wall Street Journal suggests. Plus, there's the recent introduction of a new political indexing tool that capitalizes on the same theory.
Below are samples of archery-related tweets I've found the past four weeks.
Archery-Related Tweets, Thanks to the Paul Ryan-Bump
Tweets made since Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential candidate. There were hundreds. The Tweets below represent a small sample.
@thinkprogress: In 13 years Paul Ryan passed two bills into law: 1. Named a post office, 2. Changed the excise tax on hunting arrows thkpr.gs/NZfLhE *
@LukeRussert: Lighter note, Ryan has told me b4 he enjoys bow & arrow deer hunting & watching the #Packers **
@RepDennisRoss: Paul Ryan - avid bow hunter. That automatically makes him a great American.
@peterfhart: ABC News homepage presents a tough choice: Read about Ryan's sexy physique first, or his bowhunting skills?#journalism
@Pat_Garofalo: Tough call: Do you read the story about Paul Ryan's impressive physique first, or his awesome bowhunting skills?
@platinumdepot: Nail, meet coffin. RT @TedNugent Paul Ryan is a great American bowhunting BloodBrother #DOOMED
RT @dmoore4: Paul Ryan, VP Candidate is a bowhunter. I like that. #bowhunter #bowhunting http://t.co/DKOaBQ59
@brianwperry: Buckle up, this is where @davidaxelrod says Paul Ryan eats babies for breakfast before bowhunting grandma after dinner!
* This is the prevailing tweet pertaining to Paul Ryan and archery. While most original tweets about the two subjects are lighthearted, this tweet has been reposted by hundreds of Twitter users unaffiliated with media resources. The link in the Tweet goes to a piece featured on HuffingtonPost.com
** Ok, Luke Russert can't be considered one of the "regular" people since he's a reporter for NBC, but still a cool tweet.
Archery-Related Tweets, Thanks to the Olympic-Bump
Tweets made during the Olympic archery coverage. There were hundreds. The Tweets below represent a small sample.
@butterflydelta: @USAArchery Loving Easton-Newberry Complex! Just joined the club & USA Archery! Can't wait to get my 1st bow & later compete! So much fun!
@Allygator__: Archery is my new favorite sport. Gripped by Italy's dramatic one point victory over the USA. #Olympics
@maurajones27: Seriously stressing watching the men's team archery gold medal round. #USA @USAArchery
@arkticpuffin: Good lord!!! Who knew archery could be SO intense?!!! #USA
@KFCBarstool: If u ain't on board with USA Archery, I don't wanna know you as a person. Upset city! tinyurl.com/c34pfz4
@jackiefell: I'm surprised it isn't bigger n the US. Didn't every1 in school have 2 try it? MT @tomrousseyABC7: rooting 4 USA archery
@moranfo: Never thought I was shout watching the #USA in archery #olympics
@BobbyRosinski: What makes Olympics great. I just got nervous watching USA defeat Korea in archery
@Chelly527: Women's archery is on now. I'm excited that I finally get to watch archery this Olympics. #Archery #London2012 @USAArchery
@yona1965: @ATATradeShow @USAArchery Archery was cool long before Hunger Games...But I'm glad more people are taking an interest.
@Checkmite: See that @NBCSportsPR - I think it wld b a good idea 2 start televising some national #archerytournaments!
@rfoust: @USAArchery 1) archery looks cool, how do i get started? and 2) am i too old? late 30's..dont wanna be the only grown up.. ;)
@nickiwithab: This is the first year that I've been really into the Olympics. With any luck, I'll be there one day. #USA #Archery Trade Association
Did You Know?
The ATA provided the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with $35,000 to pay for an indoor archery range in the Juneau Hunter Education Facility.