3 Ways the ATA and Industry are Harnessing the Hype

Posted by Amy Hatfield on February 6, 2014 in Archery Growth, Business & Marketing Practices
Dsc 1407 "Release Your Wild" is one way ATA is helping interest young people in archery. Photo: Shane Indrebo
“The commitment we’re making to 'Release Your Wild' is all about seizing a lucrative opportunity and turning this groundswell of interest and curiosity among America’s youths into a vibrant, active community of new archers and bowhunters,” said Jay McAninch, ATA’s president and CEO.

To capitalize on the surging interest and participation in archery among young people, the ATA is super-charging "Release Your Wild," an advertising and social media campaign that launched before the Nov. 22, 2013, release of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

“Release Your Wild” is designed to leverage the influential pop-culture moment surrounding the movie’s release, and sustain that interest while engaging new archers.

To complement that campaign, the ATA helped create Archery 360, a consumer-oriented site devoted to all things archery. The website will deliver ongoing archery-related news, participation how-to’s, and tools like an “Archery-Shop Locator” and “Getting Started” resource.

A third tool, the “Archery Retail Academy,” helps retailers ready their business for an influx of young customers.

1) Archery Retail Academy

During the 2014 ATA Trade Show, Randy Phillips, owner of Archery Headquarters in Chandler, Ariz., and innovator of the shop’s “Archery Academy,” led a seminar with Michelle Zeug, the ATA’s director of archery and bowhunting programs. Phillips and Zeug outlined ways to maximize shooting lanes to make more money, just as Phillips did for his shop. The seminar focused on the value of recreational archers, a new “revenue stream” generated by this growing segment of archery’s populace.

ATA’s “Archery Retail Academy” is a full-scale, detailed business plan that helps retailers nationwide build their businesses by selling to new and recreational archers without sacrificing bowhunting equipment sales. The Academy explains how to generate income by marketing to recreational archers, creating structured classes, and earning repeat business.

More details about the “Archery Retail Academy” will be available soon.

2) “Release Your Wild”

The “Release Your Wild” campaign launched in November 2013, shortly before “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” premiered in U.S. theaters. 

“The commitment we’re making to this campaign is all about seizing a lucrative opportunity and turning this groundswell of interest and curiosity among America’s youths into a vibrant, active community of new archers and bowhunters,” said Jay McAninch, ATA’s president and CEO.

The ATA contracted Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm with offices in major media, business and government capitals worldwide. The firm will execute goals defined by the ATA’s Campaign Committee, a group selected to outline the campaign’s purpose and objectives, while providing input on the best strategies and tactics to achieve success.

Just as industry representatives are heavily involved in how “Release Your Wild” is implemented, the advertising effort also relies on ATA-member companies to serve as “campaign ambassadors.” They’ll promote the message and brand by supplementing existing product marketing and advertising materials with the campaign’s mark and slogan. Companies also are asked to participate in online sweepstakes and promotions, and to help recruit celebrities and VIPs to become campaign advocates and spokespersons.

“‘Release Your Wild’ targets teens and preteens, ages 11 to 16 years old, with an emphasis on reaching girls,” McAninch said. “Portions of the campaign will have a national reach, while other elements will focus on select regions, allowing for high frequency and greater message saturation. The campaign will create an active, online community through social engagement, bolstered with paid media buys and timely media pitches.”

For more information, contact Jennifer Mazur at jennifermazur@archerytrade.org or 301-570-4499.

3) Archery 360

Archery’s recent popularity boost also uncovered a need for easy-to-find online information for beginners: how to shoot, where to shoot, what to buy and how to buy it. The ATA created Archery 360 to help fill this void. The website complements the ATA’s “Release Your Wild” advertising and social campaign.

While the campaign targets teenagers through social engagement, Archery 360’s content-heavy site expands on “Release Your Wild” messaging with news, how-to’s, product profiles, additional resources and an archery-shop locator.


Here are details about three of the site’s key features:

Shop Locator

If you’re inspired to try archery but don’t know which path to take, archery shops are great places to start. You can check out different types of bows, and many shops have indoor ranges for test-shooting. Shops also have information on local clubs and tournaments, and offer coaching and repair services. The shop locator helps you search for shops by distance and services offered.

Getting Started

Archery 360 dedicates a section to introducing the uninitiated. Readers can explore archery’s three primary disciplines, and get information on choosing the right equipment based on the discipline and personal preferences. Another section features safety tips and basic tournament rules. Plus, readers can get briefed on the types of venues and organizations that offer ranges and shooting opportunities.

Event Listings and Coverage

The 2012 Olympics spotlighted the world’s best archers, and Americans tuned in. Archery was the most-watched Olympic sport on NBC during the network’s first week of coverage. When the Olympics ended, the archers didn’t fade away. The USA Archery men’s team took gold Oct. 6, 2013, at the World Archery Championships in Turkey. Archery 360 offers complete event coverage, and lists all major U.S. events for competitive archers.

USA Archery, the national governing body for Olympic archery in the United States and an online resource for archers, contributes to Archery 360. The group provides accurate and updated information on basic introductions, how to get started, find coaching and — eventually — compete. Discoverarchery.org — an online resource developed by Easton Foundations — was also a critical contributor to Archery 360’s “Getting Started” section.

For more information about Archery 360, contact Amy Hatfield, communication coordinator for the ATA and Archery 360 editor, at amyhatfield@archerytrade.org.