A mid-February tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y., demonstrated how urban settings can foster archery growth and popularity, just as rural America has traditionally fostered a strong tie between its open space and bowhunting.
MyFoxNY reported that the ninth annual Battle of the Boroughs Archery Tournament drew more than 100 students who trained hard for the competition.
"Organizers [said] archery is about more than hitting the bull’s-eye. They say it teaches [athletes] focus and discipline, and helps them understand themselves better. Organizers say they’re planning another tournament in the Bronx."
Archery in Communities
The ultimate goal of the Archery Trade Association (ATA) and the archery and bowhunting industry it represents is to elevate archery to the same level as other mainstream school and community sports such as baseball, volleyball, tennis, soccer or swimming.
“There’s no reason archery cannot become as popular as other sports,” said Michelle Zeug, ATA director of archery and bowhunting programs. “Eventually, I believe it will.”
The ATA has helped fund, develop and implement programs to grow archery for more than a decade. Membership in many archery groups, demand for archery products, and media attention for the sport have increased in recent years.
Hispanic Business quoted Jay McAninch, ATA’s CEO/president, as saying media coverage also boosted archery equipment sales and changed sales demographics.
“Nearly all our retail outlets, large and small, have seen youth equipment growing by double digits across the country. Generally, we have seen retail sales and participation in archery increase from 20 to 30 percent across the country. In addition to more people trying the sport … we’re seeing that archery is becoming more family-oriented and more diverse in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and race. In addition, the interest is coming from many people who haven’t tried or even thought about archery, so archery is becoming more mainstream.”
The ATA partners with state wildlife agencies to boost archery programs. In turn, each agency’s partnerships act as force-multipliers, connecting the ATA with schools, retailers, community organizations, and park and recreation departments to broaden archery opportunities for all people. The ATA especially targets metropolitan areas where large, untapped audiences are eager to try archery.
Nationwide Archery Survey
The first nationwide archery survey, completed in early 2013, showed that 18.9 million Americans 18 and older participated in archery and/or bowhunting in 2012. The survey was conducted in the same way as Gallup polls. The findings about archery participation and equipment use are scientifically accurate.
“Clearly, 2012 gave archery a marketing boost unlike anything enjoyed by other sports,” McAninch said. “But it still wasn’t clear who was involved in archery and/or bowhunting until now. This survey offers much-needed clarity for those who are working to reach archers and potential archers.”
Of the 18.9 million participants in bowhunting and archery in 2012:
*33 percent lived in a small town or city.
*30 percent lived in rural areas.
*19 percent lived in suburbs.
*18 percent lived in urban areas.
Knowing the regions where archery is most popular can help the ATA identify areas with the most potential for establishing and growing archery parks and programs. This information also can help manufacturers and program coordinators determine where their efforts are best invested.
For more about ATA’s work to make archery accessible to everyone, check out 3 Ways the ATA and Industry are Harnessing the Hype.
Home page photo: Bilalphoto