| Helping people to learn what archery is. Getting people excited to shoot their first arrow. And now: teaching people how to bowhunt. The Archery Trade Association (ATA) has recently launched Bowhunting 360 on Facebook and as a content site, targeted at recruiting and re-engaging new and existing bowhunters. The site launch is a direct response to ATA Board, staff and member concerns regarding the recent downturn in the bowhunting market.
Bowhunting 360’s launch accompanies a redesign of Archery360.com, which delivers written and visual content to new and beginning archers who seek news, how-to, lifestyle, technology and entertainment pieces about archery. Together the sites address the industry’s urgency to strengthen sales and promote archery and bowhunting.
Archery 360 launched in November 2013 in response to the sport’s popularity in movies, TV shows, popular culture and the London 2012 Olympic Games. Since then, Archery 360 has exposed millions to archery while building a nearly 150,000-member Facebook community, and generating 38 million YouTube views on a “Dude Perfect” video collaboration. The ATA hopes that Bowhunting 360 will have an equally widespread impact.
“Since 2012, archery participation in America has grown by 26 percent, from 18.9 to 23.8 million Americans,” said Jay McAninch, ATA president/CEO. “Continued growth serves as a testament to the efforts made by the ATA, states and nonprofit archery organizations to help grow the sport at the grassroots level. Even so, bowhunting has been lagging behind in recent years. We hope Bowhunting 360 will strengthen bowhunting sales while also helping our industry recruit new as well as revive lapsed bowhunters.”
“The ATA Board prioritized bowhunting during the Industry Strategic Planning Meeting in May,” said Ben Summers, chairman of the ATA Board of Directors. “Bowhunting 360 addresses the Board’s urgency to grow bowhunting by providing interactive content to promote the sport and drive customers to member shops.”
Bowhunting 360 and the redesigned Archery 360 site equip beginning archers and bowhunters with resources to try archery and bowhunting right away. This redesign includes updated aesthetics, online curriculum and lessons, and a more robust store locator to help archers find the nearest archery shop.
“It’s important for new archers to interact with the products and feel the emotions that come with arrowing their first target,” said Summers. “The store locator provides that crucial opportunity, sustaining that interest and fostering a passion for archery and bowhunting.”
Bowhunting 360 builds off of Archery 360’s traction while addressing the need for a safe, encouraging community to recruit, retain and re-engage new and existing bowhunters.
“We needed a safe space for new bowhunters to share their passion for the outdoors,” said Teresa Johnson, ATA’s senior director of communications and administration. “Bowhunting 360 provides that space, while also offering how-to and human-interest pieces to re-engage former bowhunters.”
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