The advent of a new year and the first days of January can only mean one thing for bowhunting fanatics—the Archery Trade Association (ATA) Show, our second Christmas, is just around the corner.
As the anticipation builds and we eagerly await the arrival of the best new bows, sights, rests and any other gadget your mind can imagine, Bowhunter is here to remind you just why you should care.
First, ATA is the mecca of the bowhunting world, where every major company makes the pilgrimage to a single location with the best products, latest technology and the most cutting edge innovations. There’s no other place you can go in the archery world to get all that under one roof.
“This really is one of the only true international shows where you have an extraordinarily tight nit community of avid bowhunters all together,” Jay McAninch, President and CEO of the ATA, said. “This is where the big boys in the industry gather to collectively decide what’s gonna be out on the table in 2013.”
Because there is such a broad spectrum of companies and industry aficionados at ATA, it means you’ve got hunting celebrities, Olympians and CEO’s—the best bowhunting minds in the world—all gathered together to set the pace for our community for the next year. What you see on your archery pro shop’s shelf is largely determined by what happens at ATA.
“In order to thrive, our industry has to network intensively,” McAninch said. “This is where the big stories of success start—the Whisker Biscuits and the other great inventions of our world—and where long-term impact on the bowhunting community begins.”
As dealers and manufacturers converge around lightning fast bows—like the new PSE Prophecy or the BowTech Destroyer 350—and reduced diameter arrows, they’re also energizing the industry, sharing wisdom and the latest in design. It is truly a community decision making process, McAninch said, where every participant functions as judge, jury and executioner for the new products that will hit the shelves come summer.
Revival of the Fittest
If the ATA show is the pulse on the bowhunting community, participants would have to be comatose not to realize how much positive press bowhunters have gotten from the broader culture recently. After years of double-digit growth in retail sales and industry-wide growth, McAninch said opportunity remains because of such positive attention.
“You’d have to have been in a closet for the last five years not to notice The Hunger Games and Brave and all the impact that’s had for our industry,” he said. “We’re a strong industry, we will sustain our success but that’s our opportunity, to build on that platform.”
And that may be the single most important thing about ATA—it re-lights the fire for future generations of bowhunters. It takes the torch from the lifers and passes it on to the first timers and the newbies.
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