By Rachael Reginek-Krenz
The Olympic Games have been a popular international competition since their modern revitalization in the late 19th century.
They’ve certainly changed a lot since the original Olympic Games, which were held in in ancient Olympia, Greece, over 2000 years ago. But to this day, they motivate people to get passionate about sports, whether it’s one they are currently interested in or something completely new. The 2016 Rio Olympic Games provided a great opportunity to use this international symbol to boost clientele for your archery shop.
The Rio Olympics are still fresh in the minds of all the people who watched, in addition to the Paralympics that take place Sept. 7-18. There’s a chance that many of those who watched the archery portion have a newly sparked interest in trying the sport, or might be interested in switching from a compound to an Olympic or traditional recurve bow. Many of those interested don’t realize that they have the opportunity to try out different equipment without investing a bunch of money, making now a great time to sport the Olympic logo on flyers and promotions to entice children and adults alike into taking classes with recurve bows.
You may already have adult and child classes for recurve lessons, but a more intensive option that also goes hand in hand with the Olympic is JOAD, the Junior Olympic Archery Development. Only about 10 percent of archery retailers offer a JOAD program, according to a survey offered at the 2014 ATA Trade Show. The JOAD program is a nationwide program that allows children 8 to 20 years old to learn the proper techniques of shooting, and gives them the opportunity contend with other young archers. It encourages and prepares kids to compete, which could even eventually lead to trying out for the Olympic archery team. If you don’t offer JOAD, strong consider changing that. For more information on JOAD club membership and insurance information, see usarchery.org.
Advertising these classes is a crucial step in making them a successful part of your business. There are many different approaches, but demonstrations, brochures, emails, etc. are great ways to snag the attention of new and old archers all around. Adding a familiar Olympic theme to your emails or newsletters may help draw more attention. Call local schools and ask if you can set up recurve demonstrations in honor of the Olympics, giving kids a chance to try shooting. Take hold of their curiosity, and let them have a taste of archery. Offer cards, brochures, or flyers to the kids, and spark their interest for future visits to your shop.
In addition to offering classes, demonstrations and informational flyers/brochures, you could also offer Groupons, special promotions or punch cards for the special occasion. Offering a Groupon or special promotion may be a good way to get more archers—adults and children alike—in from all over the city, letting them experience archery for a temporary discount. A punch card would be something to consider handing out at a school demonstration or selling separately. It could provide any amount of free or discounted classes and/or days on the shooting range, expiring once the customer hits the punch limit.
Renting out equipment is a great way to peak someone’s interest in having their own gear, especially equipment they’ve recently seen on TV in Rio. One way to catch an Olympic-enticed customer’s eyes is by organizing an Olympic themed section with target shooting supplies, recurve bows, and other gear similar to that used by the athletes.
PSE Archery’s Summit is a low-cost traditional recurve with an international limb fit, a 23-inch cast aluminum handle, and its draw weight varies between 20-36 pounds. Another affordable, well-made product is Hoyt’s Grand-Prix Horizon entry-level 25-inch riser. This riser not only looks nice due to its high-quality painted finish, but it is also the perfect starter bow for new archers. Hoyt also has attachable limbs for their Grand Prix recurve series that vary depending on preference. They also look like the Hoyts used by the American archers.
Along with keeping recurves in stock or for rent, other popular gear used for Olympic style archery such as finger guards, arm guards, stabilizers, and arrows should be readily available to customers. There are a few types of finger guards on the market: Black Mamba Archery offers the Venom Finger Tab, 3Rivers Archery No-Glov Finger Savers, or the PSE/King Traditional Leather Glove. Standard Traditional Armguards are universal and durable arm guards. Easton’s Contour stabilizer has very high stiffness for a more steady aim, includes Tri-Mod AVID (Advanced Vibration Integration Dampening) Geometry for shock reduction, and has a 360 degree windcutter profile to reduce to effect of wind. Easton also has X10 high-strength carbon fiber arrows bonded to a 7075 alloy core, which have a 9-micron polished carbon finish, and guarantees straightness tolerance of ± .0015.
Some additional gear you may want to consider keeping around are portable targets and recurve cases. Lakewood Products offers the C250 Take-Down Recurve Case that is airline approved, includes 3-inch contoured foam, and holds up to 24 arrows with foam separators. A durable, commercial grade Outdoor Range Target by Morrell Targets is 100 percent weatherproof, has a Multi-Layered Density Design, and Internal Frame System Technology.
The 2016 Rio Olympic Games provide an opportunity to stock new products along with Olympic-based demonstrations, flyers, new classes, promotions etc. Why waste a rare season of worldwide sport enthusiasm? Take advantage of the Olympic flare, and use it to maneuver new people into your archery shop. Get people excited about trying archery and buying the latest, greatest gear.