Epic Launches, Industry Firsts and Entrepreneurial Spirit
by Kevin Reese
United States -(AmmoLand.com)- What a difference a year makes, or perhaps it’s simply the location. This year, the Archery Trade Association (ATA) Show took over Louisville, Kentucky.
Unlike last year’s ATA Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, where temperatures plummeted to nearly -20, including wind chill, Louisville put its best foot forward with clear, mild weather in the 40s. The result?
The opening of the ATA Show highlighted what such an event looks like when weather cooperates and things go right — More exhibitors, more dealers, more gear, more media and best of all, more smiling faces; last year, in Indianapolis, sub-zero temperatures layered the floor with an almost oppressive feel and I suspect much lower attendance.
That said, temperature alone did not make for a great show, numerous highlights greeted attendees of the 2016 ATA Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Here are just a few…
Every year, on the first day of the largest archery trade show on earth, the ATA show floor welcomes a tsunami of dealers and media rushing to the BowTech Archery booth for their ridiculously epic product launches, truly a remarkable marketing event that always pays dividends, right? Last year, not so much. While several bows did launch at the 2015 ATA, including the Eva Shockey Series, others were soft-launched, at least for arguments sake; the company’s flagship bow, Prodigy, had already been introduced in fall, 2014.
Many felt let down without BowTech’s usual earth-shaking unveilings. 2016 saw BowTech’s epic launch even resurrected and chock full of wholesome goodness! Even the Hoyt guys couldn’t ignore this amazing product launch!
With the help of notable industry personalities including Jim Shockey, Jim Burnworth and Eva Shockey, BowTech unveiled two versions of their new flagship bows, the BT-X (BowTech Technology “X” Series), completely with industry’s only Micro Sync Dial (micro-adjust timing without a bow press) and Fanatic 2.0, the Diamond Deploy SB, Stryker Katana crossbow and a handful of others. http://www.bowtecharchery.com/
Late in the afternoon, I stopped by the BIGshot Archery booth to check out the Extreme 500 Crossbow Target, the industry’s first 500-fps archery target (designed for use with all crossbows and bows). BIGshot president, Al Perelli was smiling from ear to ear.
“We’ve had a great day. We launched a few more industry firsts and people have really liked the direction we’re going.”
Like might be an understatement. My conversation was brief; there was hoard of people congregating in front of Al and his targets as he explained his game-changing video range system (for actual field tip shooting, not Techno Hunt), the Extreme 500 and his new tournament friendly Vegas 900 Series, a military grade, industrial strength, professional range target system that solves a gnawing shooting lane/capacity problem. The Vegas’ dimensions accommodate up to six 3-spot tournament target faces, two more than has been industry standard. What does that mean for archery ranges? Up to three shooters per lane, not two, dramatically increasing the number of shooters an event can accommodate without the need for more or shooting lanes! http://www.bigshottargets.com/
Back to basics… Xecutioner Broadheads launched their new 75gr Xpandable, a two-blade, mechanical broadhead complete with a razor sharp 1.5” cutting diameter and rugged .050” blade thickness. It’s great to see a broadhead company put more control over head weight, velocity and kinetic energy back into the experienced hands of seasoned bowhunters and pro shop technicians trying to optimize arrow setups. Xecutioner also launched a new turkey hunting broadhead. With a ruthless 4” cutting diameter, precision accuracy, and durable .050” blade thickness, this 125gr head is sure to rank among the top broadheads used by hungry headhunters this spring. Xecutioner’s lineup demonstrates the company’s determination to carve devastating wound channels and leave the competition at end of a short blood trail. http://www.xecutionerbroadheads.com/
Clean Shot Archery
Clean Shot Archery rounded out short list of ultra-cool product launches at the 2016 ATA Show. While Clean Shot established as a high-intensity light nock producer, it also changed the way we hunt and practice with a “practice mode” designed to shut off the lighted nock with quick collar adjustment. As a night hunter I am always on the prowl for products designed to help take my low-light hunting to the next level. Like many archers and bowhunters, I also like to customize my bow to fit my personality. The Clean SHOT Chameleon allows me to customize my arrows or crossbow bolts without changing lights. The Chameleon changes illuminated nock color with simple passing of a remote activator. Want red? No problem? Want pink, teal, green, blue or orange? It’s an easy job for this mind-blowing lighted nock system. Clean SHOT has another homerun on the books. I’m looking forward to testing them on feral hogs… extensively! http://www.clean-shot.com/
Maybe it’s because I wear my heart on my sleeve; maybe I like to root for underdogs; just maybe, I like to see good things happen to great, hard-working people who venture outside the box to deliver truly amazing products; maybe it’s all of those things combined that truly kept me warm on an expansive show floor in January while scouting for opening day highlights. Few risk as much as entrepreneurs. In our industry, they lay their foundations in the quest for unique product offerings designed to enrich our lives outdoors and do so often on a shoe-string budget. The truth is, in a sea of amazing… and not-so-amazing archery and bowhunting products, I want to see success beyond measure for these small companies so they are not only encouraged to keep after the dream, but that they realize it.
If you wonder where movers and shakers come from, they are there, in these little booths lined with blue linen, waiting to wow the heck out of you.
Learn more about the companies and products discussed in this article at: