ATA Show Preview: Archery Industry Consolidation Continues

ATA Show Preview: Archery Industry Consolidation Continues

Bowhunting is a hobby, a sport, a passion and a lifestyle.

But as those of us who make a living in the archery industry know, it is also a business. And like all businesses, companies involved in making bowhunting gear are here to make a profit. Those that do thrive, and the others quite simply don't survive.

That's an important and sobering fact to remember as we prepare for the 2013 Archery Trade Association (ATA) Show, which will take place January 7-9 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Hundreds of companies will be there to show off the latest and greatest bowhunting gear, and the sales they generate — or fail to generate — off next week's show will go a long way to determining their financial success or failure in 2013.

A major recession, followed by a less-than-stellar recovery, has taken a toll on every sector of the U.S. economy over the past few years, and the archery industry certainly hasn't been immune. And, like other industries, one of the resulting trends is continual consolidation, with larger, stronger players gobbling up smaller competitors or complementary brands.


Some of the notable deals in recent months include the parent company of Rage Broadheads acquiring Muzzy, Bushnell acquiring Primos and the parent company of Elite Archery acquiring Scott Archery and Custom Bow Equipment. And on Friday, Elite's parent (The Outdoor Group LLC) announced it has also added Winner's Choice Custom Bowstrings and Solid Broadhead Company to its stable.


Even InterMedia Outdoors (the parent company of Petersen's Bowhunting) has gotten in on the act, announcing it will add The Outdoor Channel to its growing outdoor media empire. As we head into the ATA Show next week, I'm betting even more such announcements will be made in the days ahead.


From a purely financial perspective, consolidation makes plenty of sense. Smaller companies can benefit from the added resources offered by larger suitors, and the larger, acquiring companies can expand their product portfolios with established brands at a cost far less than building anything similar from the ground up. In that sense, you can make the argument these mergers are a "win-win" for both parties.

On the other hand, there is no denying that as the pace of consolidation increases, consumers (in this case, bowhunters) are presented with fewer choices when it comes to the number of companies offer them products. Granted, the bowhunting business is still A LONG WAY from being dominated by just a couple major players like Coke and Pepsi dominate the soft drink market.

There are still plenty of great companies and great products out there. But gone are the days when basement dreamers could simply take a good idea and jump into the hunting business. These days, the cost of entry is higher than ever, and with the major players getting bigger all the time, you better have some deep pockets if you plan to jump into the fray and seriously compete for market share.


And in that regard, I suppose the archery industry is no different than any other in modern-day America.

Click here for more ATA Show coverage.

Recommended for You




Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry> Podcasts

Still Going Strong

October 28, 2010

Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry>

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range. Big Game

Elk Calling With the Experts

Tracy Breen

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range.

We tested this new trail-cam technology! Scouting Tools

Moultrie Mobile Cellular Camera: Remote Scouting Made Simple

Christian Berg - July 22, 2019

We tested this new trail-cam technology!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint Archery evolves in design and performance with the introduction of the new CP400 Crossbow.

Springtime Turkey Hunt

Springtime Turkey Hunt

Kevin Steele and the boys are bowhunting turkeys with the help of some well-placed decoys.

Bill Winke

Bill Winke's Top Five Bow Shooting Tips

Petersen's Bowhunting Field Editor Bill Winke give us his top five bow shooting tips

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Going from field tips to broadheads requires arrow tuning on a higher plane.

 Good broadhead flight How-To

4 Steps to Perfect Broadhead Flight

Bowhunting Online Staff

Going from field tips to broadheads requires arrow tuning on a higher plane. Good...

We've rounded up the best new fixed-blade broadheads from the 2019 ATA Show. Check out our top picks! ATA Show

New Fixed-Blade Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new fixed-blade broadheads from the 2019 ATA Show. Check out our top...

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques. How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

See More Stories

More ATA Show

You don't need to go broke to get yourself a new, high-performance archery rig. ATA Show

New Budget Bows & Crossbows for 2020

Tony J. Peterson - January 09, 2020

You don't need to go broke to get yourself a new, high-performance archery rig.

Binoculars and rangefinders at the 2020 ATA Show! ATA Show

New Optics for 2020

Brian K. Strickland - January 10, 2020

Binoculars and rangefinders at the 2020 ATA Show!

If you're in the market for some new accessories to add to your bow, here's a look at what's new at the 2020 ATA Show. ATA Show

New Arrow Rests & Bow Accessories for 2020

Lynn Burkhead - January 10, 2020

If you're in the market for some new accessories to add to your bow, here's a look at what's...

See More ATA Show

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.