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Archery Ads Proliferate After Hunger Games 2 Opening

Release Your Wild

Were you among the Colorado crowds that helped The Hunger Games: Catching Fire haul in a record $161.1 million in its opening weekend? If you weren’t late to the theater then maybe you also caught the ad imploring you to “Get in the game — explore your passion for archery.”

In contrast to 2012 when the first Hunger Games installment came out, the archery industry is better equipped with ads and campaigns to capitalize on the boom provided by the movie.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s ad depict a female archer, a la the movie’s lead character Katniss Everdeen, and is specifically looking to recruit more youth into the sport.

Credit Colorado Parks and Wildlife

At the national level, USA Archery is also looking to recruit more youth to the sport, organizing a “Release Your Wild” campaign.

“The first [Hunger Games movie] hit us as a surprise,” said Denise Parker, CEO of USA Archery. It’s a surprise that has seen a 105 percent increase in membership since November 2011.

Parker says the whole industry came together to launch the “Release Your Wild” Campaign in early November before Catching Fire hit cineplexes. The Archery Trade Organization has also launched the companion web site, Archery 360, to compliment the campaign.

Credit Release Your Wild

“The Hunger Games has changed who comes into archery shops and clubs,” Parker said. “They’re not necessarily yet committed to coming in and buying all this equipment and shooting for competition. They just want to shoot for fun.”

Will that translate into equipment sales and lifelong archers? Only time, and the fact that there are two more movies to follow in the franchise, will tell.

“It’s a great, great time in our sport,” said Parker, who adds she’s excited about children picking up Recurve bows — the type of bow used in the Olympics. “When we talk about the potential athletic talent in our pool, it’s a big deal to us and a big opportunity.”

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