Another exciting launch at the Shot Show this year was the Crosman Archery line of products. This is a perfect extension of the skills of our company into a whole new area of shooting and hunting. The show provided an opportunity some fans and retailers to get a first look at our line of products. To see how it was received at the show, lets talk to Scott Alread, our archery product manager…
Scott please let our readers in on your background a little. This is not your first time working in archery, where did you come to Crosman from?
No, this is not my first time working in the archery industry. I spent the last 4 plus years managing the bow line for the Bear Archery brand at Escalade Sports as the Product Marketing Manager. During that time I also served on the Archery Trade Association’s Board of Directors and was a part of the team that brought Primos and Bear Archery together. Prior to my tenure at Escalade Sports, I worked with Motorola’s Sports and Outdoors division focused on the management and promotion of their two-way radio consumer line of products. All told, I have spent the last 10 or so years working in the hunting, outdoor, archery industry either in sales, marketing or product management.
How was the reception of the Archery line at the show?
Our new archery line received a very favorable response from our customers at the 2008 SHOT show. Many regions within this country and Canada have recently expanded legal use of the crossbow during hunting seasons and we saw the interest level rise among our key customers. We are optimistic about this line, and are expecting a solid first year in the marketplace.
What were some of the unique challenges of designing and bringing these crossbows to the market place?
Crosman has so many core competencies within stocks, triggers and optics that we were closer than some may have expected out of the gate. The unique challenge was closing the gap with our front end prod design that incorporates limbs, cams and strings. With a great partner like Gordon Composites working with us on the limbs, the challenge then became to simply alter the way Crosman views performance and cycle testing as it relates to archery equipment. Ultimately, there were no real challenges, just opportunities to learn a new way to manufacture high quality shooting equipment.
The Crossbows will be designed and manufactured in the US. Why that decision, why not just bring in product from over seas?
One, this was never up for debate. Crosman felt as strongly as I did that this crossbow line must be designed, tested, and built in the USA. Quality control is too critical as is the cycle testing to allow that to take place outside of our factory. Too many companies make the mistake of moving complete projects overseas and lose those aspects of the manufacturing cycle. Plus, it is paramount to archers that their products are made in the USA and those that are not typically struggle to gain acceptance in the marketplace.
What makes now the right time to launch this product?
Never before have you seen keeping archers retained in the sport, urban deer herd populations so high and states needing revenue more than you see these things now around the country. The crossbow is a logical answer to all of these issues and more and more states are recognizing this fact by adding additional opportunities for the crossbow during their hunting seasons. The average age of today’s archer is at an all time high. The crossbow is a logical next step for archers that can no longer draw their compound bows to stay in the sport and continue to hunt with arrows. Urban deer hunting zones are expanding around the country and the crossbow is an outstanding choice of equipment to meet the needs of an urban deer hunter. As states look for ways to generate additional revenue for wildlife programs, expanded seasons whether it is in youth, or general seasons, the crossbow is becoming more of a viable option for many groups of hunters. Quite frankly, the crossbow is the only category within the archery industry that continues to show steady growth for the last 3 years.
Where do you see this line going in the next year to two years?
We will be adding new crossbows, with integrated front end limb designs, high tech cam systems to store more energy and some exclusive dampening technology not yet seen in the crossbow industry. The next two years will be very exciting for Crosman and our customers as we continue to expand the archery line.