Task Force 20-20 Launches 'Take Me Hunting, Take Me Shooting' Campaign with Support from NSSF
Task Force 20-20, the committee formed at the NSSF Shooting Sports Summit to evaluate opportunities to grow hunting and the shooting sports, will begin testing its first initiative—a coordinated marketing effort in selected states designed to reactivate lapsed hunters and shooters.
The Task Force 20-20 steering committee has approved piloting the "Take Me Hunting/Take Me Shooting" campaign this fall. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, will fund the effort out of a $500,000 overall commitment to support several Task Force 20-20 plans to aggressively promote hunting and shooting.
The Take Me Hunting/Take Me Shooting campaign will prompt inactive hunters and shooters to rediscover the fun and excitement of these great pastimes and to answer a higher calling—to mentor a new generation of sportsmen and women. In this way, veteran sportsmen and women can mold their legacy by developing new ambassadors for the shooting sports, new conservationists and new supporters of the Second Amendment.
The pilot states are South Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey.
"Together NSSF and state agencies will make a strong appeal to formerly active hunters and shooters and remind them how important it is to share their passion for the outdoors with a newcomer or a novice," said Chris Dolnack, senior vice president of NSSF. "The choices in recreational activities today are abundant. A personal invitation from someone well qualified to be a mentor is one sure way to provide a safe and fun introduction to what could become a lifetime activity."
Through the use of print ads, direct mail and a hub website, www.takemehuntingandshooting.com, the Take Me Hunting/Take Me Shooting campaign will promote the winning message that mentors are sorely needed, that mentors' hunting and shooting skills makes them well suited to provide an introduction to these activities, and that hunting and shooting can be enjoyed with families and friends.
This strategy to build participation in hunting and shooting relies on the powerful ability of state agencies to communicate with sportsmen and women who once purchased hunting licenses but have not done so in the last several years. The approach was one of the priority actions recommended in the "Future of Hunting and the Shooting Sports—Research-based Retention and Recruitment Strategies," a report presented at the Shooting Sports Summit in 2008. It's also an approach that has been used by the fishing community with success.
"I want to commend the National Shooting Sports Foundation for taking the lead in bringing together the states, industry and NGOs to address recruitment and retention of hunters and recreational shooters," said John Frampton, director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. "The funding provided through the excise taxes on hunting and shooting firearms and ammunition is the lifeblood of state fish and wildlife agencies. The future of hunting and shooting may well rest on our ability to work together to ensure that hunters and shooters remain engaged in our sports."
The campaign will be evaluated during the winter months to determine how effective its messages were in motivating shooters and hunters to go afield or to the range again.
The steering committee of Task Force 20-20 also plans to launch a Models of Success program focusing on states that have programs proven to deliver an increase in participation. Such programs can be enhanced, expanded and promoted through a marketing campaign funded by NSSF.
The results of these and other Task Force 20-20 initiatives will be discussed at the next NSSF Shooting Sports Summit, which is scheduled for June 2011.