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How Archery Is Ensuring One-Off Events Leave Behind A Lasting Mark

How Archery Is Ensuring One-Off Events Leave Behind A Lasting Mark.

How Archery Is Ensuring One-Off Events Leave Behind A Lasting Mark

Legacy is a word that is often used in relation to sports events. It was particularly in focus around the London 2012 Olympics, when the United Kingdom was adamant in its vision that the Games would leave behind an indelible mark on the capital city and the country. It’s also a word that is sometimes difficult to reconcile against a sport whose major events are built around temporary venues in iconic locations.

The photographs, footage and memories of the Archery World Cup Final under the Eiffel Tower in 2013 might still be readily available but there isn’t a permanent archery arena next to Paris’ most recognisable landmark. As much as we’d like one.

But that’s not to say legacy isn’t important to archery – and international tournaments are still key opportunities to sustainably grow the sport.


Repeat Visits

Mexico’s interest in archery hit an all-time high when Aida Roman and Mariana Avitia took silver and bronze medals at the Olympic Games in 2012.

It led to a two-event hosting deal with Mexico City that saw the Mexican capital hold the Archery World Cup Final in 2015 and the Hyundai World Archery Championships in 2017.

The finals of both events took place in the Zocalo, the central square to which thousands of local inhabitants flock every weekend. The free-to-enter stadium stands were at capacity and the crowd was loud, especially when the Mexican team – featuring both those Olympic medallists – took to the arena.

A growing fanbase in Mexico, coupled with the success of other archers across Latin America, has led the Spanish-language market to become one of archery’s most valuable. The jump in public interest, initiated by the Olympics in 2012, and compounded by events in 2015 and 2017, has now manifested in significantly increased broadcast coverage.

Mexico has progressed from an active archery nation to an important one. It’s a path that World Archery would like to lead more potentially key countries down.

Hyundai Archery World Cup stages are usually awarded on a multi-year basis, not least because it also helps spread the cost of any initial investment in equipment over time. And archery’s potential future host cities are being encouraged to look at a package of events, whether they be World Cup stages, the end-of-year final or World Championships.


Technology & Expertise

World Archery has a principle of developing and using open source technology, maintained by a community and available for us at any level - from international to very local. This is applicable to the results system – which was initially created by a group of enthusiasts in Italy – the production television graphics, broadcast systems and many other pieces of tech, both large and small.

Major events are a perfect way to demonstrate these capabilities and educate people. And this approach has led to a significant growth in the capabilities of individuals and Federations across the globe.

There are now teams capable of running results at a world-class level across the globe. And those teams don’t necessarily comprise professionals, but enthusiastic volunteers who lend their time to building the sport at a local level.

Each sport has a community that deserves to be nurtured. It’s critical not to lose sight of that, even when approaching events as a business.


Sport Tourism

The Hyundai Archery World Cup was launched in 2006 to provide the sport with an elite, standardised and annual competition circuit through the summer months. Open solely to national teams, it’s driven competitive growth as well as increased archery’s exposure worldwide.

But in a world in which sport Federations’ relationship is becoming more direct-to-consumer, the outdoor circuit alone wasn’t fully servicing archery’s audience.

That’s why a renewed focus was put on the open-entry indoor calendar at the end of 2018 with the relaunch of a circuit open to all national Federation members called the Indoor Archery World Series. The benefits of the indoor circuit extend beyond large-scale participation.

Rather than the standardised branding and plug-and-play operational deployment of the Hyundai Archery World Cup, each event on the Indoor Archery World Series circuit is being encouraged to develop its own identity – and become operationally self-sufficient at the highest level. Expertise is being lent from World Archery as events progress a structured ladder of size, requirements and output.

It’s hoped to expand the circuit with new entry-level events for future seasons in a sustainable manner. As older events establish themselves and grow, they’ll lend assistance to organisers in the emerging regions.

The long-term effect, it’s hoped, is a truly local competition legacy on an international scale.


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