To encourage the development of new marketing strategies that will motivate people to go target shooting and hunting, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has awarded grants totaling $245,531 to 12 shooting facilities around the country. This is the second year that NSSF has distributed funding to qualifying target ranges through its Range Partnership Grant Program.
“Research tells us that millions of Americans would like to try target shooting and hunting, and the place to get started is at one of the thousands of shooting ranges across the country,” said Steve Sanetti, president of NSSF, trade association for the firearms industry. “These grants will help shooting range managers implement creative marketing strategies that will introduce newcomers and reactivate former shooters so they can enjoy lifetime activities that are fun and can be shared with family and friends. Time and again we see that when newcomers go target shooting, they like it-a lot. We just need to help get them started.”
Said Melissa Schilling, NSSF's manager of recruitment and retention, “These grants will help to test measurable projects that, if successful, will be shared with shooting facilities around the country.”
Thirty-eight proposals in all were submitted by shooting facilities nationwide. Some of this year's grant recipients proposed projects in partnership with organizations and agencies associated with recreational shooting and hunting.
The 2009 Range Partnership Grant Program recipients are as follows…
Project: Increase the number of recreational shooters by marketing training and shooting programs utilizing cable television.
Turcotte Education and Shooting Facility (partnering with Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Foundation), Jackson, MS–$12,250
Project: Develop program to introduce new shooters, with an emphasis on women and youth 12 and over.
Pocono Pistol Club, Stroudsburg, PA–$33,213
Project: Develop classes designed for women interested in becoming familiar with handguns, safety and shooting techniques.
The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, Harrisburg, PA–$13,500
Project: Build increased awareness and interest in the shooting sports and muzzle loading through the development of new promotional materials and stepped up outreach through the association's Territorial and Charter Club program.
West Coast Armory Indoor Range, Issaquah, WA–$23,034
Project: Increase awareness of the positive benefits of shooting using Web, cable and radio advertising to reach market segments within local communities.
Grizzly Ranch (partnering with California Waterfowl Association), Sacramento, CA–$21,540
Project: Promote and host hunter education camps, shooting clinics and mentored hunting opportunities at Grizzly Ranch.
Mid-Carolina Rifle Club, Rocky Creek, Harris Springs Sportsman's Preserve and Little Mountain Gun & Supply, Inc. (partnering with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources), Columbia, S.C.–$67,000
Project: Develop model methods for improving public awareness of, and accessibility to, shooting ranges in South Carolina.
Seymour Fish & Game Club, Seymour, CT–$500
Project: Use new media marketing to engage local newcomers to the shooting sports through a singles social networking site. Event will be free to participants and will follow the guidelines of NSSF's First Shots Program.
Cardinal Shooting Center (partnering with U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance), Columbus, OH–$26,000
Project: Launch an integrated marketing plan to establish the range as a recreational alternative for youth, families and businesses that can combine meetings with a target shooting activity.
Border Tactical Range, El Centro, CA–$17,000
Project: Develop targeted marketing initiative to attract non-shooters and lapsed shooters, teach firearms safety to youth and present the shooting sports in a positive light through radio, television and print ads and social networking sites.
Silverton Sporting Ranch, Canaan, ME–$5,000
Project: Create a television show that will expose potential participants to the possibilities of where to shoot and how to enjoy the shooting sports as a family.
Openrange Inc., Crestwood, KY–$12,900
Project: Encourage the 20-35 year-olds market to add target shooting to their regular entertainment/recreational activities, with a goal of increasing membership in this category by 50 percent.