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Back in January BOWTECH Archery introduced two cutting-edge premium bows: The RPM 360 touting impressive 360-feet-per-second speed, and the carbon-riser-equipped Carbon OverDrive, a speedier and highly tunable version of the company’s wildly successful Carbon Knight. Then on May 12, BOWTECH again shook the bowhunting world by introducing the new, super-adjustable Fuel—a compound sporting the company’s famous binary cam system, and able to accommodate archers drawing 18 to 30 inches, and pulling anywhere from 14 to 70 pounds. Wow.
To get the inside scoop on this great bow, and more, we sat down with BOWTECH’s Jeff Suiter and Nick Droback.
Archery Business: What makes the new Fuel so different?
“The main difference is the adjustability, we’ve had bows with wide-ranging adjustability in the Diamond line for years, but extreme adjustability is new for the BOWTECH line. Draw length for the Fuel is adjustable from 18 all the way to 30 inches, and the draw weight, from 14 to 70 pounds. That’s a huge range and makes it a versatile bow as well. We also added our premium Binary Cam system, and we’re proud to have that system in place. Because this bow is so adjustable it accommodated an extremely wide range of archers it is a great option for those looking for a bow with premium features and technology at a great price. The Fuel is available bow-only, at $449, and with a package at $499.”
Archery Business: You introduced two new flagship bows in January, the RPM 360 and Carbon OverDrive. Why this bow now?
“One thing that we’ve seen in the market, is there is an opening for this price point at this point in the year. The Fuel is a natural fit in there, a great option for people who don’t want to throw down $1,000 for a new bow. We actually tested that a little bit last year with the Carbon Knight, which went over extremely well at an MSRP of $699, fully RAK equipped. We wanted to complement the BOWTECH line with a bow that comes in a little below [the Carbon Knight]. We’re listening to our customers. Along with the new Fuel we’ve introduced a new tagline: At BOWTECH ‘We don’t do Ordinary’ and with the Fuel ‘We don’t do Average,’ which speaks to the bow’s versatility.”
Archery Business: Who is the target audience for the Fuel?
“The Fuel appeals to a wide variety of individuals. The target market is the adult bowhunter who wants to shoot a premium product at an affordable price. The Fuel should also appeal to youths, who sometimes aren’t exposed to bows that allow them to achieve satisfactory results. We’ve had extreme success with the Diamond Infinite Edge, our customers using that bow are really happy with the results, and of course when youths are happy with their shooting they tend to get really involved in archery. The Diamond Infinite Edge, at $399, uses a conventional two-cam system, and comes with a different rest and sight. The Fuel is similar but utilizes the premium Binary Cam system, and when purchased as a package it includes our new Hostage Max rest, and a higher-end TruGlo sight. The Fuel is the first bow package to include the new Hostage Max full-capture rest, which offers more robust brushes that are independently adjustable to accommodate various arrow sizes, and is an overall more-durable design. The Fuel package also includes a comfort wrist strap and stabilizer not found in the Infinite Edge package. We’re just very excited about the Fuel package; to get into the Binary Cam system at $499 is a huge value to the consumer. It’s also a pro-shop-specific bow, and we added the [premium] technology to get that value a little bit higher; it gives the pro shops some tools to sell to the consumer. That’s kind of the underlying theme with this bow, we’ve really gotten into researching what our consumer wants. Another great example of that is the [female-targeted] BOWTECH Carbon Rose that exceeded our forecast, the combination of that bow being so efficient, and including the lightweight carbon platform, women found that they can shoot that bow throughout the day without a problem.”
Archery Business: You also launched a BOWTECH Facebook page May 1 that’s specially targeted to female bowhunters. Why this page, why now, and how has it been received?
“We should have done it a long time ago. That segment of the market is one of the fastest-growing in archery. From all our data and research, we found women said they would love to have an area where they can get together and discuss things…somewhere they can feel good about visiting and posting questions. I think the really cool thing we’ve done is, we’ve handed this over to Beth Crow, our social media coordinator, and Michelle Dawson, our marketing coordinator, and now both are corporate ambassadors to our women’s page. I think the reason it’s becoming a success so quickly is that it’s run by women for women. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback on it. We also have three other ambassadors who include Eva Shockey, and two local women who are accomplished bowhunters. So we have credible individuals, and they’ve already provided some great feedback. Things like showing how to to get started shooting. Women are really starting to engage, and the page will continue to be run by the needs and requests of the visitors. It’s open to what people are wanting and we’re going to give them what they want.”
Archery Business: What’s your opinion on the growth of women’s bowhunting over the past few years?
“We do a lot of research, and, for example, we’ve seen more than a 25-percent increase in sales of the Carbon Rose over the Heartbreaker, and the Heartbreaker was a very successful bow. There are currently 3,924 ‘Likes’ on the BOWTECH women’s Facebook page, and it started on May 1, so that’s been within 14 days. I think that’s phenomenal, to have something that’s brand new and get that immediate response; that’s exciting.”
Archery Business: What else can we expect from BOWTECH in 2014?
“We are always very secretive with our launches of new products, it’s kind of something that we pride ourselves on. We like to do things at the right time, sometimes it’s not when people might expect, and we’ll continue down that path.”
Check out the video Q&A from the product launch: