New Blog Post: The U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame
(May 16, 2012) The U.S. Olympic Committee, in conjunction with its presenting partner Allstate Insurance, has announced the 2012 Hall of Fame Class. Many remarkable athletes comprise the class and, to my eye, all are deserving of the Hall of Fame accolade. The Induction Ceremony will be held at Harris Theater in Chicago on July 12.
The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame was established in 1979 and inducted its first class in 1983. Until 1992 it continued to induct classes on an annual basis. It then stopped for 12 years, before it “…was revived through the support of the Allstate Insurance Company as the presenting sponsor. Allstate hosted induction ceremonies in Chicago in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009…” So my thought for all of us: Is the commercial partnership a wave of the future for halls of fame?
Certainly there is a heavy expense to the celebration events around an induction, whatever form it takes. From simply a ceremony or induction/dinner combination, as many local and regional halls of fame conduct, to a series of related events that are part and parcel of an induction/enshrinement weekend, such as those at the Pro Football Hall of Fame or the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the costs involved are significant in relation to the respective hall’s operating budget. Few can sustain their program, regardless of the level, without outside help.
So, is the presenting sponsor the wave of the future? Whether or not your hall of fame is there now, it will be discussing this issue sooner rather than later. I suggest addressing it long before it becomes a necessity. Examine your induction program from election process to announcement to ceremony to celebration and determine which elements can have sponsor/partners and whether there are some aspects, for whatever reason, you prefer not to have commercial ties. Keep track of what other halls are doing to get a feel for the possibilities. And, above all, recognize the choices being made are those that work best for the organization and do not need to meet some hypothetical or idealized criteria. In the end, like the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame, your hall of fame may need a commercial partner to survive!
Jack Huckel, Founder & Principal of J.R. Huckel & Associates, offers election and induction consulting services to Halls of Fame. Jack served the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum as Director of Museum and Archives for 9-1/2 years after more than 10 years as a volunteer and longer still as a soccer historian. More information is available at the firm’s web site. He can be reached at email@example.com or 518/852-3033.
Jack is a member of the International Sports Heritage Association, who’s 2012 Annual Conference will take place at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, RI from October 24 to 26. He is also a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Board of Directors’ Executive Committee. He will become president of the NSCAA in January of 2013.