Chicago Scenic Takes the Stage at Annual Sports Heritage Conference
Chicago Scenic is on the roster at the 2019 Annual Conference of the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) in Wichita, Kansas on October 23-24. Our session on October 24 is called Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh My! Creating America’s Most Unique Sports Hall of Fame.
Our focus at ISHA is the Mascot Hall of Fame (HOF) and we’re joined in Wichita by our partners in creating this unique museum: Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) and the Mayor of Whiting, Indiana.
The Mascot Hall of Fame has been open in Whiting for nearly two years now and it's wildly successful—garnering great press, glowing Facebook reviews—(“It was our 1st time and we all had a blast!”)—and positive Yelp comments—(“As a museum, it was interesting for my friends to see the small amount of facts and history of mascots in sports. For my 4 year old, it was a blast!”).
The Mascot HOF is so popular because it makes people part of the experience. The HOF engages and delights guests from the minute they enter and share a “wow” moment as they look up at the impressive collection of massive mascot heads. It’s non-stop fun from there for kids of all ages!
According to Rick O’Connell, senior project director at JRA—the firm that designed the HOF exhibits—the experience is built around a whimsical Mascot University and filled with engaging interactive exhibits like “Fureshman Orientation”, the “Marvelous Mascot Maker” and “The Furry Arts”. JRA used STEAM principles: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The secret to the HOF success, O’Connell says, is this: Kids are having so much fun, they don’t realize they’re also learning something, since the children’s museum is disguised as a Hall of Fame.
That kind of engaging attraction doesn’t happen effortlessly and the successful collaboration of the HOF team, JRA designers, and Chicago Scenic’s artisans and project managers is credited with the museum’s success. The many individuals working on the HOF knew that more innovations come from teams and groups than from a lone genius.
Expanding the Mascot Community
The HOF’s original team and its Executive Committee know how important it is to keep things fresh so guests find new reasons to return to the attraction.
In fact, final voting is now underway to select the latest group of mascots to join the HOF as members of the 2020 Induction Class. (See the ten finalists here.). Members of the public who join the Hall of Fame now can vote for their favorite mascots October 20-28. Find information about joining the Hall of Fame here.
Can’t make it to the ISHA Conference session? Take a look at this short video tour of the Mascot Hall of Fame, and meet the people who conceived of the idea, worked for years to gather team members who shared the dream, and finally brought it to life. It’s a memorable and inspiring story.