Archive for March, 2012

Transparency?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

(March 21, 2012) An interesting story on the Knoxville News Sentinel web site, entitled “KTSC, Sports Management Inc. grappling with Hall of Fame options,” caught my eye last week. I think it speaks about the need for a Hall of Fame board to be sure to take its role of oversight seriously. In this case many questions have arisen regarding the previous management and the relationships among the groups that support the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

It seems that the Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation (KTSC) and Sports Management Inc. (SMI) had joint roles to play in managing the Hall of Fame, but how those organizations interrelated was the purview of the former executive who led both. Now that the executive has resigned due to concerns about an outsized salary, new executives for both organizations, along with the city and the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors, are “untangling a web,” one of the principals said. And, of course, in all this is the question of funding. Knox County has been contributing $150,000 to the operation along with providing expense relief for another $50,000 to close an operating deficit, it is reported. In today’s financial environment one cannot see that continuing.

Another element to the cautionary tale for those thinking of creating a Hall of Fame and Museum appears in the final paragraph – optimistic visitor projections resulting in lower revenue than anticipated. Can you say NASCAR Hall of Fame?

This entire muddle emphasizes the need for transparency in business of Halls of Fame and the need for civic officials, non-profit leaders, and their Boards of Directors to make sure operations and finances are well ordered and open to inspection. Particularly where multiple entities are involved, the chance for confusion or worse is endemic. A proactive stance to put the roles and responsibilities of organizations and individuals up front is imperative.

It is a word to the wise for all to digest this cautionary tale and not be the subject of the next one!

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. More information is available at the firm’s web site. He can be reached at jack@jrhuckel.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.

What’s the Right Size?

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

(March 14, 2012) How large should a Hall of Fame class be? It’s a question as long in duration as the Hall of Fame movement. I read numerous Hall of Fame stories each week extolling the virtues of the new inductees in multiple Halls of Fame. Thankfully the number of inductees is less than the number of Halls of Fame, but, while within a range, there is no unanimity about the size of a class.

Just in the last week I checked out an induction of two individuals, one with twelve, and a couple in between that included teams. It is a range and each Hall of Fame must examine the question for itself, but here are some practical thoughts to consider as a Hall of Fame creates its induction class:

  • First, how do we manage the induction ceremony? At what number does it become too long, too unwieldy, and too expensive to execute?
  • Second, how much time does each new inductee deserve to accept the honor? I have heard some absolutely wonderful acceptance speeches that accomplished Jim Valvano’s definition of a full day: I cried, I laughed, and I thought deeply. While some others did not fulfill those criteria, I, personally feel like inductees should be given that opportunity. For most, induction into a Hall of Fame is the thrill of a lifetime and the pinnacle of professional or avocational life and it should be recognized as such.
  • Third, how are the introductions done? Are they live by someone the Hall of Fame selects? Someone the inductee selects?  Video tape presentation? Many choices are possible.
  • What other events are held in coordination with the induction? Reception? Dinner? Event, concert or game?

Each of these practical questions needs to be answered in order to plan an induction and determine the time a Hall of Fame needs to complete the program. From that, the number of inductees will arise out of a simple function of time.

Most importantly, in thinking this through, remember the adage: “The mind can absorb only what the seat can endure!”

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. More information is available at the firm’s web site. He can be reached at jack@jrhuckel.com or 518/852-3033.

Jack is a member of the International Sports Heritage Association and 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.

Q&A About New Inductee Communications

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

(March 7, 2012) Mike Gustafson, Executive Director at the College Baseball Hall of Fame, recently posted this question and comment on the International Sports Heritage Association listserv for responses from other ISHA members:

Would any of you be willing to share your communications process and/or materials regarding communicating the news of their induction with the inductees themselves?

 I’m interested in hearing about the process you use to inform them, as well as seeing anything you are willing to share in terms of the information you send them about the induction festivities, etc. We’ve sent a small 3-ring binder of info in the past and with each passing year I like it less and less. Sigh.  In other words, I’m open to some fresh perspectives and new ideas!

 

I responded with the process I am most familiar with and wanted to share that response with all my column readers:

At the National Soccer Hall of Fame, communication with the newly s/elected Hall of Famer was a multi-step process.

It began with a congratulatory call by the president of the Hall of Fame. At that point a second call was scheduled with the staff member who handled the detailed communications with the inductee.

The second call had many objectives, from work in preparing a public announcement and press release to confirming addresses, phone and FAX numbers, date of the induction ceremony and the preliminary planning of travel and travel party. Also discussed was who would act as presenter at the ceremony. During this call it was clearly established what the Hall of Fame would pay for during the induction event.

The call was followed up by a letter that outlined the same points in detail and, in essence, put the information given during the call on paper.

What I found to be true was that multiple follow-up calls were necessary to keep the process on time! We presented a ring and jacket – getting sizes was a challenge sometimes as was finalizing travel and housing, for example.

A key point in this was to learn who is the really responsible partner; who does the planning for the inductee and family? Sometimes it is the inductee, but it can also be a spouse, parent, business partner, or…? Strive to identify who keeps the inductee on schedule/grounded as early as possible and include that person in all communications.

It proved to be a never ending process in some cases, while in others the time lines were met and everything went smoothly. Everyone is different.

 

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. More information is available at the firm’s web site. He can be reached at jack@jrhuckel.com or 518/852-3033.

Jack is a member of the International Sports Heritage Association and 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.

 

I’m interested in hearing about the process you use to inform them, as well
as seeing anything you are willing to share in terms of the information you send them about the induction festivities, etc. We’ve sent a small 3-ring binder of info in the past and with each passing year I like it less and less. Sigh.  In other words, I’m open to some fresh perspectives and new ideas!

 

I responded with the process I am most familiar with and wanted to share that response with all my column readers:

At the National Soccer Hall of Fame, communication with the newly s/elected Hall of Famer was a multi-step process.

It began with a congratulatory call by the president of the Hall of Fame. At that point a second call was scheduled with the staff member who handled the detailed communications with the inductee.

The second call had many objectives, from work in preparing a public announcement and press release to confirming addresses, phone and FAX numbers, date of the induction ceremony and the preliminary planning of travel and travel party. Also discussed was who would act as presenter at the ceremony. During this call it was clearly established what the Hall of Fame would pay for during the induction event.

The call was followed up by a letter that outlined the same points in detail and, in essence, put the information given during the call on paper.

What I found to be true was that multiple follow-up calls were necessary to keep the process on time! We presented a ring and jacket – getting sizes was a challenge sometimes as was finalizing travel and housing, for example.

A key point in this was to learn who is the really responsible partner; who does the planning for the inductee and family? Sometimes it is the inductee, but it can also be a spouse, parent, business partner, or…? Strive to identify who keeps the inductee on schedule/grounded as early as possible and include that person in all communications.

It proved to be a never ending process in some cases, while in others the time lines were met and everything went smoothly. Everyone is different.

 

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. More information is available at the firm’s web site. He can be reached at jack@jrhuckel.com or 518/852-3033.

Jack is a member of the International Sports Heritage Association and 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.