Case Study: Kansas Sports Hall of Fame special exhibit Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936

Kansas Sports Hall of Fame special exhibit Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936
Case Study

Note: this campaign won a 2008 Clarus award of Excellence

The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame was in need of positive news coverage. Strained financial issues and low visitor attendance has kept the Hall of Fame in limelight, but with a negative undertone.  In an effort to boost attendance and awareness, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame secured a special traveling exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C titled THE NAZI OLYMPICS Berlin 1936.

The objectives were to garner positive media attention, boost attendance and build a “buzz” and awareness of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. In addition, promote a message that the Hall of Fame was not just for a sports audience, but that with the exhibition, it could draw historians, educators, as well as sports enthusiasts. A programming schedule was also developed and promoted as part of the exhibition.

The exhibit was on view from January 12-April 6, 2008. A VIP event was planned and invitations sent to all media, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame mailing list and government and city officials. Educator programs were planned, as well as other programs related to THE NAZI OLYMPICS were developed using local historians and scholars.

A press release was sent out, as well as e-mail blasts reminding people of the event and exhibit. An educator postcard was produced and mailed prior to the opening to all high schools in the state of Kansas informing schools of the teacher packet and tours that were available for middle school, high school and college aged students.

Speakers were confirmed to talk during the VIP event, and a docent-led tour was arranged. Schools in the area were notified of the opportunities for student programs, as well as the home-school sector in Wichita.

Underwriting messages aired during the duration of the exhibit, rotating the message to coincide with upcoming programs.

Attendance increased 300% in the first month of the exhibit. A front page article in The Wichita Eagle ran the day before the opening, which resulted in two pages of comments from readers. Two secondary publications ran full or half page stories. More than 60 “movers and shakers” from the Wichita community attended the VIP event, and all three local television affiliates aired the story in at least one evening newscast, with two stations airing the exhibit opening in two or more primetime newscasts and weekend morning shows. One station aired a feature story the following week, and two did live cut-ins from the museum. Three radio interviews were conducted, including one on the local NPR station with the curator of THE NAZI OLYMPICS. Five morning or noon day interviews also aired. Nineteen school and tour groups made special arrangements to tour the exhibit.

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