(8/6/18 – Syracuse, N.Y.) Whether you care for the sport or not, baseball is more than a game. It's America's story. And for so many, it's a part of their own story. Inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are hundreds – perhaps thousands – of chapters that reach well beyond the statistics for which baseball Hall is known.
In that sense, it is the ultimate destination – an experience based on one's own connection that you happen to share with millions of others who play, watch or love the game. The museum speaks the universal language of feeling: the goosebumps, the fond memories, the recognition that baseball history is American history.
That's the story that needed to be told: to fans, to families, to everyone.
Following detailed research and analysis, ABC determined a number of steps and tactics the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum could use to increase attendance.
ABC had the benefit of a just-completed study by the prestigious Luntz Global organization. It showed that location was a primary challenge identified by past visitors of the Hall. At the same token, they found the Hall and Cooperstown experience to be worth the trip, not to mention an economical vacation option.
ABC mapped out the imagery and video assets necessary to coincide with Luntz Global recommendations as the first step in the process that will trickle into digital enhancements, content development and PR efforts.
Working in close collaboration with the Hall's marketing team, ABC sought to improve the web experience with reorganized and new content directed at untapped audiences. Public relations and media strategy furthered these efforts with strong calls to action focused on the museum and comprehensive Cooperstown experience.
Video was an optimal opportunity to shift the presentation of the museum on the website in order to increase attendance.
ABC headed to the Hall for a multi-day photography and video shoot, including b-roll of the Hall and Cooperstown. All logistics, including talent management and location scouting, were handled by ABC. All new assets were shot, edited and produced by ABC.
ABC used the new footage to create a 30-second commercial spot targeted at key feeder markets. Implementing the new photography assets and copy, ABC created a 2018 visitor guide and brochure for the Hall.
Based on findings and analytic data, itineraries for each of the target markets were developed with the goal of branding the museum as both accessible and worth the trip to Cooperstown. These feature articles presented ideas for additional things for each target audience (families, men and history buffs) to do while in the area.
Public relations and outreach efforts focused on travel and lifestyle outlets, as well as history publications, both online and in print, in order to increase visibility among the target audiences. Instead of re-targeting the sports industry publications, whose readers are already familiar with the Hall, ABC raised awareness among the families with children who are thinking about planning a trip as well as the history enthusiasts who are unaware of the rich American history that is the essence of the museum.
Finally, ABC developed a year-long media strategy to tap into key drive-time markets (within four to five hours). Again, this went beyond baseball fans, but also positioned the Hall as a destination.
Underneath all of this work was the basic need to tell stories and the genuine passion to write, design and capture all the details that make a destination one worth seeing and believing.
Induction Weekend in late July drew the second-largest crowd in history. By August, the Museum had reached its goal of increasing visitors by 8 percent with a quarter of the year still to go.
By taking the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum out beyond the ballgame, ABC was able to bring more prominence to the museum and appeal to Cooperstown among a much wider audience.