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A Mascot Hall of Fame — why you might ask? In Whiting, Indiana? Where! That’s the next question. Mascots are fun, but the supporters who cheer them are very tribal. We only care about our team! So how do you get people and one-team sports fans to visit a museum full of other teams’ mascots?
And Whiting? As one commentator put it, “Indiana is a drivethru, not a destination.” But, the organizers felt a Mascot Hall of Fame might prove unusual enough to entice visitors. The foundation existed in the form of a virtual museum online.
Translating that into a physical space was a whole new ballgame. Just displaying a collection of mascots could prove interesting, but engaging people – especially families and the wider community – and bringing them back was a bigger challenge. Technology would have to join in the fun – create a winning experience.
The National Mascot Hall of Fame is an interactive children’s museum with mascot-themed exhibits embedded with S.T.E.A.M.- based education (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics). The mission of the Mascot Hall of Fame is to honor mascot performers, performances, and programs that have positively affected their communities.
The museum aims to appeal both to families and aficionados of roadside Americana. Most of the interactive exhibits are aimed at children and encourage active fun play.
The exhibits range from T-shooter games, push-button/ sensor interactive and touch-screen controlled custom applications featuring different topics within the subject of Mascots. Visitors can design their own mascots in a computer kiosk. There are two theatres featuring the ‘Furitorium’ and ‘Freshman Orientation’ and a hall with plaques for mascots inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Electrosonic designed and developed solutions for 18 separate exhibit areas, taking responsibility for installation, commissioning, programming, media management, specialist audio and application communication protocol for the interactive exhibits.
To ensure reliable operation and availability, Electrosonic manages remote monitoring and diagnostics of the installations.
The interactive exhibits are aimed primarily at children so easy-to-use interfaces were essential. With exhibits in 18 separate areas and more than 70 IP devices, sophisticated control systems were required, together with a robust support solution to ensure availability.
To minimize energy consumption, the museum required an autonomous start and end of day scheduling system. The owners also wanted support for special events, which required specialist control of media triggering to manage multi-purpose spaces.
This is an interactive museum that combines mascot-themed physical exhibits with engaging interactive displays and activities that feature educational content based around science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. Visitors of all ages can use interactive facilities to design their own mascots or learn about the history of mascots in sport. To widen interest among mascot professionals, the organizers plan induction weekends and boot camps. Truly, an immersive multimedia experience.
The unusual nature of the museum and its location meant it had to go beyond the average display. It had to be different — surprise visitors with the extraordinary and engage them.
The museum also maintains year-round interest by integrating technology, physical displays, regular new inductions to refresh the displays and themed events. Storytelling, technology and interaction have turned an unusual concept into an unlikely success story.