Wabash Blogs Marketing Immersion 2007

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A Visit to the College Football Halll of Fame

Justin Raisor

 Today for our Marketing Immersion Program, we traveled to the College Football Hall of Fame, which is located in South Bend, Indiana.  One of the main reasons we were traveling the two hours north was to attain a closer look at a marketing scheme gone bad.  The College Football Hall of Fame is typically identified by these means.  We met with Katie Berrettini who was in charge of marketing the museum.

 After discussing various aspects of marketing along with the strategies that were working/not working for her, I began to understand some of the reasons why their marketing techniques as well as their means for running a successful non-profit organization were not working.  First, there is a lack of enthusiasm by the local citizens of South Bend.  Because the Hall of Fame is funded through tax dollars and hotel/motel tax, many people throughout the city are strong in their beliefs about not supporting the museum.  For some reason or another, they simply do not feel it is something worth giving tax dollars towards.  The museum, which was supposed to be a great tourist attraction for South Bend does not really function through these means.  Because of their location, in between gigantic business buildings, the Hall of Fame is very much out of place.  So, because of the lack of appeal in surroundings with only a convention center connection to the museum, the Hall of Fame lacks appeal.

Finally, since the local community lacks support, Katie Berrettini is forced into targeting a larger audience outside of Indiana.  And, because of the factors previously mentioned, this marketing strategy does not work either, as most people are not attracted towards staying in South Bend solely for tourist purposes.  The College Football Hall of Fame, although struggling to survive, has however showed some improvements through usage of large events.  Eventually, South Bend as a city as well as college football supporters will hopefully accept the museum and give more support.