The Client. The Pro Football Hall of Fame was founded in 1963 in Canton, Ohio – also the city that birthed the National Football League. The organization houses 20 million documents on football history, as well as thousands of artifacts; it further operates a museum and visitor's center, and rents its facilities for dinners, awards ceremonies and the like.
The Challenge. Over the years, in 1971, 1978 and 1995, the Pro Football Hall of Fame underwent building expansions. Almost 20 years since the last overhaul, the Hall of Fame is in the middle of a two-phased, $28 million project as officials prepare for the institution's 50th anniversary.
Dubbed "The Future 50," the expansion will turn the Hall of Fame from an 85,000-square-foot facility into one measuring 118,000 square feet by August 2013. Standout features will include doubling the size of the museum, the installation of new exhibits and renovation of the galleries in the rotunda building.
But through all of that modernization, there remained two holes. The first was the lack of Wi-Fi for staff or visitors (the Hall of Fame in 2012 celebrated hosting its 9 millionth visitor).
"We're the premier sports museum and showplace – how could Starbucks and BP Convenience Stores have Wi-Fi, and we not?" said Dave Motts, vice president of marketing and sponsorship for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "We were falling behind peers and competitors in the travel business, we were losing business on meetings and rentals."
Plus, the facility's out-of-production Mitel phone system was almost a decade old.
"I'm an old ops guy and I knew that if we moved the control panels, probably half would break," Motts said.
The Solution. After considering systems from Cisco and other suppliers, Pro Football Hall of Fame officials settled on Siemens Enterprise Communications as the best option. That's because the vendor specialized in telephony, video conferencing and Wi-Fi – all components the Hall of Fame needed to put the finishing touches on its 50th anniversary grand opening.
"This is going to help us not just with internal communications but with business-to-business communications and the visitor experience," Motts said. "It will elevate us into what we should be – trying to get the Hall of Fame ready for the next 50 years."