Hello ISHA Members!

Below are the results of the 2021 Industry Survey sent out earlier this year. We had 26 responses in all, providing a glimpse into the state of the sports heritage industry within the ISHA Membership.

If you have any questions on this or other surveys, please feel free to reach out!

2021 ISHA Industry Survey Results

Best regards,

BETH ATLAS (she/her)
Senior Manager & Curator, 49ers Museum
San Francisco 49ers
T 408.562.4973  |  M 408.582.8251
SAP Performance Facility
4949 Marie P. DeBartolo Way
Santa Clara, CA 95054

The International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) announced during its virtual conference last week that a new Executive Administrator was hired for the association. The previous Executive Director, Karen Bednarski, announced she was stepping down to pursue other interests this past summer. After an exhaustive search by the executives on the board, we are happy to announce the hiring of Shane Mailman.

“We would like to thank Karen for her experience and support over the last 16 years.” said Dana Hart, ISHA President, “Karen has given ISHA a solid foundation and we are confident that Shane will do a wonderful job in continuing that success.”

Shane Mailman has been in the sport heritage industry for over half of his life. Living in Nova Scotia, Canada, Shane is currently the Director of Programs and Operations at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. He has been with the NSSHF for 24 years and has been involved in all aspects of the organization including management of the facility, museum, collections, programming, fundraising, event planning, and more. Shane has served on the ISHA board for the past three years and is the current president of the Canadian Association for Sport Heritage and has a long history working with boards and not-for-profits. Shane has stepped down from serving the ISHA board to serve as the associations Executive Administrator effective immediately.

With a passion for sport and preserving its history, Shane would like to share that he is, “excited to start this position with ISHA and continue to grow the organization. Karen Bednarski and the ISHA board have done a fantastic job over decades making ISHA the number one sport heritage organization in the world. To be involved in continuing this tradition, to work with and meet so many like-minded people, and to have members that are connected to some of the greatest sport franchises, moments, and athletes of all time, is truly an honor. I look forward to working with all of you and I can’t wait to get started!”

Shane Mailman can be reached at [email protected] for any of your ISHA needs.

ISHA Presents Annual Awards

Richard Johnson to receive ISHA’s Legacy Award

Richard A. Johnson, native of Worcester, MA, receives ISHA’s Legacy Award during its annual conference hosted virtually by the International Tennis Hall of Fame on October 27 and 28.

ISHA created the Legacy Award in 2018 to recognize an individual or organization located in the geographical area of the annual conference to provide an opportunity for the host to honor a local sports heritage contributor.

Johnson graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, ME where he was a member of the varsity cross country and indoor track teams. Johnson’s degree in Art History and passion for sports launched him into a successful and celebrated career. Since 1982, Johnson has served as Curator of the Sports Museum at TD Garden in Boston, MA when he joined as the museum’s first employee.

During his time at the Sports Museum, Johnson has curated exhibits on diverse topics including “Women in Sports, Insights from Her Past”, “Rocky Marciano, The Rock of His Times”, “Stylianos Kyriakides, The Human Race”, “Boston’s Braves 1876-1952”, “Fenway Park, From Duffy’s Cliff to the Green Monster”, “The World Cup” (in collaboration with The British Council), “The Sports Photographs of Leslie Jones”, among others.

In addition to his successful career at the Sports Museum, Johnson has authored or co-authored twenty-three books and served as a consultant on projects featuring The Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Cambridge Seven Associates, WGBH (local radio station in Boston), ESPN, HBO, and The Boston Museum of Science.

“For more than 40 years, Richard Johnson has served as the gatekeeper for the rich legacy of New England sports. His encyclopedic knowledge, finely crafted books, and generosity of spirit has enabled generations of New Englanders to embrace the sports legacy of New England. The Legacy Award is yet another well deserved recognition for Richard in an accomplished career serving as the steward for New England’s unparalleled sports tradition”.

Douglas Stark, Museum Director, International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Michael Gibbons to receive ISHA’s Schroeder Award

ISHA is excited to announce that Michael Gibbons with the 2021 Schroeder Award.  The W.R. “Bill” Schroeder Award is presented periodically and is the highest honor presented by ISHA.

Mike is a native Baltimorean and worked on a project to revitalize the Babe Ruth Birthplace, and in 1983 became its Executive Director.

Under Mike’s guidance, the Birthplace expanded its theme to include the Baltimore Orioles, Colts and Ravens, the Maryland Terrapins, and the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame. To house the expanding collection, the museum opened Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards, a virtual state sports museum, in 2005. Mike stepped down as executive director in 2017, but continues to work with the museum on exhibits, programming, media relations and the collection.

During his 38-year tenure at the museum, Mike has enjoyed a wide range of speaking appearances on Babe Ruth and Maryland sports including the Today Show, MLB Network, ESPN, Comcast, the National Baseball HOF, and local SABR chapters in Baltimore, Washington and NY.

“Those who inspire to be a leader can look at Mike’s career and dedication in raising and profiling sport within Maryland. His love and passion for sport and Babe is evident in every talk he gives. I want to congratulate Mike for this well-deserved award!”

Dana Hart, ISHA President

ISHY Awards

The ISHY Awards program was established to provide recognition for excellence in publications by all member sports museums, halls of fame or sports heritage organizations, regardless of size or budget, based upon a competition evaluated by ISHA members.

2021 ISHY Award Winners

Category B. Non-Book Publication (Under $250K)
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame – Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Program

Category B. Non-Book Publication (Over $250K)
San Francisco 49ers, 49ers Museum Longform Series: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Category C. Marketing Materials – print materials (Over $250K)
USGA- Golf House Pinehurst

Category C. Marketing Materials – video/audio shorts (Under $250K)
National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame-NPASHF “About Us” video

Category C: Marketing Materials – video/audio shorts (Over $250K)
World of Little League® Museum and Official Store – Anderson (Gary, Ind.) Little League: The First All-Black Little League World Series Team

Category C. Marketing Materials – Social Media Account of the Year
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum – Tip your Cap Campaign

Category D. Educational Programming
The Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon Technologies – Patriots Hall of Fame virtual education program

Category E. HOF Inductions and/or Annual Event Materials (Under $250K)
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame – Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Televised Special

Category E. HOF Inductions and/or Annual Event Materials (Over $250K)
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America – 2020 MSHFA Inductee Display Cases

Category F. New Exhibit (Under $50K)
Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum – Canadian Open Host Golf Club Exhibit

Category F: New Exhibit (Over $250K)
The Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame – Breaking the Barriers: The ATA and Black Tennis Pioneers

Category F. New Exhibit (between $50K-$250K)
Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame – Prairie Pride: A History of Saskatchewan Football

Category F. New Exhibit (Over $250K)
Northern Light Productions – Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

The International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) and its Conference Committee has decided to transition our in-person conference, which was scheduled to be held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in October, to a virtual conference.

ISHA President Dana Hart said, “Although we were hoping to return to an in-person conference this year, due to the impact of the pandemic, it was determined a virtual conference would provide the best access to the greatest number of members.”

The International Tennis Hall of Fame will remain as the virtual host for “The Grand Slam”. The two-day virtual conference will be held on October 27 & 28 and offer a schedule of diverse sessions designed to engage all of our members.

The most important time on the International Sports Heritage Association’s calendar is the annual conference held in the fall. Delegates from around the world will come together, virtually this year, to learn/ share best practices, meet new vendors, network, and share in the joy of representing the preservation and celebration of the world’s sports history. We invite you to take part in this year’s virtual event and benefit from its business opportunities.

Click Here for More Information and to Register

The 2021 ISHY Awards Application is now open to all members.  The ISHY Awards were created to recognize all levels of communications that our members have created to enhance or educate their sport or institution.

The Categories for the 2021 ISHY Awards are as follows:

  • Books, printed hard-cover or soft-bound
  • Non-Book Publications
  • Marketing Materials – including subcategories for a) Print Materials, b) Video/Audio Shorts, c) Social Media Account of the Year
  • Educational Programming – focus is on education through lecture series, curriculum-based programming, etc.
  • Hall of Fame Induction/Annual Event Support Materials
  • New Exhibit

Click Here for the 2021 ISHY Awards Form

My name is Andrew Stockmann and I am an Emerging Professional in ISHA. I wanted to introduce myself and my new project, Hallowed Ground: The Sports Museum Podcast!

Probably like many of you in ISHA, I have always been fascinated with the history of sports. Growing up, our family vacations were usually centered around visiting MLB stadiums and any surrounding sports museums. As a result, I’ve visited several large, nationally-recognized museums in large cities and smaller, more niche museums across the country. That love of sports led to me studying Sport Management at Wichita State University with the goal of a career in the sport industry. I graduated from WSU in the summer of 2020 and currently work for FarmHouse Fraternity as an Assistant Director.

While at Wichita State, I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 International Sports Heritage Association conference as an Emerging Professional, where I learned about the sports heritage industry. Attending the ISHA conference helped solidify sports heritage as the segment of the sport industry I wanted to pursue for my career. I thoroughly enjoyed networking with sport museum professionals, learning about topics such as preservation and outreach, and exploring the new Wichita baseball stadium!

I decided to start a sports museum podcast to continue to network within the industry and provide exciting content to sports history fans like myself. On Hallowed Ground, I bring listeners in-depth interviews with the men and women behind-the-scenes of sports heritage organizations, those who work in programming, curation, and membership development, to name a few. Episode One was with Ricardo Rodriguez from the Baseball Heritage Museum in Cleveland, OH, and Episode Two was with Justine Kaempfer, ISHA Board member and Museum Programs Assistant at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in Green Bay, WI. More episodes are on the way!

I plan to release episodes bi-weekly, and I hope the podcast can be mutually beneficial, helping me and my listeners gain insight into sports heritage while also providing exposure to each museum. The podcast has been downloaded in eight countries!

You can find the podcast by searching “Hallowed Ground: The Sports Museum Podcast” on most podcast apps. Here are some direct links to the podcast on Apple, Google, and Spotify.

You can email me any questions or let me know if you’d like to be a guest on the podcast at [email protected] or interact on our social media pages: @HGPod on Twitter and hallowedgroundpod on Instagram. I’m super excited about this new project and my continued membership in ISHA!

Join our Hot Topic on April 29th at 2 pm EST.

This month’s ISHA Hot Topic will focus on how a Sports Hall of Fame can broaden its appeal, attract visitors, and add value to their area and community.

Creating interest to attract visitors to your sports venue is critically important.  Particularly if you are not a nationally recognized sports entity.

In the summer of 2021, the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame took major rebranding efforts to broaden their appeal to their community, and seasonal tourist, with a $140,000.00 renovation of their area Hall of Fame by redirecting their emphasis to reflect “Beyond the Game:  The Value of Sports!”.

Their Vision statement of “Recognize outstanding athletes & contributors.  Share memories, preserve legacies, instill life lessons, and add value to the community in unique ways”, is presented in their completely renovated facility.

The focus of honoring athletes, and preserving legacy is centered around the importance sports play in establishing the foundation for a satisfying life, and the life lessons learned from athletic participation.

Register Here

It is a new year and a new role for me in ISHA!  I first would like to thank Bryan Morry for his outstanding leadership in the role of President of ISHA.  As we continue to navigate the COVID environment I look at our ISHA community as a guidance and support system for like minded halls and museums.  

A few of my goals during my tenure are to ensure that we offer pertinent information and training to all members.  There is strength in numbers, and it is always a benefit to talk with fellow members about the challenges and successes of our organizations.  The ISHA website provides a great list of white pages for member organizations to utilize and an opportunity to share their own documents.  Also, you can request additional information or ask a question to fellow members through the listserv. 

My second goal is to make sure that we know our members and that we enjoy our time together as we celebrate and promote sports heritage.  I think you will find a great outreach of communication this year from the organization and through your board buddies.

My third goal is to maintain and increase our membership base.  It is important to retain our current members through renewal and look for other organizations as potential members.   

My final goal is for our time together to be fun.  I have been fortunate to build great friendships , allies, and resources in my time with ISHA.  It has been an experience well worth the cost of the membership not only for me, but for my organization.  

I am always a phone call or email away and look forward to getting to know many of you in the coming year and growing our organization.

Dana Hart

ISHA President