How the Museum is Personalizing Experiences for its Patrons
When Clint Dempsey, Christie Pearce Rampone and four other American soccer greats enter the National Soccer Hall of Fame this weekend, they obviously will enjoy the VIP treatment. After all, everyone at the induction knows who they are.
Fun fact: The rest of the year, the rest of us can get a personalized experience at the museum, too.
Built to be the Most Personalized Experience in Sports, the NSHOF opened in Frisco, Texas, in 2018 with groundbreaking facial-recognition technology that makes it possible to serve interactive, audio-visual experiences that resonate with you — your favorite teams and players, based on your knowledge of the game — at more than a dozen locations along the tour.
It’s worth noting that the NSHOF built its personalized museum experience around virtual reality, gesture technology and interactive digital video boards long before the pandemic’s digital disruption drove trends in that direction, long before people were shopping for real estate in the metaverse.
The NSHOF also features VR technology that lets visitors test their soccer skills or go one-on-one with some of the best in the sport, as well as an interactive station through which you can insert yourself into photos from some of the game’s most iconic moments, all of them available to you as a digital keepsake.
You can even design your own customized scarf on a video screen and take it home with you that day!
In 2019, the NSHOF won the American Alliance of Museums’ Gold Muse Award for Research and Innovation for its facial recognition software, and it was a finalist for Best Venue in the World Football Summit Industry Awards, nominated along with two new stadiums that year.
The Hall’s founders and caretakers felt it was important that the experience be reflective — and worthy — of the loyalty that the Beautiful Game inspires in its fans. That meant the facility needed to be more than just a home for artifacts.
“This is a unique experience that you will not find anywhere else,” executive director Djorn Buchholz said. “Getting to engage with the virtual presence of some of the sport’s greatest stars is a very special experience, and using the motion caption technology in concert with the facial recognition is something we are very proud of.
“This is the history of the sport in our country. We are honoring the past, present and future.”
The Hall’s marriage of technology and the tactile is groundbreaking. The museum’s focus on personalization and customizable experiences shows a commitment to connecting fans to the sport more deeply than a series of artifacts alone ever could (though it is awe-inspiring to see all of the World Cup trophies won by the U.S. Women’s National Team all in one place.)
We’re proud to have worked as digital, marketing and content partners with the NSHOF since before its opening, and we always look forward to supporting the team’s efforts during induction weekend, when the sport’s legends convene to honor the newest class and celebrate the sport’s past, present and future.