A highly visible, state-of-the-art electronic sign has been erected adjacent to the Indiana Toll Road to welcome visitors to the new Recreation Vehicle/Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame and Museum. Ground is scheduled to be broken on the new facility by the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc. on Aug. 2.
Besides welcoming visitors, the sign will be serve as a promotional venue for the Go RVing market expansion campaign and probably other public and private ventures.
The industrywide Go RVing Coalition purchased advertising on the sign for $200,000 – more than enough to pay its $140,000 cost – and is likely to continue advertising with the hall at that level for the foreseeable future.
The coalition will receive a major amount of advertising on the sign and highly visible presence inside the hall of fame/museum after it opens.
“We anticipate continuing to be a part of it, but at this point it is year to year,” said B.J. Thompson, chairman of Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Public Relations Committee and of the Go RVing Coalition subcommittee that negotiated the sponsorship with the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
The sign is 15 feet high and 20 feet wide. Its 18-inch high message on the 14-foot-wide LED portion of the sign dims or brightens, depending on conditions, and new messages will be able to be loaded from a computer inside the hall.
Between 40,000 and 50,000 vehicles pass the site each day traveling east and west on the Indiana Toll Road, according to foundation estimates. “We are going to pick up a lot of eyeballs on the Indiana Toll Road,” Thompson said.
Gary LaBella, RVIA vice president of public relations and advertising, said the Go RVing Coalition views the arrangement with the hall of fame in an advertising context. “We look at this as a way of gaining exposure among consumers,” LaBella said.
LaBella said details about Go RVing’s presence inside the facility are still being negotiated.
“We are treating it as any media buy – just as if were buying advertising on TV on billboards,” LaBella said. “We think that $200,000 is a fair amount for what we will be getting. This is the industry’s money and this is the industry’s hall of fame and museum.
“Go RVing participation will help ensure that the new facility will be as much about the current and the future as it is about the past.”
The 65,000-square-foot hall of fame on 40 acres is anticipated to be the lynchpin of a 1,000-acre corporate park that will be developed over the next 20 years.
Phase I, slated for completion next June will include the central core of the facility, comprised of the reception area, hall of fame, recognition area, administrative offices and library.
The second phase will be devoted to a virtual hall of fame and display for the manufactured housing industry; the third phase will include a conference center for conventions and industry meetings.