January 22, 2010: In an effort to build on the marketing success experienced in 2009, and in part on what could be the second appearance of Michael Jordan in as many years, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame said it would move the Class of 2010 enshrinement ceremonies from its traditional time in September to Aug. 13.
According to Hall of Fame executives, last year’s Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement was among the most successful events in the venue's history, Enshrinement ceremonies, highlighted by the induction of Jordan, received substantial marketing support from Nike, Gatorade, Hanes and others, was televised on ESPN, and had significant support from the NBA and locally in Springfield, Mass. The ceremony was moved from on-site at the Hall of Fame to a larger Symphony Hall venue in Springfield to accommodate a huge crowd that came to see Jordan, as well as fellow inductees David Robinson, John Stockton, coach C. Vivian Stringer and coach Jerry Sloan.
Among the eligible nominees for the Class of 2010 is the USA Basketball “Dream Team,” whose 1992 Olympic gold-medal winning roster included Jordan, Larry Bird, "Magic" Johnson, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone; the latter two are also eligible for induction based on their NBA careers; and the late Jim Valvano, who coached North Carolina State to the NCAA title in 1983.
Finalists will be unveiled on Feb. 12 as part of the NBA All-Star Game events in Dallas. Should the Dream Team be selected for induction, anticipation would be high that many, if not all, of the players could be in Springfield. The 1992 USA Basketball Team was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame last year. Jordan did not attend due to a scheduling conflict, but among those who did were Pippen, Robinson, Ewing, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullen, Christian Laettner and assistant coach Mike Krzyzewski, who went on to become the legendary head coach at Duke University. Dream Team head coach Chuck Daly passed away in May 2009.
Boosting marketing for Hall of Fame ceremonies would not be without precedent. The Pro Football Hall of Fame recently aligned with JC Penney and Van Heusen for a promotion that encouraged fans to cast their unofficial votes for the Class of 2010, supported by TV, print and Internet.
The change of date was also motivated by a scheduling conflict with the 2010 FIBA Men’s World Championship, which will will be held Istanbul, Turkey, from Aug. 28-Sept. 12.
“With the prior dates in direct conflict with the Men’s World Championship and the real possibility of a Hall of Fame tribute to the ’92 USA Basketball Dream Team by members of the USA teams, both past and present, we feel confident that the week leading to August 13 will be the perfect time to celebrate the enshrinement of the Class of 2010,” John Doleva, president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a statement. “We will work with the local community and our growing number of business partners to schedule a week of activities for fans who can plan a trip to Springfield as part of their summer vacations.”
The 1992 U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Team: Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, John Stockton, head coach Chuck Daly and assistant coaches P.J. Carlesimo, Mike Krzyzewski and Lenny Wilkens.