JRA, a leading experience designer, has announced a successful renovation project for Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.
JRA is pleased to announce the success of a major improvement project at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, including the relocation of historic demonstrations, a new film and a new bat-making process. This factory tour renovation is the first of its kind since the museum opened in 1996. The popular attraction welcomes 300,000 guests a year.
Visitors taking the new tour first enjoy a 3.5-minute movie, taking them to the forests and mills where the journey of every Louisville Slugger bat starts. Guests learn all about the story of the wood through this huge, floor-to-ceiling projection, setting the scene for the tour ahead.
Throughout the tour, visitors explore the bat-making process and get an insight into never-seen-before steps. For example, they are shown the custom spray process, pad printing and mini-bat production. All this is communicated through larger monitors, an improved sound system and brand new footage. New graphics line the tour route, detailing the history of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. and its role in producing the much-loved Louisville Slugger bat since 1884. The new and improved tour even includes hands-on fun, where visitors can touch and hold samples of the bat.
Showcasing a legendary bat
In another new addition, the giant Pro Player Billet Bin highlights the billets destined to be turned into baseball bats for the country’s favourite star players and major league teams. Visitors are able to explore the handcrafted shelves and pull out the billets destined for their favourite players.
“One feature that has always set Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory apart as an unforgettable experience is the authenticity of walking through the heart of the production line. This is a genuine, working factory, and our guests are in the middle of the action,” says Anne Jewell, Vice President and Executive Director of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. “Now, that experience is even better with these major league upgrades, improving the sights, sounds, and stories that surround our guests here.”
Once the tour is complete, each visitor is gifted a free souvenir mini-bat, presented in the newly revamped gallery area. The gallery features quotes about the iconic bat from household names such as Cool Papa Bell and Babe Ruth, alongside vintage carts from the factory.
Two historic bat-making processes are still done at the factory, and thanks to the renovations these now take place in the museum gallery. This allows visitors to watch, as well as interacting with the workers, asking questions and taking pictures. Guests can observe the old-fashioned hand-turning, where the bat is carved or ‘turned’ on a lathe, as it would have been done in the 1880s. This takes places daily. They can also watch the burn branding process from the 1st July, where bats are rolled over a 1,300-degree iron plate for branding.
JRA provided master planning, writing and content development, exhibit design, graphic design, executive media production, project management, and art direction for the renovation.
“The ultimate goal of the new tour is to share the spirit and personality of the product and brand through the factory’s process and people,” said Matthew Wheeler, JRA Senior Project Director. “This authentic brand story is told in a contemporary and sensory way. With an enhanced storyline, media, lighting, environmental graphics, and technology, the new tour shares Louisville Slugger’s rich history, while offering guests a look at its continued role in baseball’s future.”
JRA also recently provided master planning, writing and content development, exhibit design, project management, executive media production and art direction for The National Comedy Centre in New York, which was recognised in the AAM Media and Technology MUSE awards.