Case Study

Employing a winning strategy to champion the game of chess

World Chess Hall of Fame

World Chess Hall of Fame building exterior and World's Largest Chess Piece
  • 12,000 visitors per year
  • 60 public programs
  • 17 exhibits per year
  • 2 internationally broadcast to

The game of chess has a strong pulse in this country, and its heart beats at the Saint Louis Chess Campus. Located near two prominent universities, the vibrant Central West End is the long-standing home of the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, as well as the Q Boutique and Kingside Diner (known collectively as the Saint Louis Chess Campus).

The Saint Louis Chess Campus includes the 15,900 square-foot U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame. Displays of artifacts from the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions highlight the great players, historic games, and cultural impact of chess. Some of the world’s top chess tournaments are held and broadcast live to a global audience from this quaint neighborhood.

Services Involved
  • User experience design
  • Member / donor management
  • Multi-site web development

Repositioning the Global Home of Chess

Masters of the board, the World Chess Hall of Fame and its sibling organizations knew they needed a new strategy for their digital presence. The WCHOF wanted to improve how it manages its message and strengthen its member relationships while expanding awareness beyond its core audience.

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Defining a Winning Strategy

Spry Digital proposed the development of a new online presence for the WCHOF that incorporated the entire Saint Louis Chess Campus while delivering a vastly improved user experience. After an extensive needs analysis, Drupal was selected as the solution engine, and all campus entities are new fully integrated into this digital environment that supports the organization and its goals.

The new publishing environment positions the WCHOF as the destination for events, programming, news, information, and topics of interest to the international chess community. A multi-site instance of Drupal connects the publishing process across the Campus, improving communication efforts by allowing all partners to share and maintain one content platform.

Additionally, an improved event search and registration experience streamlines the process for members and visitors alike. Online registration is available, with easy-to-follow instructions and payment options.

Most importantly, the platform enables efficient collaboration, information sharing, and management of the connected organizations’ extensive membership efforts. All branches of the Campus can view member activity across all web properties, maximizing outreach and communication efforts while targeting the right members and visitors. The added insight into member and visitor areas of interest enables the Campus branches to better serve their local and global membership.

Multiple stakeholder interviews and user research informed Spry’s additional improvements to the platform experience:

  • Multi-site architecture allowing all contributors the ability to maintain and manage their content through a single web platform
  • A robust roles and permissions engine to seamlessly enhance content governance
  • Implementation of a shared instance of CiviCRM to create a unified system of donor/member management
WCHOF Design

A Digital Home for a True Champion

The visually engaging and easy-to-navigate web properties have the same “walkable” feel as the campus neighborhood, creating a lasting positive impression for chess and celebrating its champions.

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