PRESS RELEASE #8|
January 4, 2018
For Immediate release
IISOH Library & Museum to Acquire ROCKY #3; Fundraising Campaign 2018; Boxing Endowment; ROCKY Statue history.
(Title can be changed to suit your editorial needs)
Additional information is available from
Harvey Abrams, President
IISOH Library & Museum
PO Box 175
State College, PA 16804
tel: (814) 321-4018
Press release follows:
The International Institute for Sport History (IISOH) Library & Museum announces the start of a major fundraising campaign designed to fund a BOXING ENDOWMENT. A major portion of the fund will be used immediately to purchase the famous bronze statue of ROCKY from the Sylvester Stallone film ROCKY III. This will be the first major acquisition for the Institute's Museum.
ROCKY #3 - original bronze statue by Thomas Schomberg
The BOXING ENDOWMENT and the ROCKY acquisition is just the first part of a longer campaign that will run the entire year. The longer campaign is known as the MILLION DONOR CAMPAIGN (or) the CHARTER MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN and seeks one million donors...each making a single donation of $25.00 (twenty-five Dollars). This will establish a second endowment to support the Operating Fund for the day-to-day expenses of the Institute.
The acquisition of the bronze ROCKY statue will be the first major acquisition for the Museum. As part of the mission to collect sports-related art the IISOH seeks a significant number of important historical statues for the collection. However it will be almost impossible to acquire original masterpieces from the ancient Greek and Roman eras. Those statues, whether in bronze or marble, are located in great museums in London, Rome, Paris, New York, Boston and other cities worldwide. The IISOH plan is to acquire replicas made from molds of the originals. It was a century ago that classical studies were part of university studies. Today few people study classical art and fewer museums have collections.
The IISOH plans to acquire replicas of all ancient Greek and Roman statuary that is related to sport and athletics. An agreement has already been made to acquire the famous statue of the DISCUS THROWER (Discobolos/Discobolus) from the British Museum in London. Many other great statues located in Italian museums are next on our want list such as the Seated Boxer.
The statue of ROCKY that the IISOH plans to acquire is the third of three statues made by artist A. Thomas Schomberg for Sylvester Stallone's movie ROCKY III. The original contract with Stallone (circa 1980) allowed the artist to make three copies of the statue, but Stallone only purchased the first one. The public was not aware of this for many years. It was artist Schomberg's regular policy that for all of his "monumental" statues he could make three copies.
Harvey Abrams, IISOH founder and President, originally had the rights to ROCKY #2 and ROCKY #3. An effort was made in 2003 to sell one copy of Rocky on ebay for $5 million. Had the project worked the money was to be used to acquire the two statues and give one to the buyer while keeping one for the IISOH Museum. The leftover funds were to establish an endowment however the effort failed. ROCKY #2 was then purchased from the artist by Robert Breitbard, sports mogal from San Diego, California. He placed ROCKY #2 inside his museum, the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum. But Breitbard died in 2010 and the attendance at his museum declined over the years. In the summer of 2017 the museum announced that it would close and relocate it's Hall of Fame to another location. They also announced the sale of part of their collection and in November 2017 ROCKY #2 went up for sale at an auction. It sold for over $400,000 and the buyer was just made public a few days ago - it was Sylvester Stallone himself. Stallone made the announcement via his personal Instagram page with a photograph of the statue behind him and friend, Arnold Schwartzenegger.
ROCKY #3 was not cast for several more years because the original mold broke and a new mold had to be created. Now that the statue is cast and polished - it is ready to live in Pennsylvania.
The IISOH is seeking widespread public support to bring ROCKY #3 to the Commonwealth where it will be permanently displayed in front of the planned IISOH Museum.
The history of the statue has been described on many websites, but none have the details quite correct. In the beginning the statue was created for Sylvester Stallone in 1980 as a prop in his movie ROCKY III and was located on the top step of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The public loved the movie and the statue became a huge tourist attraction in Philadelphia, second only to the Liberty Bell. But controversy followed.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, a non-profit corporation with a Board of trustees that operates the Museum for the benefit of the citizens of Philadelphia, did not want the statue to stay on the steps. They argued that the statue was just a movie prop and not a work of art. The issue caused a storm in Philadelphia. The issue was also complicated. Stallone donated ROCKY #1 to the city of Philadelphia. As such it was officially considered public art and was therefore under the control of the Fairmount Park Commission, not the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Museum building, a beautiful neo-classical structure built in the 1920's, is owned by the city. The land is owned by the city. But the roles of various agencies control where art can be displayed in public.
The Fairmount Park Commission ceased to exist in 2009 and it was replaced by the Parks and Recreation Commission (PaRC), or the Commission on Parks and Recreation...both names are used on the city's official website. Philadelphia causes even more confusion because the web page for the Fairmount Park Commission still exists and has not been updated since 2000. Added to this emotional art battle is the Philadelphia Art Commission which controls the actual physical placement of art when it is to be located on publicly owned property, which includes the Museum of Art and its land. Finally, there is the Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly known as the Fairmount Park Art Association, which is private non-profit corporation that promotes Philadelphia public art. They have a nice website with a great description of Rocky but they have no control over any art. The names of these several organizations are similar and their roles in displaying public art add to the confusion.
In the end ROCKY #1 traveled a lot. It went from the Art Museum steps to storage, then to display at the Spectrum, back to the steps again, back to storage and finally to the lower lawn of the Art Museum where you can see it today. It is an enormously popular tourist attraction.
The campaign by the IISOH to raise money to buy the statue (Rocky $3) is scheduled to run for 95 days, from January 2 to April 6, 2018. The goal is to raise $3.5 million Dollars by soliciting donations from Pennsylvania's 12.5 millions citizens and 900,000 businesses. While a donor can give whatever they want, the IISOH is seeking a single donation of just $25.00 from each donor - meaning 140,000 individual donors are needed. The IISOH wants a single donation just once in a donor's lifetime - there will be no "annual appeal" or mailings that request support again and again. The unique campaign is specifically designed to get a lot of people involved and to give those people a LIFETIME acknowledgement for their support. The Institute recognizes that there are so many non-profits that have fundraising events it is better to create a large endowment for support than to ask for money every year. The IISOH will acknowledge every donation of $25.00 or more on their website and a second time on a "ROCKY wall" inside the museum when it is built. With an endowment the Institute hopes to focus on its mission and not on fundraising.
The IISOH goal is to get every business owner in Pennsylvania – over 900,000 such owners, to make a single donation of $25.00 just once in their lifetime. The Institute wants every coach and Physical Education teacher in Pennsylvania to become a Charter Member for the same once-in-a-lifetime donation. The IISOH does not want to have annual events and compete with the many other charitable organizations that raise money. The purpose of this strategy is to avoid annual fund-raising events.... "If we can get every business owner, coach, teacher and family to make a onetime donation then we can establish a nice endowment and work off the interest – never asking for money again," according to President Harvey Abrams.
The IISOH estimates that when fully funded there will be as many as 300 full and part-time employees in the library, museum, restaurant, stadium and indoor/outdoor sports facilities that are planned for this project. A stadium is planned for the sports campus - a replica of the stadium of ancient Olympia that would be used to teach the history of the ancient Olympic Games. One plan is to sponsor educational sports events, re-creations of the ancient Games during spring, summer and fall. One ancient rule will be amended for modern day athletes, all the participants must keep their clothes on, no nude athletes will be permitted.
The Institute plans to develop a comprehensive Library of sports literature with the goal of collecting every book ever written on sport in every language of the world. The staff at the Institute will be required to be at least bi-lingual in order to facilitate research in foreign languages. The campaign should generate enough funds in 2018 to allow the IISOH to open its first public office in central Pennsylvania. Internships are currently available and over 500 volunteers are being sought to help in the marketing campaign.
The public can find more information about the IISOH at the website:
IISOH Rocky#3 marketing postcard
The Seated Boxer, original ancient Greek bronze statue
For more information contact:
Harvey Abrams, President
International Institute for Sport History
Library & Museum
PO Box 175
State College, PA 16804
LINKS to other web pages about the International Institute for Sport History....
The International Institute for Sport History (IISOH) is a Pennsylvania
non-profit educational, literary and research corporation under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The IISOH is organized to operate a Library and Museum devoted to the History of Sport,
Physical Education, Recreation, Dance, Sport in Art and the Olympic Games.
Donations are tax deductible.
Federal Tax ID# 41-2041155
Original Press release via email dated January 2, 2018
This web page was created January 4, 2018
Corrections made to this page's date on January 4, 2018
The first draft was made on January 2 but not posted until January 4.
Previous Press releases will be posted in an online archives soon.
The IISOH is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation. We plan to develop multiple endowments by soliciting widespread support from the public, businesses and major corporations. We seek material items for our collections as well as cash for the endowments via voluntary gifts, corporate support, private foundation grants, and potentially state and federal grants. In the future we plan to build a sports complex with the Library and Museum, Dance Theater, indoor and outdoor sports facilities and a restaurant/cafe. We expect to generate additional income from admissions, membership fees, and merchandise sales in the Museum gift shop.