Chicago Automobile Trade Association

Dealers 'adopt' schools for auto show

November 22, 2010

Dealerships can plant a benevolent seed with students by  sponsoring a school group's visit to the 2003 Chicago Auto Show. The measure can be a community relations plum and establish customer loyalty with young consumers.

Under the Adopt-a-School Program, a dealership can purchase tickets at $5 each for students in a group. There is no minimum or maximum potential group size. High schoolers at or near driving age are logical students with which a dealership to pair itself. There are hundreds and hundreds of high schools in the Chicago area, probably more than one within each dealer's relevant market area.

Mark Scarpelli, vice president of Raymond Chevrolet- Oldsmobile in Antioch, last year sponsored a group of 160 students and chaperones from Antioch Community High School. Chaperones are admitted at no charge. "I thought it would be a good promotion and it turned out to be an excellent promotion," Scarpelli said.

He cited the opportunity to get his dealership's name in a positive light before an audience that can influence purchases and even make vehicle purchases. The dealer contacted the high school's principal to arrange the weekday field trip. Scarpelli met the group at McCormick Place and even popped for lunches for everyone. Dealers interested in "adopting" a school should contact the CATA's Donna Fong for more details at 630-424-6045.




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