TINLEY PARK, Illinois — Bettenhausen Automotive is committed to community-service projects in this town about 30 miles south of Chicago, which explains the clever idea of wrapping a car in the local high-school colors and lending it to the school for special events. The twist: There are four high schools in the district, so Bettenhausen's Fiat dealership, Fiat USA of Tinley Park, custom-wrapped a 2014 Fiat 500 for each school in the area's High School District 228.
Bettenhausen's marketing director, John Doolin, told Edmunds that the dealership does "a lot of specialty-wrapped vehicles" and came up with this project in an effort to "expose the Fiat brand to a younger audience." Doolin contacted Tinley Park High School Principal Dr. Theresa Nolan and asked her if she liked it as a way to "drive awareness to the high school and promote friendly competition at sporting events and school functions."
Nolan did, and the dealership moved forward.
The dealership presented the four unique Fiat 500s to the school principals in a ceremony at the school district offices. They "lined up all four Fiats that were wrapped in school colors and logos, and presented the keys to the principals and superintendent."
Bettenhausen also donated to each school's general fund in aid of "programs that historically don't have fundraisers or booster clubs," Doolin said.
Bettenhausen has previously wrapped Fiat 500s for the local Odyssey Fun World and Country Club, the charitable Andrew Weishar Foundation, and the social service agency Garden Gallery. It gets "our Fiat brand in front of a target audience and helps local businesses and organizations get their message out. It's a win-win," Doolin said.
The high schools are free to use the wrapped Fiats for events and fundraising, and as the autumn sport season comes to an end, Doolin told Edmunds that plans are underway for "getting the vehicles inside for winter sports to promote the schools?as well as safe driving by teens and no-texting-and-driving campaigns. I see it as a yearlong partnership" and "a positive experience for all.
"This past weekend," he added, "Tinley Park played Oak Forest. Both Fiats in the end zone bumper to bumper, I must say, was pretty cool."
Edmunds says: This is an idea that would build added loyalty in any town anywhere.