Leno and fast cars fuel Boys & Girls Club fundraiser

Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance is an annual three-day fundraiser benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County (BGCBC).

Client: Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Agency: Zucker PR (Boca Raton, FL)
Campaign: Fifth Annual Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance
Duration: July 2010 – February 2011

Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance is an annual three-day fundraiser benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County (BGCBC). It features a series of events, including a performance by an A-list comedian, that culminate in an automobile and motorcycle show at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

Rick Case, a car dealership owner who has served on BGCBC's board for 25 years, founded and produces the event. Zucker PR has provided pro bono support since it launched in 2007.

“Most of BGCBC's annual budget has to be generated by fundraising events,” Case says. “PR is the most important thing you can do.”

Jay Leno, who headlined the inaugural Concours, returned this year. Numerous luxury and exclusive vehicles and items are displayed and auctioned at events.

Being the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, many Indy elements were incorporated this year. The team recruited more than 40 sponsors, including Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Comcast.

Media partnerships, media relations, social media outreach, PSAs, and emails drove awareness.

About 20 media partners donated ads and coverage. Numerous outlets were pitched automotive, lifestyle, and philanthropy angles. TV and radio PSAs were developed and distributed. The team contacted all major US auto and motorcycle clubs in person and via email.

Information was shared regularly on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (for both BGCBC and Concours). Sponsors and celebrity guests also posted information, photos, and videos on their social media channels. Leno produced an 18-minute video for his Big Dog Garage website.

New this year was a February 1 pre-party at the resort that agency CEO and founder Valerie Zucker says helped generate excitement.

A February 25 reception at the Boca Raton Airport Hangar featured exotic vehicles and legendary winning Indy cars. Leno performed at a February 26 gala, which included auctions of luxury items such as exotic sportscars not yet available in the US. About 200 cars and 50 motorcycles were displayed at the resort on February 27.

The campaign helped raise $3 million (net total) for BGCBC, up from $750,000 last year.

“We surpassed expectations, and I attribute it to good PR,” Case says.

Auto show attendance was up dramatically – 7,000 compared to 1,800 in 2010. The hangar party drew 2,200, nearly double 2010 attendance. Gala attendance was up by about 300 people.

More than 100 media outlets attended events. About 10 million media impressions were garnered in outlets including Univision, AutoWeek, and the Miami Herald.

The team is working on next year's Concours and a November “Yachting Rendezvous” event.

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