If you haven’t made plans to host or sponsor a showing of “Why We Ride” yet, there’s no better time than now to get your dealership on board. Dealerships nationwide are using the critically acclaimed film to generate interest in the spring riding season.
At Power 50 dealership Leo’s South in Lakeville, Minn., co-owner Wayne Bedeaux first offered a Movie Night at the store last year, when he showed the “Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route” to the local BMW owners group.
“I had never even thought about doing something like that until the guys from the movie contacted us,” he said. “We got about 50 people for that one.”
So it made sense to feature “Why We Ride” for the dealership’s second annual Movie Night. Bedeaux estimates the crowd grew to 70 for the recent Saturday evening showing.
He promoted the event in-store and via the dealership’s e-newsletter, which also included a link to the movie’s trailer. He again reached out the BMW owners group, along with the dealership’s enews subscribers. A section of the dealership that houses clothing was turned into the seating area, with a capacity of about 75.
No reservations were needed, although early attendees could get dibs on one of three couches, which were billed as premium seating at no charge. At 5:30, the dealership opened for the showing with brownies, cookies, meet and cheese trays, pop, water and coffee. The popcorn machine that Bedeaux recently added to the dealership also got a workout.
Bedeaux showed the film on a rented six-foot screen via a projector that he had purchased. “The screen was $11 to rent; I should have rented the projector also,” he said. “And I’ll get an 8-foot screen next time.”
His post-event assessment?
“It was very successful,” he said. “I talked to a bunch of people afterwards, and they enjoyed it and thanked us for having it. It brought more of a mix of riders than the first one we did. We did it as a fun event, not really to make sales. Of course we sold a couple of movies and some things before the movie started, which is nice and appreciated. But it didn’t cost us much at all. We might have had $150 in food and stuff, not very much.”