For many businesses in the industry, their mission is not only to perform vehicle maintenance, but to serve their communities.
When one SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service franchise owner in the New Orleans area saw an opportunity to help her community by fundraising for breast cancer treatment, it sparked what is soon to be a nationwide campaign to help others struggling with the disease.
SpeeDee Marketing Manager Vicki Ocken spoke with NOLN about how this one owner’s story has snowballed into a company-wide effort to fundraise for the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Doing Their Part
The idea for the initiative first began with a SpeeDee owner who survived breast cancer twice. Wanting to use her position to help benefit others struggling with the disease, she began holding fundraisers each year.
Though SpeeDee would assist her each year with outreach for her campaigns, this year, the company decided to see if other franchisees would like to come on board for one, region-wide initiative.
“We just took this to a different level this year,” says Ocken. “We took it to our ad agency, we took it to the other franchisees, and they all enthusiastically jumped on and worked together to ... to craft the whole program and what they wanted to do.”
This year for Breast Cancer Awareness month, eight SpeeDee franchises in the New Orleans area donated $2 for every oil change performed, with funds amounting to over $10,000 going to the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Development on the campaign moved quickly, with plans first being discussed just this past August. When the idea was presented to other SpeeDee franchise locations, they were all more than willing to participate.
“We put the initial idea on the table and frankly, they just ran with it,” Ocken recounts. “They took it and said, ‘Yes, we can do this’ ... ‘No, that's not going to work because of whatever local restrictions they might have’–and they helped craft the whole thing.”
Even within such a brief time frame, participating locations were able to acquire pink uniforms for their staff members throughout the month of October to raise awareness of the campaign, complete with black brims on the hats to prevent them from getting dirty.
Each store was adorned with pink ribbons, balloons, and other decorations, and each received a visit from the 12-foot-tall SpeeDee blowup mascot throughout the month.
As the campaign was first organized, SpeeDee contacted the Susan G. Komen Foundation to partner with them: a nationally recognized name active in the New Orleans market. In return, the foundation helped raise awareness of the campaign to drive in customers interested in benefiting the cause.
SpeeDee’s advertising agency made sure to put announcements out through both television and radio. Participating franchisees made TV appearances to promote the campaign, doing live events with local news stations.
Additionally, the end of October saw Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event, which SpeeDee became involved with. Based in New Orleans, the company’s vice president and his family decided to join the race, and soon formed a team of franchisees and vendor partners.
The SpeeDee mascot could also be seen participating in the race, and a table offering merchandise and supplies to help runners in the race was set up by SpeeDee at the event.
SpeeDee locations across the country often hold their own fundraising campaigns to benefit various causes, but this year saw the first time that multiple SpeeDee locations came together behind one cause.
Only the Beginning
When the company first announced plans for the campaign, SpeeDee franchises nationwide expressed interest in becoming involved. Though it was limited to just the New Orleans area this year, the $2 donation for every oil change initiative is slated to rollout to more than 75 stores across the U.S. in October 2024.
“We have franchisees who are very excited about it across the country. They're waiting so that they can jump on next October,” says Ocken. “We wanted to make sure that we got all the pieces in place this year, and that things went smoothly before we rolled it out to the other 75-plus locations.”