Somewhere out there, Bill Belichick is grinning. The automotive data firm Autotrader has just announced its “new car playbook” promotion aimed at New England Patriots fans.
Here’s how this is going to work: the contest began October 5 and will run through November 29. Every Wednesday, broadcasters will announce a new car shopping play on WEEI sports radio at four o’clock Eastern Standard Time. This announcement will also be posted online. Each “play” will pose a unique question, which participants can answer using parts of the Autotrader.com site. Those who get the answer right get thrown into the hat for a chance to win a $250 Patriots Pro Shop gift card. There’s also a final grand prize consisting of tickets to a December 11 NFL game between the Patriots and D.C.’s Washington Redskins. All of this is a way to draw more car shoppers to the many opportunities that Autotrader offers for smarter, quicker car comparison shopping and better at-home research that will help out later in the sales process.
While not everybody’s going to be thrilled about the selective use of this regional power team, new car buyers get a chance to combine game-day fervor with a fully stocked car shopping site packed with information and resources about how to get the best deals for new and used vehicles. In a way, the new car playbook program presents an apt analogy. Car buying can be a little like football. When the buyer enters the lot, they encounter sophisticated plays by the team, which includes individual sales staffers, managers and others involved in making sure that the dealership makes money. But to lots of car shoppers, this game seems more than a little mismatched. It’s true that, as the buyer, you are your own quarterback. That said, you don’t have to have Tom Brady’s arm to win out at the dealership. And, despite the fact that you make those shopping trips alone, some other car industry “players” do have your back: auto data and consumer reporting firms work to help you develop your own offensive and defensive plays for making sure that you get a fair deal. No matter who you support in pro football, make sure you spend time to consult with your team before going out on the field to bargain for a new or used vehicle.