Sometimes helping one’s community can be as simple as a short drive down the road – which is how Evergreen Kia in Chicago ended up contributing to the athletic potential at St. Rita of Cascia High School.

This marks the second year that Evergreen Kia has backed St. Rita with a monetary contribution as part of the larger Kia focus: Movement that Inspires. According to Maurice Bird, general manager, the choice was a no-brainer. St. Rita is just up the same street, on S. Western Ave. in Chicago, and is a local high school with connections throughout the community.

“I know there are a lot of expenses,” Bird said. “I’m sure it will support uniforms, catering, events. These kids can eat a lot, and so can adults.”

Curtis Price, athletic director for St. Rita, characterized Evergreen Kia as a community leader, whose support will benefit coaches and student-athletes alike. Indeed, Evergreen Kia has been part of the community for 21 years, serving customers throughout Chicago, Oak Lawn, Berwyn, Blue Island and Orland Park. St. Rita is but the latest pillar of the community to which it has leant support.

“The program gives the athletic department an extra resource to help with the uniforms and equipment for the student-athletes,” Price said of the partnership between the local business and high school created by DistrictWON, a Rocky River, Ohio-based marketing company.

In return, Kia vehicles, including sports cars, family vehicles and more, have parked outside the high school for visibility during special events. On top of handing out business cards, this helps Evergreen Kia get its name into the community, and lets the public see that it gives in return. Take the Kia Telluride, the company’s flagship model, for example. With seating for up to eight and room for hauling sporting equipment, the displays help Evergreen Kia show parents ways to make other aspects of moving their kids to events a bit easier.

“Most of our business is word of mouth and repeat customers,” Bird said. And that word of mouth has spread following its efforts at St. Rita. “We’ve had several customers stop by saying they saw our vehicles at the games and appreciate what we do at the school. I think it’ll grow more down the line and help grow more relationships in the future.”

The hope is to make the partnership a longer-term one, and Bird signaled his intent to make similar contributions each year.

For Kia in general, Movement that Inspires was a message that formed to focus customers on more than its cars, but on the movement at the heart of its company. According to the company, it’s about connecting people with one another and helping them move from location to location, bridging physical and emotional distances along the way. For the individual, that phrase takes on other meanings, though.

“One of my philosophies is that our coaches and student-athletes have a great experience while participating as athletes at St. Rita,” Price said. “We encourage our student-athletes to develop the necessary traits that will lead them to become leaders in their communities.”

Likewise, Bird looked at the slogan as one that, at its core, is about building up a community. The movement, in his view, is inspirational.

“Hopefully the movement that inspires means coming together as a group, and hopefully we can inspire those around us to bigger and better things in life,” Bird said. “Hopefully that message passes onto students and their schools and athletic teams.”

 Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow on Twitter.