The generosity of a local family-owned business partner is so important to Buckeye High School sports and the Medina, Ohio, community, says Buckeye High School Athletic Director Tom Harrington.

“Knowing that we have a community partner like Medina Auto Mall means more positive opportunities for our student-athletes and we could not be more appreciative,” said Harrington.

Medina Auto Mall is owned by the Panteck family, which also owns the Brunswick Auto Mart and multiple other dealerships in Cleveland. Chuck Steward, general manager of Medina Auto Mall, says the company is providing the Buckeye Bucks volleyball, softball, and girls cross country teams with 200 t-shirts and additional funding. 

“Having the opportunities for both uniforms and financial resources allows us to provide a first-class experience for our teams,” Harrington said. “Student-athletes always want to have new gear. We believe in look good, feel good, play good. Medina Auto Mall makes this possible for us and we are so grateful.”

Bucks volleyball coach Kara Joyce agrees, especially after seeing the reaction from the team when Medina Auto Mall donated new uniforms.

“The girls were ecstatic when they realized we got new uniforms,” Joyce said. “The libero and team fought over who got to wear it first.”

Brunswick Auto Mart owners Geoff and Bryan Panteck, who are brothers, explained that the partnership with Buckeye High School benefits both Medina Auto Mall and the school.

“This is our community, our business and where we do business,” Geoff Panteck said. “Buckeye High School is right down the street… and many people in the school district are customers of ours. And we love to promote high school sports — so why not take care of our local schools?”

“It’s just good will for our company,” added Bryan Panteck, “and families want to do business with a company that contributes to their school system.”

The DistrictWON-facilitated partnership between Buckeye High School and Medina Auto Mall has been one of the first opportunities for the company to show its willingness to help and be involved with the Buckeye Bucks, said GM Steward. Medina Auto Mall also has contributed to school fundraisers, he said.

With school districts across the country hard pressed to fund their athletic programs, the chance to develop partnerships between the private sector and high schools can be especially meaningful.

“Families see that businesses like us contribute, give back and promote, all of which helps the school system,” said Geoff Panteck, who noted that, in turn, residents reward the auto company with their patronage.

“Some of these big conglomerate businesses — or if you’re owned by a large public entity — they don’t give back to the community like family-owned businesses and small businesses,” he said. “The people making these types of decisions are sitting 500 miles away and they don’t know a school like Buckeye. But with small businesses like us, people know we give back to our community.”

Steward also said the partnership has really opened up communication between the company and Medina residents. There’s common ground so there’s “a much more personal relationship than someone just coming up to a clerk in a window,” he said.

“We’re happy we’re able to utilize some of our advertising co-op dollars through DistrictWON, which is able to facilitate things that schools like Buckeye could use,” Bryan Panteck said.

And according to Coach Joyce, the Bucks volleyball team and her coaching staff seriously appreciate the support. “We look forward to continuing to look good on the court,” she said. “We cannot thank Medina Auto Mall enough for their support and the new uniforms.”

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.