Personally, I’m a big fan of creative philanthropy. Being charitable and generous is awesome, but doing so in an interesting way is even better. A great example is the recent partnership between MINI and the iconic band KISS. MINI created four unique, KISS-themed Countryman S four doors, each custom painted to match one of the KISS band members. The cars were then auctioned on eBay to benefit UNICEF. The grand total came to $129,000 raised for Japan relief and global initiatives caring for children in need. At an average of just $32,250 each, that’s not far above MSRP depending on final spec. A modest premium for a good cause and unique MINIs. Kudos to all involved and congrats to the auction winners. Full info after the break.
[Official Release] The world watched in horror as the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan; so the legendary rock band KISS partnered with MINI USA and unleashed the power of The KISS Army to battle the elements with dollars â€“ and plenty of them.
KISS (www.KISSonline.com) and MINI USA raised $129,000 during an eBay online charity auction of four custom-painted and autographed MINI Countryman vehicles. After shipping, all proceeds will be donated to UNICEF to help children in Japan and other emergency efforts around the world.
And the initiative keeps on givingâ€¦ KISS vehicle wraps based on the auctioned designs are still available for purchase through www.MINIUSA.COM/KISS or local MINI dealerships. MINI USAâ€™s proceeds from those sales will continue to help those in need.
â€œThe KISS Army is the greatest army in the world and when they heard the cry for help, they fought back in the best way that they knew how â€“ with their wallets,â€ said Paul Stanley. â€œThe KISS MINIs are the ultimate way to show your KISS Army colors and itâ€™s a reminder that we have the best fans in the world.â€
The four custom-painted vehicles are the all-new 2011 MINI Countryman, and each vehicle features the iconic makeup and costume association of one KISS member, including co-founder and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley (Starchild), co-founder and bassist Gene Simmons (The Demon), lead guitarist Tommy Thayer (Spaceman) and drummer Eric Singer (Catman).
All of the MINIs are autographed by all four members of KISS and have become instant collectorâ€™s items.
â€œThe KISS MINIs are rare one-of-a-kind collectorâ€™s items and KISS salutes the winners of the auction,â€ said Gene Simmons. â€œThe new owners have the satisfaction of knowing that they not only have an instant investment that will keep growing in value, but every time they look at the car, theyâ€™ll also be reminded that the real value is knowing that their dollars helped children in the greatest need.â€
â€œThank you to the auction participants and MINI owners who bought vehicle wraps, thereby contributing to this charitable effort. MINI USA is proud that our vehicles were featured as part of such a remarkable initiative and helped raise much needed funds,â€ said Jim McDowell, Vice President MINI USA. â€œIt is fantastic to see what started as a simple idea grow into something that will touch the lives of so many. UNICEF does great work and I hope that the ties with KISS and MINI have elevated awareness and support of their tireless efforts.â€
The eBay auction winners are located in North Carolina, Oregon, and Massachusetts. The vehicles will be delivered in the coming weeks to their new homes.