Jul 21, 2011 at 02:23 PM
written by

Film Generates Renewed Sponsor Interest In Soap Box Derby

As the All-American Soap Box Derby gears up for its 74th running, there's a renewed interest in the event thanks to the efforts of film director, Corbin Bersen. After reading a 2009 story in USA Today about the dire sponsorship straits the Akron-based All American Soap Box Derby was in, Bernsen decided he could do something to save the historic racing league – and keep it in Akron. He penned a screenplay about a 12-year-old boy whose Derby dreams are threatened and ultimately saved, by a to be named title sponsor - who comes to the Derby’s aid.

While the budget for the film, named 25 Hill, was modest, its creators have high hopes for what it could do to put the Derby in a better financial position.

"This has the potential for a theatrical release, even if the budget is pretty low," Bernsen told USA Today last year. "But if it ends up on TV or DVD, as long as it rekindles interest, I'm happy."

The film premiered in Akron on Saturday, July 9th with sponsorship from Geico, Little Debbie, Tire Rack, Victorinox Swiss Army and Omni DualSaw. In addition to playing a role in the film, these sponsors are highlighted in the film's official trailer shown below. While Bernsen called the event one of the personal and professional highlights of his life, he noted that when it comes to generating sponsor interest the hardwork is just beginning.

We must impress a sponsor or sponsors that this is a worthwhile cause with a volume of interested parties," Bernsen said. "To that end, I remain committed to the first instincts I had about this project: to save this great American tradition that at it’s core, represents all that is good in our country and encourages family and community to come together for a greater cause."

So far, the film has already raised more than $150,000 for the Derby.