Zanchin aligns with former NHL star Nick Kypreos to promote new Mercedes-Benz store

The Zanchin Automotive Group has turned to a high-profile former Toronto Maple Leafs’ player to assist the company in promoting its newest and most significant dealership.

The group hired Nick Kypreos, who played briefly for the Toronto Maple Leafs in his eight-year National Hockey League career and has been working in the media for almost 25 years, to help promote Mercedes-Benz Toronto Queensway.

Zanchin Automotive had its grand opening of the 140,000 square-feet (13,006 square-metres) store on Thursday night. The dealership is adjacent to the first AMG Brand Centre in North America. Zanchin Executive Vice President Laura Zanchin was excited when talking to Canadian auto dealer about the store.

“It’s the first AMG Brand Centre in North America, and every single dealer group in the country wanted to be a part of this particular store,” said Zanchin. “We’re just so proud we got it. It is a big deal to not only Toronto and our employees, but to our brand in particular. This is like the cherry on top, the cream of the cream. This is our moment.”

The dealer group has five Mercedes-Benz dealerships, but this one is run differently. “We’re very service-centred, customer-centred, but at the same time we’re not in your face,” said Zanchin. “It’s a completely different way to interact with your customer, but still deliver great service.”

One of the interesting features of the dealership is a super generator in the parking lot. The generator will keep the dealership operating if there is ever an electrical blackout in the Greater Toronto Area.

Zanchin said the company has a history of using high-profile people or customers to represent its brands. She said the company likes to align itself with people who have done really well through hard work and saw a good fit with Kypreos because he has a great platform and is well respected in the hockey world.

“We wanted a good representative that is in the Toronto community and is a family man,” said Zanchin. “There’s certain things that we want. It’s not just being really great at your sport, but what type of a human being are you as well. We don’t do it often, but when we have it’s worked out well for us because like attracts like. We want to align with people who have our values.”

Kypreos, who was in attendance for the grand opening and is featured on radio commercials promoting the store, has been driving Mercedes-Benz cars for a long time. “Mercedes kind of sits at the top of the food chain, and hockey players always like nice things,” said Kypreos.

Kypreos has had a long relationship with Brian Fulton, former President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada and now Managing Partner at Mercedes-Benz Newmarket. Fulton said he met Kypreos through the company’s sponsorship of Hockey Night in Canada and maintained a good friendship. Fulton said Neal Bodack, COO of the Zanchin Automotive Group, spearheaded the idea to make Kypreos an ambassador for the new store.

Kypreos said his interest in Mercedes-Benz stems from a 30-year relationship with Gary Williams, who is Senior Operations Manager of the Zanchin Group and General Manager of Jaguar Land Rover Brampton. 

The Zanchin Group has also worked with Leaf great Darryl Sittler in the past.

“Who doesn’t love Darryl Sittler?” said Zanchin. “His whole story line and just the whole legacy with the Maple Leafs, it’s people like that…they’re living legends in the community. That’s who we’ve chosen to work with us on special events or just promoting us.” 

The Zanchin Group also has an affiliation with Toronto FC player Lorenzo Insignia and formerly worked with teammate Federico Bernardeschi, both of whom are Italian nationals. Zanchin founder Joe Zanchin is an Italian national.

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