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MUSEUM TOUR TO SHOWCASE EAGLE VISION

 MUSEUM TOUR TO SHOWCASE EAGLE VISION
 HIGHLAND PARK, Mich., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Art and science


museums and cars? What in past years may have seemed like an odd pairing is quickly becoming chic.
 A 10-city science museum tour, showcasing the new Eagle Vision sedan, opens today at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center and ends June 4, 1993, at the Seattle Art Museum.
 While the venue may seem a tad offbeat, it makes perfect sense when considering the attempt by Chrysler Corporation's (NYSE: C) Jeep-Eagle Division to market the new Eagle Vision sedan. It's an unconventional plan, purposely orchestrated to reach customers who have a disdain for conventional things.
 The Eagle Vision is designed to appeal to an upscale, import- oriented car buyer, customers who fancy themselves as independent free- thinkers and place great importance on protecting their individuality.
 "We plan to have vehicles on display from 30 to 90 days and expose the Eagle Vision to 1.3 million potential buyers," said E.M. (Mike) Coughlin, Jeep-Eagle merchandising manager. "We won't have a sales force on hand or use high-pressure tactics to sell cars. It will be tastefully done to position the car in a prestigious backdrop and go to the places that our target buyers frequent."
 Appealing to an upscale, erudite customer is nothing new. Golf, tennis and sailing events have flourished, in part, because of corporate sponsorships. But, Coughlin said, museum car displays of this magnitude are rare.
 According to Chucha Barber, development director at the Miami Museum of Science, the recent recession has left museum curators rethinking their sources of funding.
 "Up until the last three or four years, the philanthropic dollar was strong and healthy," Barber said. "The non-profit arena is now exploring what has been traditional for profit funding. It's very competitive. You can't rely on the philanthropic dollar to sustain you."
 That national trend is further complicated in a community that is still climbing out of the rubble of Hurricane Andrew.
 Even so, Barber said, non-profit museums are being very selective in choosing their promotional partners. The tie-in with Eagle Vision is quite natural.
 "This museum is dedicated to research on the American bald eagle in the Florida Everglades," Barber said. "When an eagle is injured, we can't test for a blood sample because there are no standards to measure against ... We are trying to create awareness for our project which is aimed at establishing those standards."
 The Vision will be parked for one month next to the eagle cages in the museum's wildlife center.
 At the Denver Art Museum, corporate sponsorship is giving the development office hope that its fund-raising base can widen.
 "Before this year I never heard from car marketers," said Donna Wamsley, assistant director of development at the Denver museum. "I don't think it has been an advertising or marketing tool in the past.
 Jeep-Eagle has approached the museum at a most opportune time as the Denver Art Museum will be celebrating its centennial in 1993. A 100th anniversary is a major milestone and we expect to welcome many visitors, some of whom may never have been in a museum. The support of corporations like Jeep-Eagle will greatly enhance our ability to get the word out. Corporate donor growth is an important aspect of museum development and certainly makes a difference in what we can offer the public in terms of quality exhibitions.
 While the philanthropic support has been growing steadily, Wamsley said her staff is working harder to secure those dollars.
 The Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh opened a year ago, focusing on giving visitors a hands-on experience in science. Within a short time, many marketers have knocked on Denise O'Neal's door. But Jeep-Eagle was the first automotive division.
 "So far, all of these corporations have come to us," said O'Neal, assistant director of marketing. "We have an advantage in that we are very visible. It's a new approach to the museum environment ... we are trying to move our clientele into the present and future and have them relate to science and technology."
 The Eagle Vision proposal was especially attractive because of the timing.
 "We have a major fund-raising gala Oct. 15 and the Eagle Vision will be donated as a fund-raising prize," O'Neal said. "The gala will open a 2,300-square-foot miniature railroad and village, representing turn-of- the-century technology of western Pennsylvania. And the Eagle Vision represents technology now, so there is a connection there."
 The Pittsburgh and Denver car displays are outdoors. The Pittsburgh site is adjacent to Three Rivers Stadium, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers. The Denver museum is downtown and very visible to the business people.
 "It's out in front of the museum, on the entrance lawn, and thousands of downtown employees drive by it every day," Wamsley said. "It's positioned nicely, so even though they may not be coming into the museum, they'll see the display."
 For a second, Wamsley's words seem more fitting for an automotive marketing executive -- worrying about exposure, reach and cost per dollar. Then again, maybe they are just as appropriate for a manager of a museum development office -- worrying about exposure, reach and cost.
 PLACES AND DATES
 MUSEUM CITY DATE
 Carnegie Science Center Pittsburgh Oct. 12-Jan. 18
 Oregon Mus. of Sci. & Industry Portland Nov. 3-Dec. 3
 Baltimore Museum of Art Baltimore Nov. 3-Feb. 1
 Houston Mus. of Nat. Science Houston Nov. 24-Jan. 4
 Miami Museum of Science Miami Jan. 5-Feb. 5
 High Museum of Art Atlanta Jan. 25-April 5
 Mus. of Science & Industry Tampa Feb. 9-April 9
 Denver Art Museum Denver April 1-May 3
 Dallas Mus. of Nat. Hist. Assoc. Dallas April 30-June 1
 Seattle Art Museum Seattle May 4-June 4
 -0- 10/12/92
 /CONTACT: Scott Fosgard, 313-252-5781, or Rita M. McKay, 313-252-8794, both of Chrysler/
 (C) CO: Chrysler Corporation; Jeep-Eagle Division ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


JG-SB -- DE001 -- 8831 10/12/92 11:49 EDT
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Date:Oct 12, 1992
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