TORRANCE, Calif. — Individuals planning to submit an entry for the 2013 F&Idol contest have until Friday, August 9, to upload their entries to

This year, F&I magazine and IAS, the contest’s sponsor, have added a new “F&I Products for Lease Customers” category to reflect the resurgence of leasing, which accounted for a record 27.5 percent of all new vehicles financed in the first quarter, according to Experian Automotive. Other categories include Vehicle Service Contract, Tire and Wheel, Key Replacement and an open category. The latter allows participants to submit a video of them selling a product of their choosing.

“This isn’t just for bragging rights; the overall winner will walk away with $3,500 in cash,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director of F&I and Showroom magazine and one of the contest’s eight judges. “And all you need to enter is a smartphone with video-recording capabilities, great technique and a colleague to play the customer. It’s that easy.”   

Participants are asked to submit a video of no more than five minutes that shows them working with a customer in a staged transaction. The videos, which can be recorded using an iPhone, Android phone, Webcam or any other video-recording device, must also show contestants handling at least two objections. Only one video may be submitted for each F&I product category.

A panel of eight judges will review each submission and award points for transition statement and overall flow; customer rapport and engagement; product disclosures; product knowledge; personal stories and testimonials; and objection handling.

Category winners will be announced later this month and are required to be in attendance at Industry Summit 2013, where they’ll be recognized during a special luncheon ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. Category winners will receive $1,000 in cash, airfare and a two-night stay at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. The overall winner will receive an additional $2,500 and will be featured in the November issue of F&I and Showroom magazine.

To upload a video or to find contest rules, visit