- Kia Motors is the longest running major sponsor of the 108 year-old Grand Slam® tennis event, The Australian Open
- Kia Motors hands over a fleet of official tournament vehicles to Tennis Australia during a ceremony in Melbourne
(SEOUL) January 10, 2013 – Kia Motors Corporation announced today at its Australian Open 2013 vehicle handover ceremony that it will extend its agreement as the major sponsor of the Australian Open for an additional five years through to 2018. The new deal cements Kia as the longest running major sponsor of the event, with 17 continuous years of commitment to the first tennis Grand Slam® tournament of the year.
The sponsorship rights of the renewed agreement will remain largely the same, with a host of new marketing programs to be introduced by Kia at the Australian Open over the next five years. Kia will continue to supply more than 100 official tournament vehicles each year for the safe transportation of players, officials and visitors. In addition, branded and integrated on- and offline experiences, such as the interactive Grand Slam Oval fan area at Melbourne Park, the live site at Fed Square in Melbourne, ‘Kia Fan of the Day’ and ‘Kia Fan of the Tournament’ contests will continue to boost fan engagement and excitement.
Thomas Oh, Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, said, “We believe the dynamism and passion seen on the courts here in Melbourne are the perfect embodiment of what the Kia brand stands for and this has driven us to deepen our commitment to the Australian Open and the game of tennis. It is our hope that Kia’s involvement over the years has played a significant role in the tournament’s tremendous growth and we are confident that our renewal will continue to help realize the full potential of this wonderful event.
“Going forward, we are excited to have this opportunity to continue to boost our engagement with the world’s most passionate sports fans,” Mr. Oh added.
Tennis Australia Chief Executive Officer Steve Wood said the new agreement was a major boost to the tournament. “Tennis Australia is thrilled to have Kia signed on as major sponsor of the Australian Open for a further five years. Kia is a tremendous and long-standing supporter of the event, and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership through until 2018,” he said.
The five-year extension was announced at Melbourne Park by executive management of both Kia Motors Australia and Tennis Australia at the official vehicle hand-over ceremony for Australian Open 2013. An official signing ceremony will follow on 25 January.
Grand Slam Oval is an interactive fan area adjacent to the tournament stadiums and will host the Kia marquee and promotional events to expand the Kia brand experience for all patrons. Throughout the tournament, Kia vehicles will be displayed around Melbourne Park, and Kia experience kiosks will host a range of fun activities for fans.
‘Kia Fan of the Day’ and ‘Fan of the Tournament’ are contests in which photos of creatively dressed fans are posted on australianopen.com and winners are chosen through online voting. The ’Kia Lucky Drive to Australia’, where customers can win an all expenses paid trip to the Australian Open, will also continue.
Kia will also continue to actively share the Australian Open experience with millions of subscribers, followers and fans across online and social communication channels. Kia’s official Facebook page is currently hosting an ‘Ask the Tennis Stars’ event that relays fan questions to players via a display screen during ‘Open Drive’ interviews conducted in Kia vehicles.
The Australian Open was Kia Motors’ first ever major international sports sponsorship. Since 2002, the company has deepened its relationship with tennis by adopting tennis stars such as Andre Agassi, previously, and Rafael Nadal, currently, as global brand ambassadors. The company has also built closer ties with a range of sports, including major global and local sponsorships in football and extreme sports.
Vehicle handover ceremony photo caption: (from left) Charlie Kim, President & CEO of Kia Motors Australia, and Steve Wood, Tennis Australia Chief Executive Officer, celebrate the handover of official Kia tournamnet vehicles for the Australian Open 2013.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Over 2.5 million Kia vehicles a year are produced in 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in ten countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 149 countries. Kia today has over 47,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of US$39 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan – "The Power to Surprise" – represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.