The Grand Slam of Asia / Pacific
The Australian Open is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held each year. It is held each January at Melbourne Park. The tournament was held for the first time in 1905 and was contested on grass from 1905 to 1987. Since 1988, the tournament has been held on hard courts. Mats Wilander is the only male player to have won the tournament on both grass and hard courts.
Like all other Grand Slam tournaments, there are men's and women's singles competitions; men's, women's, and mixed doubles; and junior's and master's competitions.
The two main courts used in the tournament are Rod Laver Arena and Hisense operating retractable roofs, which can be shut in case of rain or extreme heat. It is the only Grand Slam tournament that features indoor play. However, in 2009, Wimbledon also introduced a retractable roof for Wimbledon’s center court.
In 2008, the Rebound Ace surface, which had been in place for the past 20 years at Melbourne Park, was replaced by a cushioned acrylic surface known as Plexicushion. The main benefits of the new surface are better consistency and less retention of heat (because of a thinner top layer). This change was accompanied by changes in the surfaces of all lead-up tournaments to the Australian Open. The change was controversial, primarily because of the new surface's similarity to DecoTurf, the surface already being used by the US Open.
The most recent tournament was held from 16 January to 29 January 2012. The Singles winners were Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka.
Kia, the Major Sponsor of the Australian Open
Kia Motors Corporation has been expanding the scale of its sports sponsorship for some years now. Kia is developing itself very much into a sporty brand, designed to appeal to younger drivers with an emphasis on excitement and versatility.
Since its first sponsorship with the Australian Open in 2002, Kia Motors has been participating in the tournament as the Major Sponsor to promote and support for the successful event.
Kia Motors has been in full charge of providing the best transportation services since the day one of its partnership with the Australian Open. Over 100 new Kia vehicles are being supplied to the Tennis Australia every year to ensure the memorable and comfortable participation of the world’s top tennis players, VIPs, officials and media.
Interacting with the fans with innovative interactive programs around the tennis court has been a rewarding experience for Kia Motors. Kia has been activating a number of exciting programs, such as the Kia Amateur Australian Open and the Kia Fan of the Day, to bring fans together and provide an unforgettable experience during the tournament. Not only providing courtesy vehicles to support the smooth transportation service for the Australian Open, Kia Motors also displays its newest line up around the tennis courts and live sites to exhibit and promote its cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art styling to international audience. Kia has also developed a marketing program called ‘Kia Lucky Drive to Australia’, which can provide global tennis fans with more opportunities to come and see Australian Open.
With 686,006 global tennis fans attended at Melbourne Park in 2012, Kia Motors is looking forward to contributing for another successful staging the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific, and embracing the fans with its playful interacting marketing programs to make the Australian Open more fun and exciting.
As the major sponsor of the Australian Open, Kia Motors Corporation has had the unique opportunity to capitalize on this prestigious event as part of Kia’s global marketing platform to enhance the brand image, awareness and sales.
For sharing the passion of tennis and providing Kia distributors and dealers a unique opportunity to interact with their consumers, Kia Motors Corporation operates the Kia Amateur Australian Open across the world, culminating in the World Final in Melbourne, Australia in January of 2013. The Kia Amateur Australian Open is originally designed to be a tournament only for an amateur player, so those who have ever had an ATP and/or WTA point in the past strictly prohibited from participating in this event.
Last year, the local rounds of the Kia Amateur Australian Open had been taking place in the 17 countries around the world and over 12,000 players participated before the 2012 World Final.
The winners of each 17 country had not only their chance to compete for the title at one of the Melbourne’s most prestige tennis club, Kooyong private tennis club, and the actual court of the Australian Open, Melbourne Park, but also an opportunity to attend to the Men’s single final match.