Spanish tennis sensation Rafael Nadal becomes global brand ambassador for Kia Motors
(SEOUL) August 17, 2006 -- Kia Motors announced today that it has reached an agreement with tennis sensation Rafael Nadal in which the young Spaniard will act as a global brand ambassador for the Korean carmaker. Under the terms of the agreement, Kia will be able to work with the reigning two-time French Open tennis champion to promote its ‘exciting & enabling’ brand values worldwide.
Nadal, who is just 20 years old, will appear in Kia’s global advertising campaigns in TV and print media over the next two years (until 2008). He will also help to promote the Kia brand by taking part in various initiatives held by the automaker, including major international motor shows.
Jung-Moon Park, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors, said, “We are continuously developing and enhancing the Kia brand through the sponsorship of world class tennis tournaments like the Australian Open and the Davis Cup. Rafael Nadal, with his dynamic, exciting on-court presence, is the perfect partner to help build the Kia brand by promoting our ‘exciting and enabling’ image worldwide.”
Rafael Nadal said, “I am delighted to have this opportunity to represent a world class automaker such as Kia. I will do my best to promote the Kia brand across all of its key global markets by continuing to improve my play on the court.”
Nadal took the world of tennis by storm when he made his professional debut in 2001 at the age of just 16. He won 10 titles before turning 20 years-old, an achievement unsurpassed in the Open era. And he won back-to-back French Open titles in 2005 and 2006, part of a world record run of 60 consecutive wins on clay courts.
The young prodigy became a national sports hero in Spain by leading the Spanish men’s team to victory in the 2004 Davis Cup. Kia has partnered with Nadal in Spain for the last two years, using him as the ‘face’ of the company in TV and print media advertising, which has noticeably boosted the Kia brand in the Spanish market.
Along with its sponsorship of the Australian Open (one of the four international ‘Grand Slam’ championships) and the Davis Cup (the world’s premier international team tennis competition), Kia has stepped up its sports marketing activities elsewhere in the tennis arena. Kia provided its flagship Opirus premium sedan (known as ‘Amanti’ in North America) and Carnival MPV models as courtesy vehicles for women’s tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams when they played a recent promotional match in Korea.
Aside from tennis, Kia has boosted its brand through other sports marketing initiatives, such as becoming an official automotive partner of FIFA, together with Hyundai Motor, effective 2007 ~ 2014. The company is also building its ‘exciting & enabling’ image through the sponsorship of the Asian X Games.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com or www.kia.com) -- one of the fastest growing automakers in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 12 manufacturing and assembly operations in 7 countries produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 160 countries. Kia today has over 32,500 employees and annual revenues of almost $16 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. From 2007 to 2014, Kia will be 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 surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.
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