Kia Motors America Renews NBA Team Partnerships and Establishes New Relationship With the Golden State Warriors
IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Kia Motors America (KMA), the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S., has added a new team to its National Basketball Association (NBA) team partnerships by becoming the “Official Vehicle of the Golden State Warriors.” Beginning with the 2011-2012 basketball season, KMA also has renewed relationships with the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Miami HEAT, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs, while the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers remain on Kia Motors’ roster in 2011-2012 as part of multi-year agreements.
Kia’s U.S. sales have increased 78 percent since 2008 and the company’s unprecedented growth is the direct result of expanded brand visibility through high-profile partnerships, including involvement on- and off-the-court in professional basketball. Kia is currently in its fifth year as the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, which is the brand’s largest U.S. sports marketing initiative. After he leaped over an Optima midsize sedan to become the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest champion, NBA All-Star Blake Griffin became a global brand ambassador for Kia. The brand also serves as the Official Automotive Partner of NBA All-Star, title partner of the Kia NBA Performance Awards, and an Official Automotive Partner of NBA Cares. Kia also is the title sponsor of ESPN’s “Kia NBA Countdown.”
“Kia’s involvement with the NBA and nearly half of the league’s teams has driven dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand and was a major factor in our best-ever sales total in 2011,” said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “All of our team partnerships leverage the excitement of the game and increase Kia’s interaction with the passionate fan bases in each market, and we are proud to add the Golden State Warriors to our roster and establish a relationship with Bay Area basketball fans.”
Kia’s 13 NBA team designations are as follows:
- Official Vehicle of the Chicago Bulls
- Official Vehicle of the Denver Nuggets
- Official Vehicle of the Golden State Warriors
- Official Vehicle of the Los Angeles Clippers
- Official Vehicle of the Miami HEAT; Exclusive Vehicle of the Miami HEAT
- Official Vehicle of the Orlando Magic
- Official Automotive Partner of the New York Knicks; Official Vehicle of the New York Knicks
- Official Automotive Partner of the Boston Celtics; Official Partner of the Boston Celtics
- Official Partner of the San Antonio Spurs
- Proud Partner of the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Proud Partner of the Philadelphia 76ers
- Proud Partner of the Phoenix Suns
- Proud Partner of the Portland Trail Blazers
Kia’s growing roster of sports initiatives includes basketball, women’s professional golf and motorsports and is designed to increase brand awareness among a new and more affluent group of consumers. Michelle Wie is the brand’s official golf ambassador and Kia was recently named the Official Automotive Partner of the LPGA in addition to its role as title sponsor of the annual Kia Classic tournament in Southern California. In just its second year, Kia’s U.S. racing program captured the company’s first-ever championships in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, and it will expand to include the Pirelli World Challenge in 2012. With several key initiatives planned for 2012, Kia Motors is poised to continue driving increased consumer interest and expanding its brand presence with new and enhanced partnerships while continuing to deliver world-class design, cutting-edge technology, modern conveniences and amenities, and outstanding safety features in all its vehicles.
Kia’s Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is the one of the world’s fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America’s full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality and the industry’s highest brand loyalty ranking. Kia’s U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds the company’s two best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan. Kia’s value and technology-laden 2012 model year lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.” In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
* Assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts. Optima Hybrid will not be built in the USA
 Based on comparison of 12-month retail sales from September 2007 to September 2011 of all U.S. automotive brands and five-year average sales growth.
 Source: Automotive Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study
 Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis
 Optima Hybrid is not built at KMMG
SOURCE Kia Motors America