- "Kia Live Sites" to broadcast Australian Open to new fans in China
- Ongoing 7 year sponsorship extended for additional 5 years through 2013
- Internet-based Kia Fan of the Day vote and growth of the Kia Amateur Australian Open to drive more participation
(SEOUL) January 28, 2008 - Kia Motors Corporation, one of the world's fastest growing automotive companies, extended its multi-million U.S. dollar sponsorship of the Australian Open as the major sponsor until 2013 on Saturday in a new deal which includes broadcasting the tournament to fans at public locations in China as well as Australia.
The five-year extension announced on the penultimate day of the 103rd Australian Open, deepens both Kia's and the Australian Open's efforts to increase participation from fans and amateur tennis players throughout the world. The installation of three big screen public broadcasting sites - Kia Live Sites - are planned for Shanghai at Century Square, Nanjing Road (one of the world's busiest shopping streets); outside Melbourne Park; and at the Overseas Passenger Terminal located near the world-renowned Sydney Opera House.
Euisun Chung, President and CEO of Kia Motors Corporation, said, "The excitement and passion we have once again seen on and off the court, as well as behind the scenes, is the very reason why Kia Motors identifies with the tournament and wants to renew its commitment until 2013. The Australian Open is a great global entertainment event and has huge potential to grow.
Kia wants to help sustain and develop this same passion and excitement for the wonderful world of tennis amongst new and existing fans and players throughout the world."
In the renewed deal, which is Kia's longest standing major sports sponsorship, the popular and fun 'Kia Fan of the Tournament' and 'Kia Fan of the Day' competitions, introduced in 2006, will evolve into global Internet-based public voting competitions. Promoted and managed through Australianopen.com and tennis.com.au, the new mechanic will encourage more participation of fans. The growing success of the Kia Amateur Open, which in this its fifth year in 2008 saw 5,286 players from 14 countries participating, will continue to play a major part of the sponsorship package, and other established elements of the program will also continue, including the supply of tournament vehicles for safe and convenient transport to and from Melbourne Park.
Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said, "Since Kia first sponsored the Australian Open in 2002, it has worked hard to engrain itself further into the sport and build a sustainable partnership not just with this tournament but the game of tennis as a whole. The continuity of our relationship is our strength and we look forward to building on our successes and continue to grow the Australian Open global brand."
The Australian Open was Kia Motors' first ever major international sports sponsorship. Since 2002, the company has deepened its relationship with tennis through its official worldwide sponsorship of the Davis Cup until 2008 and 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.
Image Caption: Mr. Ken Rosewall (left), legendary tennis professional, Mr. Euisun Chung, Kia Motors President and CEO, Mr Geoff Pollard, President of Tennis Australia, and Mr. Steve Wood (right), CEO of the Australian Open celebrate the extension of Kia Motors' Australian Open sponsorship.
Kia Motors Corporation (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 eight countries produce more than 1.3 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 165 countries. Kia today has over 33,000 employees and annual revenues of almost $19 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 -- as well as a EUROTOP partner of UEFA. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan -- "The Power to Surprise" -- represents the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.