- Children from Rafa Nadal Foundation draw patterns incorporated into the styling of Babolat’s limited-edition tennis bag - Kia and Babolat join forces by sharing their spirit of empowering movement, innovation and performance in mobility and sports - Since relaunching its brand at start of 2021, Kia continues to accelerate transformation as advanced, eco-friendly mobility company with series of global sports and marketing partnerships
(SEOUL) April 29, 2021 - Tennis legend Rafael Nadal has unveiled today a limited-edition tennis bag jointly created through a collaboration between his longstanding partners Kia and Babolat, and by harnessing children’s creative designs as a central motif.
The bag, of which there are only 100 made, incorporates drawings of Nadal and his inspirational strides both on and off the court as expressed by children at the Rafa Nadal Foundation. By featuring the young participants’ artistic renderings on the theme of movement, it attempts to highlight Kia’s brand ethos “Movement that inspires” and Nadal’s history-making performance as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
“It’s great that two of my partners, who have supported me since the start of my career, are able to come together and create this beautiful bag,” said Nadal, referring to Kia and Babolat. “My foundation is a big part of my life and for the children to have played such an important role in the design is fantastic. I was happy to hear the children had so much fun with their drawings and the opportunity to have their designs featured on this bag.”
The hand-made eco-friendly leather bags will be distributed worldwide to Nadal’s fans and friends as well as students at the foundation and the Rafa Nadal Academy, with one of the bags offered at a global auction event to help raise funds for supporting the foundation’s activities.
Kia and Babolat have partnered with Nadal for over 15 years. The two commenced their first-ever collaboration at the Australian Open 2021, creating a bag imprinted with Kia’s logo that the Spanish tennis legend carried throughout the tournament. While Kia’s sponsorship of Nadal extends for over 20 years coinciding with his meteoric rise to be a twenty-time Grand Slam singles champion, Babolat is credited with playing an instrumental role in boosting Nadal’s game with the revolutionary technical precision and power offered by its innovative racquets and strings.
What Kia and Babolat share in common is their ceaseless commitment to empowering movement, innovation and performance in mobility and sports, respectively. Since the early 2000s when Kia and Babolat started partnering with Nadal, both companies have risen rapidly to be major forces in their arenas by tapping into their youthful appeals, technologically innovative bent and audacious design approaches.
“We at Kia are excited to celebrate our new brand values with our long-time ambassador Rafael Nadal and his foundation, as well as Babolat. This collaboration is a unique celebration of the four involved parties’ shared values: passion, inspiration, and innovation for progress,” said Artur Martins, Head of Kia’s Global Brand & Customer Experience Division.
To design the bag, hundreds of children from the Rafa Nadal Foundation drew images of things which they identified with Nadal and his inspirational movements. The best drawings illustrative of Nadal’s athleticism, colourful style and charisma were then selected to be incorporated into the styling of the bag.
“It was important that the unique personalities of Kia and Babolat were equally prominent in the design. The entire bag is a celebration of movement. The bright colors and artistic curvatures on the bag creatively capture Nadal’s vital energy and originality,” said Nicolas Fradet, the Babolat Product Line Manager.
“The kids were so excited to see their drawings come to life on one of Rafa’s bags. This project is really important for the foundation, not just for driving awareness of our work but also for inspiring the children,” said Maria Perello, the Director of the Rafa Nadal Foundation.