Korean motor vehicle manufacturer, Kia, was today unveiled as the new Major Sponsor for Australia’s biggest sporting event - the Australian Open.
Tennis Australia President, Geoff Pollard, announced that Kia Motors Corporation will be the Major Sponsor of the Grand Slam tennis tournament for the next two years, with an option for a further two.
Geoff Pollard said, “I am delighted to be able to welcome on board Kia Motors Corporation as the new Major Sponsor of the Australian Open and look forward to working closely with them to strengthen our partnership over the next two years.
“Successfully securing such a major company in such a competitive sponsorship climate sends a strong message about the Australian Open’s growing international reputation as a global marquee event and its continuing potential for future expansion.
“To again be involved with a major car manufacturer is a reflection of the positive relationship we enjoyed with Ford Australia over our 16 year association and it is a reflection of that goodwill that Ford has generously stepped aside as the tournament’s official vehicle supplier to allow this new sponsorship to occur.”
Paul McNamee, Australian Open Chief Executive, adds, “There is a real synergy to being involved with such a fast growing company as Kia, particularly one whose headquarters are in the Asian region where we see the role of our tournament continuing to grow.
“Over the next few years we are aiming to establish the Australian Open as the biggest sporting event in the Asian region, and the number one tennis brand, and having an Asian company as our Major Sponsor is an excellent fit.
“I’d also like to thank IMG in helping source such an exciting sponsorship opportunity.”
Kia is the fastest growing car brand in Australia, with sales up more than 30 per cent this year, and the Kia Carnival is Australia`s number one people mover. Its top models in Australia are the Rio, Spectra, Sportage, Optima and Carens, as well as the Carnival. Kia is one of Korea`s major motor vehicle manufacturers and as well as the range of cars sold in Australia, it produces a complete range of commercial vehicles, buses and specialist vehicles which are sold in all the world`s major car markets.
"Kia is honoured to be able to link its name with the Australian Open, one of the world`s most prestigious sporting events," said Mr Y.K. Chun, the Kia Motors Corporation`s Australian representative.
"With our involvement in this event, Kia will not only be placed in front of millions of Australians, but also thanks to this event`s massive worldwide audience, the Australian Open will take the Kia name to many millions of people around the world. The event also provides a strong link between Kia and the event`s competitors, who, like Kia, strive for worldwide success through dedication, hard work and a unique range of skills and abilities."
"We are delighted that Kia is supporting the Australian Open tennis championships," said Ric Hull, Managing Director of Kia Automotive Australia.
"Despite our excellent sales growth over the past 18 months, Kia does not yet enjoy the awareness or profile its products deserve. With Kia`s involvement in the Australian Open, Australia`s biggest annual sporting event, Kia`s profile will grow significantly and it is also a clear indicator of where we wish Kia to be positioned as one of the major participants in the Australian car market.
“As an Australian, I am also proud that Kia has chosen, of all the major sporting events around the world, to sponsor the Australian Open to lift its world profile, as it clearly demonstrates the world status of this event, the huge audiences it attracts globally and the professionalism of its organisation."
The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam on the annual international tennis calendar, takes place from 14-27 January 2002 at Melbourne Park, Melbourne.
The 2001 tournament attracted 543,843 patrons. There will be increase of nine percent on the previous year and generated almost $A8.5million worth of national press coverage. 3,800 hours of the Australian Open were broadcast to 163 territories across the globe with an international home reach of 549,841,144.
Through this new major sponsorship, Kia is expected to build up its brand image higher and get great advertising advantages.