- Kia Verducci takes overall women’s team title
- Kia Verducci members Theresa Cliff and Nathalie Barbotin finish season ranked 1st and 3rd, respectively
- Competitive inline skating a perfect match for Kia Motors ‘exciting and enabling’ brand essence
(SEOUL) October 13, 2004 - The Kia-Verducci International Team has won the World Inline Cup (WIC) 2004 in its very first year of sponsorship by Kia Motors Corporation.
Kia Motors signed on as the official sponsor of the WIC in April of this year and also entered an agreement to sponsor the Verducci Racing Team, one of the world’s top inline professional racing squads. Kia-Verducci International Team consists of Theresa Cliff (USA), Nathalie Barbotin (France), Jessica Smith (USA), and Kuok Chae-Yi (Korea).
Starting with the first stage in Seoul, Korea, the WIC 2004 wound through a total of 17 stages in countries including Germany, Switzerland, France and the US. The final season results following the last stage in Berlin, Germany saw the Kia-Verducci International Team take 1st place overall in the women’s bracket, with three of the four team members finishing in the top five individual rankings. Theresa Cliff, Nathalie Barbotin and Jessica Smith claimed 1st, 3rd, and 5th place, respectively, while Kuok Chae-Yi finished the season ranked 22nd.
With the outstanding performance of the Kia-Verducci International Team, it is estimated that Kia Motors has reaped several million dollars in publicity effect through the media coverage of the high-profile Kia logo and colorful Verducci team uniforms.
Not only was the WIC 2004 a perfect match for advancing Kia’s ‘exciting and enabling’ brand essence but it also provided an opportunity for Kia to showcase some of its models, as the Sorento SUV and Carnival MPV were prominently displayed at each event. The decision to sponsor the WIC was aimed at accelerating Kia’s marketing momentum, particularly among ‘Generation Y’ buyers. Inline skating, one of the fastest growing sports for this key target demographic, suits the rising image of Kia one of the world’s fastest growing automakers.
“Inline skating is becoming a very popular international sport”, said Y.H. Kim, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of the International Business Division. “Inline marketing has proven itself to be a good opportunity to publicize our young and vigorous brand image to the world,” he said. “Based on the overwhelming success of the Kia-Verducci International Team as well as the rapidly rising popularity of competitive inline skating around the world, we are excited about aggressively continuing our involvement in the sport for years to come,” he added.
Founded in 1944 and now celebrating its 60th anniversary, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia is among the world’s fastest growing automobile companies and aims to be a top five global automaker by 2010. Kia’s 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries make more than a million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an international sponsor of the Davis Cup.