- Kia enters seventh consecutive year as major sponsor of Australian open
- Interactive Kia Fan of the Tournament to be chosen by fellow fans
- 5th annual Kia Amateur Australian Open World Final to feature 32 players from 15 countries
(SEOUL) January 10, 2008 -- Kia Motors Corporation, one of the world's fastest growing automotive companies, today announced details of its seventh consecutive sponsorship of the Australian Open and reconfirmed its commitment to the fans of the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific.
The 102nd Australian Open, the first tennis grand slam tournament of the year, is Kia's longest running major global sports sponsorship and takes place in Melbourne from January 14 to 27, 2008. Kia is the major sponsor and supplier of tournament vehicles and has supplied a fleet of 81 Kia vehicles that will be driven by about 200 specially trained drivers who expect to clock up more than 300,000 kilometers in thousands of journeys transporting players safely and conveniently to and from Melbourne Park during the two weeks of the Open. Kia also leverages its partnership through a variety of activities that deepen its relationship with the tennis community and sports fans. This year will see the continuation of the successful Kia Fan of the Tournament and Kia Fan of the Day competitions, whose winners are decided by public vote, as well as the fifth annual Kia Amateur Australian Open World Final.
Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said, "Kia Motors focuses on the fans who are the very lifeblood of the game of tennis. In an increasingly commercial world, it's vital that sponsorships support the sustainability of the game, and we are thrilled with our long standing relationship with Kia Motors, who puts as much fun and enthusiasm into the wonderful world of tennis as it does into the production of its range of quality vehicles."
Euisun Chung, President and CEO of Kia Motors Corporation said, "Our sponsorship is consciously designed to actively encourage participation of fans and amateur players fro all over the world. By encouraging interaction between a broad customer base and our brand, we are happy to emphasize Kia's fun and dynamic brand values."
The Kia Fan of the Tournament competition will encourage more off-court and fan participation. Every day, a Kia Fan of the Day will be chosen for the wittiest and most colorful attire through gauging crowd reactions to images of imaginatively dressed fans projected on the big screens in Rod Laver Arena. The Kia Fan of the Day with the most votes will become the Kia Fan of the Tournament and win an LCD TV from Kia Motors.
Furthermore, a field of 2,758 amateur hopefuls has been whittled down to 32 players through preliminary elimination rounds. The 32 finalists fro 15 countries will take part in this year's Kia Amateur Australian Open World Final from January 24 to 28, 2008 with the dream of winning one or all of the four titles up for grabs:
- Kia Amateur Open Women's Champion 2008
- Kia Amateur Open Men's Champion 2008
- Kia Amateur Open Mixed Doubles Champions 2008
- Kia Amateur Open Team Champions 2008
Kia has a long association with tennis throughout the world. Rafael Nadal is Kia Motors is global brand ambassador and the company is also an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup.
Image #1 Caption: Mr. SK Lee, President and CEO of Kia Motors Australia, (right) presents the official key for the Kia courtesy fleet for the 2008 Australian Open to Mr. Geoff Pollard, President of Tennis Australia (left) on center court at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Image #2 Caption: Mr SK Lee, President and CEO of Kia Motors Australia, (right) presents the official key for the Kia courtesy fleet for the 2008 Australian Open to Mr Geoff Pollard, President of Tennis Australia, (left) outside Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
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 8 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.