- Kia Motors to Become Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and Present New NBA Performance Awards -
- Kia to Present a New SUV to a Charity of the Winners of the MVP, Sixth Man, Defensive Player and Most Improved Player Awards -
NEW YORK, Jan. 10, 2008 - The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Kia Motors America, Inc. (KMA) today announced a new multi-year marketing partnership that will highlight Kia's line of automobiles to the broad and passionate fan base of the NBA.
Through this wide-reaching partnership, Kia Motors, which will serve as the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, will present a new series of on-court performance awards that include four of the NBA's most prestigious year-end honors. The awards, which include the Most Valuable Player Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, and Most Improved Player, will be grouped together into a single series called "The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia." As part of its support of the Performance Awards, Kia Motors will donate a brand-new 2009 Kia Borrego seven-passenger SUV to the charity of choice of each of the four year-end award winners in 2008. Along with the year-end awards, "The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia" also includes the Eastern Conference and Western Conference Player of the Month Awards.
NBA Commissioner David Stern, Kia Motors America President and CEO Len Hunt, and NBA Legends Willis Reed (MVP '70), Bill Walton (MVP '78, Sixth Man '86), Jalen Rose (Most Improved '00) and Mark Eaton (Defensive Player of the Year '85 and '89) made the announcement at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue.
"Our partnership with Kia is a natural fit given their youthful, dynamic and energetic brand," said Stern. "This partnership will link Kia to some of the greatest performances in NBA history and will recognize the players who set the standards for excellence in our game."
"The NBA thrives on the passion of its teams, players and fans and at Kia we understand how important passion is to building a brand," said Len Hunt, President and CEO, Kia Motors America. "Serving as the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA will allow us to tap into the energy and excitement of the game and help drive the fans' passion for the Kia brand."
This marks the first time Kia Motors America has entered into a multi-year marketing partnership with any sports league. Kia also has partnerships with 16 NBA teams.
Along with its support of "The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia," the automaker will conduct promotions around the NBA Playoffs, The Finals, and the NBA Draft. Kia is the new co-presenting partner of NBA Nation, a mobile customized 18-wheel vehicle that transforms into a 30,000 square-foot fan-focused basketball playground.
Next fall, Kia will play a significant role in the opening of the 2008-09 NBA season as the presenting partner of NBA Tip-Off Week. Kia will be prominently featured throughout the NBA's opening week via fan events, promotions and in local and national NBA game broadcasts.
The following is an overview of the NBA's year-end on-court performance awards that will be presented by Kia through this new partnership. Each of the year-end awards are selected by NBA writers and broadcasters.
NBA Most Valuable Player Award Presented by Kia
The NBA Most Valuable Players Award has been awarded annually since the 1955-56 season. The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leading NBA Most Valuable Player award winner, with six trophies, followed by Michael Jordan and Bill Russell with five each. This past season, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks became the first European-born MVP in NBA history.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award Presented by Kia
The NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award has been awarded annually since the 1982-83 season. Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace are tied for the most NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards with four each. Marcus Camby won his first Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 2006-07 season.
NBA Sixth Man Award Presented by Kia
The NBA Sixth Man Award, which has been given out since the 1982-83 season, honors the league's top player in a reserve role. Kevin McHale (1983-84, 1984-85), Ricky Pierce (1986-87, 1989-90), and Detlef Schrempf (1990-91, 1991-92), lead the all-time list with two trophies each. This past season, Leandro Barbosa became the fourth Phoenix Suns player to be honored with the NBA Sixth Man Award following Eddie Johnson (1988-89), Danny Manning (1997-98) and Rodney Rogers (1999-00).
NBA Most Improved Player Award Presented by Kia
The NBA Most Improved Player Award is presented annually to a player who has made the most dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons. The Orlando Magic (Scott Skiles (1990-91), Darrell Armstrong (1998-99) and Tracy McGrady (2000-01)) and the Washington Wizards (Pervis Ellison (1991-92), Don MacLean (1993-94), and Gheorge Muresan (1995-96)) each have had three players win the award, the most in NBA history. Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors was named the winner of the 2006-07 NBA Most Improved Player Award.
About the NBA
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a global sports and entertainment brand that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2007-08 season, the NBA will distribute games and programming to 215 countries and territories in 41 languages. The league's worldwide reach can also be seen with 76 international players from 30 countries and territories on NBA rosters. Domestically, the NBA broadcasted 142 games on national television last season on ABC, TNT, ESPN and ESPN2, and eclipsed attendance records for the fourth consecutive season.
NBA TV, launched in 1999 as the first 24-hour television channel created and operated by a professional sports league, is distributed to 80 countries. NBA merchandise is sold in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents; NBA.com gets more than half of its visitors from outside the United States.
NBA Cares is the league's social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA's long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have committed to donating $100 million to charity, providing a million hours of hands on service to the community and creating 250 places where kids and families can live, learn or play. NBA Cares works with internationally-recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: UNICEF; the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 640 dealers throughout the United States. For 2007, KMA recorded its 14th consecutive year of record U.S. sales. Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and fun-to-drive vehicles. Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline "The Power to Surprise."
Kia Motors America is the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA."
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site - www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.
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Matt Bourne, NBA, 212-407-8093, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carmine N. Tiso, NBA, 212-407-8208, email@example.com
Alex Fedorak, Kia Motors America, 949-468-4813, firstname.lastname@example.org