- Kia enters eighth consecutive year as major sponsor of Australian open
- Kia Fan of the Day and Kia Fan of the Australian Open 2009 to be chosen by fellow fans in stadium and at home online
- Sixth annual Kia Amateur Australian Open World Final to feature 16 teams from 14 countries
(SEOUL) January 19, 2009 - Kia Motors Corporation, a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart, has announced details of its eighth consecutive sponsorship of the Australian Open, the first tennis grand slam tournament of the year.
Kia's sponsorship of the 104th Australian Open continues to encourage greater off-court participation of fans by extending the popular Kia Fan of the Day vote to online audiences. The competition, which is a colorful and fun addition to the tournament, is decided by thousands of public votes. Each daily winner will have a chance to be voted the Fan of the Tournament and be awarded the grand prize.
Euisun Chung, President of Kia Motors Corporation said, "For our sponsorship to be effective we understand that we have to connect with the young-at-heart fans and give them something back. Unlike previous title sponsors, we did not insist on branding the tournament itself but focused on supporting other elements - the Kia Amateur Open, and the Kia Fan competitions - and work with Tennis Australia to make this the most complete sporting occasion of the year."
The Australian Open is Kia's longest running major global sports sponsorship and takes place in Melbourne from January 19 to February 1, 2009. Kia is the major sponsor and supplier of a fleet of 101 Kia tournament vehicles which will transport players, officials and VIPs safely and conveniently to and from Melbourne Park.
At the 2008 tournament, Kia committed to sponsoring the tournament until 2013 and deepen its relationship with tennis further by extending its partnership with world number one men's ranked player Rafael Nadal as the company's global brand ambassador.
Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said, "Kia Motors long-term partnership will continue to win the hearts of Australian Open fans who represent a critical element of the tournament. Kia Motors' ability to engage spectators through its sponsorship demonstrates its commitment to quality and fun. We are delighted that Kia Motors will continue to inject excitement into this year's competition."
Kia also continues to support grassroots tennis through the Kia Amateur Australian Open. A field of 10,128 amateur hopefuls has been narrowed down to 32 players through preliminary elimination rounds. The 32 finalists from 14 countries will take part in this year's Kia Amateur Australian Open World Final from January 29 to February 2, 2009 with the dream of winning one of the four titles up for grabs:
* Kia Amateur Open Women's Champion 2009
* Kia Amateur Open Men's Champion 2009
* Kia Amateur Open Mixed Doubles Champions 2009
* Kia Amateur Open Team Champions 2009
Throughout the tournament, ten Kia vehicles will also be displayed around Melbourne Park, alongside Kia experience kiosks and Kia face painting stalls.
About Kia Fan of the Day
Every day, a Kia Fan of the Day will be chosen for the most entertaining attire by accounting for crowd reactions to images of creatively dressed fans projected on the giant screens in Rod Laver Arena as well as online votes through the Australian Open website (www.australianopen.com). The winner of the Fan of the Day will be awarded a special Kia gift pack and automatically entered as a candidate for the Kia Fan of the Australian Open 2009. The Kia Fan of the Day winners with the highest votes will be awarded the Kia Fan of the Australian Open 2009 grand prize.
Photo Caption: Terry (Tak Uk) Im, President & CEO of Kia Motors Australia, and Geoff Pollard, President of Tennis Australia, at the 2009 Australian Open Courtesy Car Handover Ceremony.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- 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. More than 1.4 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has over 40,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of almost US$17 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and 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.