Kia Motors has announced a significant increase in its major sponsorship commitment to the 'world game' by agreeing to become the exclusive automotive partner of the Chinese national men's and women's football teams.
The multi-year sponsorship deal with the Chinese Football Association (CFA), which runs through the year 2010, comes on the heels of Kia's ongoing top-tier sponsorship of FIFA - the governing body of the FIFA World Cup - through to 2014.
This most recent foray by Kia into the world of major football sponsorship is expected to lend valuable support to the CFA's ambitions of achieving great success at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
As the official automotive sponsor of Team China, Kia will provide the CFA with the latest new vehicles from its model line-up to assist in the efficient management of team activities, in addition to the provision of financial support.
The vehicles will be supplied from Kia's domestic plants and the Dongfeng Yueda Kia factory in China - a joint venture formed in 2002 between Kia Motors, Dongfeng Motor and Jiangsu Yueda Investment.
Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Vice President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, said, "This latest sponsorship of Team China represents a major step forward in cementing Kia's commitment to the world of football.
"This commitment was launched by signing our long-term partnership deal with FIFA, and we eagerly anticipate the many synergies to be enjoyed by all parties involved during the upcoming 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup™ in China.
"We expect that our increasing presence in the world's most beloved sport will strengthen the Kia brand image across vast audiences and serve as an efficient platform to reach our self-confident, adventurous and young-at-heart target customer base," he added.
Football in China is in the midst of a rapid development phase, with the women's national team already having reached world class levels, while the men's national squad is currently showing great potential in its bid to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.
In terms of popularity, football is one of the fastest growing sports in China thanks to the support of some 250 million regular fans and has a substantial impact among all generations of Chinese people.
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