Kia Motors Corporation - a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart - has announced the extension of the partnership with its global brand ambassador and reigning Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal for another three years through 2011. The agreement will enable Kia to continue featuring Nadal in its global print and television advertising campaigns as well as event appearances such as major motor shows.
Kia's association with Nadal is in line with its deep involvement with the game of tennis. In January 2008, Kia extended its multi-million US dollar partnership with the Australian Open (one of the four international 'Grand Slam' championships) as the major sponsor until 2013. Kia has further broadened its relationship with tennis through its official worldwide sponsorship of the Davis Cup (the world's premier international team tennis competition) and association with tennis stars such as Andre Agassi (previously) and now Rafael Nadal as global brand ambassadors.
Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President & COO of the International Business Division, said, "We are extremely happy to extend this partnership with Mr. Nadal as his continued growth, dynamic spirit and dedication to his craft ties in directly with the vision we have for Kia Motors. Supporting talented, young athletes with enormous potential at an international level not only allows us to further our brand among key audiences, but also promotes a great spirit of evolution, which is what Kia Motors is all about."
Commenting on the newly extended partnership with Kia Motors, Rafael Nadal, said, "I am proud to be able to continue this relationship with Kia Motors as I believe in creating long-lasting relationships. I have been supported by the company for a number of years already, and am happy to be able to grow both with the company and as a professional athlete for many more years to come."
Nadal, the 22-year old Spaniard and current world No. 2 ranked men's professional player, took the world of tennis by storm when he made his professional debut in 2001 at the age of just 16. He won 10 titles before turning 20 years-old, an achievement unsurpassed in the Open era. He is the four-time defending French Open champion and just last weekend won his first Wimbledon Grand Slam title, beating storied rival and world No. 1 ranked Roger Federer. Nadal is the first player since Björn Borg in 1980 to win both the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back and holds the all-time consecutive clay court winning streak of 81 matches.
Aside from tennis, Kia has boosted its brand in line with its young-at-heart target customer base through other exciting sports marketing initiatives like football (soccer). It is a EUROTOP Partner of UEFA, which included sponsorship of last month's EURO 2008 Championships, as well as an official automotive partner of FIFA, which will include sponsorship of the next two World Cups. The company is also building its brand image among the Y-generation through its title sponsorship of the KIA X Games Asia.
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