By Barry Janoff
October 22, 2012: Madison Square Garden has signed a new deal with Kia Motors America making the automaker a "signature partner" of MSG and the official vehicle of MSG's divisions, including the NBA's New York Knicks and the NHL's New York Rangers.
Terms of the alliance were not disclosed. Kia also is the official car of the NBA and WNBA, among other sports-related deals.
MSG signature and marquee partners also include JPMorgan Chase, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines.
Under terms of the new pact, Kia will be the official vehicle of Madison Square Garden, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks, Rangers and the WNBA Liberty; college basketball and tennis; and the Concert Series at The Garden.
Kia will have a heightened presence at all Friday night Knicks and Rangers games as the presenting partner. The Knicks open their 2012-13 home season with a Friday night game against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Nov. 2.
The Rangers remain in limbo as a result of the contract situation and lockout between the NHL and the NHL Players Assn.
Kia’s official vehicle designation will also include significant branding exposure for all associated sports events and the Concert Series, such as digital and static signage, features on GardenVision, the center-hung scoreboard; and on-court and on-ice branding and promotional contests.
In addition, the partnership now includes an expanded presence for Kia on MSG’s regional sports networks, MSG and MSG+, and integration on The Garden, Knicks, Rangers and Liberty Web sites. A rotating lineup of Kia vehicles will be displayed year-round with a custom-built display space in the lobby entrance to the Arena.
Madison Square Garden is in the midst of a $1 billion renovation.
“We have had a longstanding relationship with Kia Motors and are excited to take our partnership to the next level, making them a Signature Partner with an integrated presence across our sports, media and entertainment properties in New York,” Hank Ratner, president and CEO for The Madison Square Garden Co., said in a statement. “We are currently undergoing a top-to-bottom transformation that will make 'the World’s Most Famous Arena' the world’s most spectacular arena, and we are proud that Kia will be a part of it."
According to Michael Sprague, evp-marketing & communications for Kia Motors America. "Kia is one of the fastest growing automotive brands in the U.S. and with our marketing strategy focusing on several key pillars – including sports, music and pop culture – forming a Signature Partnership with the legendary Madison Square Garden Company will further our efforts to connect and engage with passionate fans of sports and live music."
In addition to sports, upcoming events at Madison Square Garden include Madonna, the Who, Aerosmith, Muse and Justin Bieber.
"As our signature partner, Kia will have a unique and innovative promotional platform, as well as a dedicated partner to help them reach new customers and continue as one of the fastest growing automotive brands in the U.S.," said Ratner.
Kia Strategy Drives Sports Marketing
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