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Kia Renews Marketing Deal With NBA, Enhances Position From Tip Off To Finals

October 18, 2010: Kia Motors, which has been the official automotive partner of the National Basketball Assn. since 2008, has signed a new deal with the league that includes an extended sponsorship role and a new marketing campaign. The renewed alliance coincides with Kia NBA Tip-Off ‘10 NBA to support the start of the 2010-11 season.

Financial terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed.

This season, Kia's  2011 Optima has been designated as the "official vehicle of the NBA." In addition to returning as the league's official automotive partner, Kia Motors is now also the official automotive partner of NBA All-Star events, which will take place this February in Los Angeles, including title partner of the Kia NBA All-Star MVP award; and an official automotive partner of NBA Cares.

Kia said it would also increase its commitment to existing NBA platforms it has supported by moving up from presenting partner to title partner of Kia NBA Tip-Off and the Kia NBA Performance Awards. The latter includes Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man Award and Defensive Player of the Year, along with the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.

At the time Kia joined as an NBA marketing partner, the league also had a deal with rival Toyota, which began in 2005 but subsequently expired last year and was not renewed.

Multi-media marketing will be anchored by two shows on ESPN and a new TV spot, "It's On." The first show aired on Oct. 17; the second is scheduled for Oct. 24. ESPN, sibling ABC and Turner Sports' TNT are the league's primary network media partners, in addition to NBA TV.

The TV spot does not veer much from traditional NBA marketing partners, interspersing shots of the new Optima with highlights from the 2009-10 season, including Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers en route to the franchise's second consecutive NBA title. The second show on ESPN will be a preview of the upcoming season, including a look at the Miami Heat's new superstar duo of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, who joined returning All-Star Dwyane Wade on the roster; and the return of Yao Ming to the Houston Rockets from a season-long injury.

In addition, Kia said that throughout the partnership it would "continue to develop innovative programming, advertisements, sweepstakes, and activities during key points of the NBA season," such as the playoffs and finals.

"Our relationship with the NBA has significantly raised awareness and consideration for the Kia brand and exposed our exciting lineup of vehicles to basketball fans."

“Over the past three years our relationship with the NBA has significantly raised awareness and consideration for the Kia brand and exposed our exciting lineup of vehicles to basketball fans across the country, and we are pleased to not only return as the official automotive partner of the NBA but to expand our partnership to include new platforms such as NBA All-Star and NBA Cares,” Michael Sprague, vp-marketing and communications for Kia Motors America, said in a statement. “At Kia, we are true fans of the game, and we will continue to provide innovative and engaging programming and activities to help fuel our fellow basketball fans’ passion for the sport and the Kia brand.”

According to Mark Tatum NBA evp-global marketing partnerships, “As part of our expanded partnership, Kia will be deepening its commitment to the NBA and providing incredible opportunities to bring our fans closer to the game throughout the season."

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