The reigning Official Automotive Partner of the National Basketball Association—Kia Motors—is hitting the hardwood again this year with both an extension and an expansion of its ongoing partnership with the NBA.
Charlotte KIA said that beginning with the 2010-11 season, the automaker also will serve as the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA Cares charity effort, as well as the Title Partner of the Kia NBA All-Star Game MVP Award and Kia NBA Performance Awards—and that’s on top of the company’s recent title support for the Kia NBA Tip-Off preview shows, which ran on ESPN on October 17 and 24.
“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,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing and communications, Kia Motors America. “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.”
The Kia Tip-Off shows also were notable for the debut of a new NBA-themed commercial for the completely redesigned Kia Optima, which is now the Official Vehicle of the NBA.
The Optima is a slam-dunk to become one of the hottest cars on the road when it goes on sale this fall, featuring a bold new exterior design, a dynamic driving experience, superior fuel-efficiency ratings and, in coming months, both turbocharged and hybrid models. Just look at these numbers: The standard Optima, packing Kia’s advanced 2.4-liter I4 engine, will make an impressive 200 hp and deliver EPA ratings of 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway; the turbo, which leverages a 2.0-liter mill, will boost performance to the tune of 274 ponies yet still ring up EPA marks of 22 mpg city/34 mpg highway; and the hybrid Optima, set for a 2011 launch, is expected to be capable of 36 mpg city/40 mpg highway thanks to unique lithium polymer battery technology.
Consider it a full-court press that will leave Orange County KIA Dealers rivals struggling for a rebound.
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