Kia expands its partnership with NBA


Kia Motors America Inc. (KMA) has announced that they will be extending and expanding their marketing partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA). A new and lucrative multi-year agreement will be signed between the two establishments.

Kia will also be the Official Automotive Partner of NBA All-Star, an Official Automotive Partner of NBA Cares, and the title partner of the Kia NBA All-Star MVP award. Kia will also extend its support towards existing NBA platforms, and will serve as the title partner of Kia NBA Tip-Off and the Kia NBA Performance Awards.

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Kia and NBA partnership over the years

KMA is the marketing and distribution branch of Kia Motors Corporation, an automobile maker based in Seoul, North Korea. KMA offers a wide line of vehicles, through more than 700 dealers located in and around the United States.

Kia is a widely-growing company, and its influence in the United States is increasing every year. More and more consumers are gravitating towards Kia as a first-choice vehicle, and their reputation of building safe, exciting and affordable care is fast gaining credibility.

The NBA, meanwhile, is a professional sports league that features 30 teams from the USA and Canada. NBA reaches more than 200 countries, and is broadcasted in over 40 languages. Their global reach is phenomenal, and their marketability and attraction can be matched only by few sporting leagues across the world.

NBA is also very socially active, with NBA Cares donating hundreds of millions of dollars to charity. The teams and players have completed more than 1.5 million hours of community service, and volunteered their services in many spheres of life.

The association between Kia and the NBA go back a long way, and it has been an iconic partnership. A decade ago, Kia hosted various activities to celebrate the inauguration of the 2010-11 NBA season, which included two-hour TV shows on ESPN.

“Over the last three decades both Kia and the NBA have grown in stature and relevance and the significant growth enjoyed by both brands is due, in part, to our long-standing partnership,” said Russell Wager, vice president, marketing, Kia America. 

“We are excited to further extend this relationship and strengthen it with the inclusion of the WNBA and NBA G League, which will provide even more basketball fans a courtside seat not only to all the action between the baselines, but also to Kia’s transformative shift toward electrification and sustainable mobility.”

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“Kia is one of the NBA’s longest-tenured partners and has played an integral role in the league’s story as we tip off our 75th Anniversary Season,” said Tara Mulcahy, NBA Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships. 

“With an expanded presence as the official partner of the Kia All-NBA Teams and NBA Summer League, we’re thrilled to broaden Kia’s fan engagement throughout the league’s calendar.”

“Having recently concluded the WNBA’s landmark 25th season, our partnership with Kia is representative of a commitment that will help the league continue to grow for the next 25 seasons and beyond,” said Phil Cook, WNBA Chief Marketing Officer. 

“As the title partner of the Kia end-of-season performance awards, we look forward to Kia joining us in recognizing the WNBA’s best each season.”

Kia awarding teams based on their performances

Kia’s return will also see them serve as the official title partner for the Kia NBA G League end-of-season performance awards.  The renewal will see Kia serve as an Official Partner of Summer League and the title partner of the NBA’s seven All-NBA teams.

The various awards that will be awarded under the partnership with Kia are as follows:

  • 1) Kia All-NBA First Team
  • 2) Kia All-NBA Second Team
  • 3) Kia All-NBA Third Team
  • 4) Kia NBA All-Rookie First Team
  • 5) Kia NBA All-Rookie Second Team
  • 6) Kia NBA All-Defensive First Team
  • 7) Kia NBA All-Defensive Second Team

Kia will also look to make inroads into WNBA, and will ensure maximum commitment towards women’s sports.

With the manufacturer recently completing its 25th season as partner, Kia will also serve as title partner for the KIA WNBA monthly awards, and the KIA WNBA end-of-season awards. These awards are as follows:

  • 1) Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player
  • 2) Kia WNBA Sixth Player of the Year
  • 3) Kia WNBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • 4) Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • 5) Kia WNBA Most Improved Player
  • 6) Kia WNBA Player of the Month
  • 7) Kia WNBA Rookie of the Month

What should we expect from Kia and NBA in 2022?

Such a successful association continuing to persist is great news, and it will only boost the profile of both companies involved. Kia can continue its bid to back a commercial sports league, and the NBA can get a partner that is a household name.

Kia has 13 partnerships across various NBA teams. They have ties with the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns.

Kia aims to enhance its appeal and presence across NBA by making sure they are heavily in the NBA calendar. They are planning the use of sweepstakes, innovative programming, and fan engagement activities to get the job done.

They will also work in close quarters with the NBA to generate interest in the league. This will be done by means of the Kia NBA Tip-Off through the NBA Finals, from the presented by YouTube TV.

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