Kia Motors Corporation supplies a fleet of official tournament vehicles to the Australian Open 2020, marking the company’s 19th consecutive-year major partnership with the Grand Slam event of the Asia-Pacific region.
The official vehicle handover ceremony took place at the Federation Square in Melbourne, with Kia Global Brand Ambassador Rafael Nadal, the winner of 19 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, presenting 130 Kia vehicles, comprising the Carnival MPVs, the Sorento SUVs and the Stinger fastback sedans, to tournament officials.
The vehicles will transport players, match officials and VIPs in comfort and safety throughout the championship from Jan. 20 through Feb. 2.
“We are very proud of our longstanding partnership with Kia, which is one of the most enduring partnerships in Australian sport,” said Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley. “As soon as you see the fleet of 130 Kia cars on the Melbourne streets, you know it’s Australian Open time. The AO-branded Kia vehicles add to the excitement of the Australian Open as they move around Melbourne, and of course contribute enormously to the smooth running of the tournament.”
Last year, Kia and Nadal celebrated their 15th consecutive year of partnership since 2004, during which the Spanish tennis legend — considered one of the greatest players of all time — has promoted Kia’s “The Power to Surprise” brand campaign, while collecting 19 Grand Slam singles titles and one Olympic gold medal under his belt. If Nadal wins this year’s men’s singles championship, he will be a holder of 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, the shared all-time record on the men’s side.
“For the last nearly two decades, Kia’s partnership with Tennis Australia and the Australian Open has evolved into a global benchmark for long-term sponsorship in the sports world,” said Artur Martins, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Kia Motors Corporation.
He added: “With each passing year, Kia and Tennis Australia share their continuous commitment to innovation, providing excitement and unforgettable memories to our fans. We look forward to contributing once again to the Australian Open’s fame and popularity as one of the world’s most festive, thrilling sports competitions.”
At this year’s event, Kia has expanded its official partnership with the Australian Open Ballkids Program by adding the Kia logo onto the ball kids’ uniforms, which are sustainably produced with polyester filament yarn derived 100-percent from post-consumer PET bottles.
Kia has been sending 20 ball kids from Korea since 2004, and 10 ball kids from India starting from last year’s Open. In soccer, via its sponsorship of the FIFA World CupTM and UEFA Europa League, the company has inspired numerous young football fans by giving more than 500 children so far the chance to present the official match ball on the pitch as part of the annual Official Match Ball Carrier program.
Furthermore at this year’s Open, Kia partners Uber for operating the Kia Fan Fleet of 30 Seltos SUVs, which will be used to transport Uber app users within the Melbourne central business district going to the Melbourne Park, free of charge.
Visitors to the Melbourne Park will be treated to a wide range of interactive activities by Kia. At the Kia AO Selfie Booth, they can take photographs of themselves while seated in a Kia Stinger fastback sedan next to an augmented reality image of Rafael Nadal.
At the Seltos Studio, a space designed to offer fans immersive experiences, people can engage in a variety of activities, such as viewing, entering and learning about Kia’s latest stylish compact SUV, the Seltos, under staff guidance, and play diverse, fun-oriented games featuring special lighting and music.
Through the company’s CSR initiative, the Kia Ball Drive, fans can purchase used tennis balls from last year’s Open at a ball vending machine installed on the tournament compound, whose proceeds will go to support Australian junior tennis development.