IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America (KMA) and the LPGA today announced the fourth-annual Kia Classic will move in 2013 to Aviara Golf Club located at the Park Hyatt Resort in Carlsbad, Calif. The move comes with the announcement that KMA has signed a multi-year contract extension as title sponsor of the tournament. The 2013 Kia Classic, which will feature a 144-player field, will be played March 18-24.
"Kia is one of the fastest growing auto brands in the U.S., and sports marketing initiatives such as our involvement with the LPGA have significantly raised awareness and consideration for the brand and our vehicles," said Michael Sprague executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "With the success of the past three tournaments, we are pleased to continue as title sponsor for the Kia Classic and bring the tournament to the luxurious Aviara Golf Club in 2013."
The venue for the 2013 Kia Classic, Aviara Golf Club, which was named by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the best resort golf courses in America and the No.1 golf resort in San Diego according to the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, overlooks the beautiful Batiquitos Lagoon ecological reserve and is the only San Diego golf course designed by Arnold Palmer. Aviara features a memorable par-72 coastal layout that stretches 7,007 yards and is uniquely sculpted through rolling hillsides, native wildflowers and plenty of bunker and water challenges. The golf club is part of the AAA Five Diamond-rated Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, which features 329 guest rooms, four on-site restaurants, full-service spa, tennis courts, fitness facility and more.
"We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Kia for the Kia Classic," said LPGA Chief Marketing Officer Jon Podany. "Kia has been a terrific partner, and the Kia Classic is one of the core pillars of the opening of our domestic season on the West Coast. Kia has also done an outstanding job of integrating with the LPGA and activating behind the Kia Classic to make this tournament better every year. We look forward to many more years."
The 2013 Kia Classic sponsor exemption will be given to the winner of the UC Irvine Women's Golf Anteater Invitational presented by Kia, February 25-26 at the Santa Ana Country Club. This partnership will make the UC Irvine Women's Golf Anteater Invitational presented by Kia the only collegiate tournament in the country that will allow the winner to qualify for an LPGA event. Additionally, the Kia Classic will continue to host a hole-in-one giveaway contest for both the Pro-Am and the tournament with a 2013 Kia vehicle as the prize.
"The Kia Classic has established itself as one of the premier professional golf events, and we're honored to have the opportunity to host a field of the world's best female golfers," said Mark Stiebeling, General Manager for Park Hyatt Aviara Resort. "Our commitment to excellence will ensure that the players and fans alike are treated to a first-class experience on the golf course and throughout the resort."
In 2012, Taiwan native Yani Tseng, the No. 1 player on the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, won the third-annual Kia Classic at the La Costa Resort and Spa. In 2011, the Kia Classic was the stage for another breakout win as Germany's Sandra Gal became a Rolex-First Time Winner with her thrilling one-shot victory over eight-time LPGA Tour winner Jiyai Shin at Industry Hills Golf Club.
Kia's Southern California-based LPGA tournament complements its sports marketing activities in the U.S., including its partnership with two-time LPGA winner Michelle Wie, who is the brand's official golf ambassador. Kia is also the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA (National Basketball Association), and recently completed its inaugural campaign in the Pirelli World Challenge auto racing series.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
About LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)
The LPGA is the world's leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 1,700 members representing 29 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women's golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA serves as the official developmental tour of the LPGA, consistently producing a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.LPGA.com, www.facebook.com/lpga.official, www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.
About Aviara Golf Club
Named by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the best resort golf courses in America, Aviara Golf Club overlooks the protected Batiquitos Lagoon and is the only golf course in San Diego designed by Arnold Palmer. Aviara features a memorable par 72 coastal layout that stretches 7,007 yards and is uniquely sculpted around rolling hillsides, native wildflowers, and plenty of bunker and water challenges. Hole after hole, Aviara golf stimulates the senses with colorful flowers and flora and then sneaks in an ocean view hole just to ensure you'll never forget this magnificent Park Hyatt golf experience. The elegant two-story, 32,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial clubhouse features a bar, cozy lounge with fireplace and the adjoining Argyle Steakhouse with indoor and outdoor balcony seating. Showers, locker rooms, an upscale golf shop, driving range and an oversized practice putting green round out all the Aviara experience.
About Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
Secluded amidst 200 acres of verdant hillsides and rolling valleys within the master-planned community of Aviara, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort is AAA Five Diamond-rated and provides an appealing setting for any function. The resort's Spanish colonial architecture welcomes with a sense of casual elegance. Each of the 329 spacious guest rooms – including 44 suites – features a private balcony or landscaped terrace offering magnificent views. Expansive facilities for meetings and special events are enhanced by complete resort amenities, from acclaimed dining at four on-site restaurants, to a full-service spa, swimming, tennis, a fitness center and an Arnold Palmer-designed 18-hole championship golf course. Follow Park Hyatt Aviara on Twitter, @ParkHyattAviara and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParkHyattAviara. www.parkhyattaviara.com
 Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending November 2007 and November 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.
SOURCE Kia Motors America