IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced two major sports marketing partnerships in the U.S. with Michelle Wie and the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association). Michelle Wie will be the official golf ambassador and spokesperson for Kia Motors. Kia Motors also will become title sponsor for the inaugural Kia Classic Presented by J Golf to take place March 22-28 in San Diego, Calif. at the renowned La Costa Resort and Spa Golf Course. Marking the first LPGA tour stop on U.S. soil and broadcast nationwide on the Golf Channel, the Kia Classic will feature the top-20 ranked players, including Wie, and a full field of 144 LPGA professionals showcasing the best golfers in the world competing for a $1.7 million purse.
"After our 15th consecutive year of increased market share in the U.S. and as one of only three automotive makers to see an overall sales increase in 2009, it is imperative we continue raising Kia brand awareness with high-profile strategic partnerships that fit with our core values," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing, KMA. "Michelle and the youthful, exciting LPGA talent reflect our brand's and our vehicles' characteristics, and the image-conscious Southern California market is an ideal platform to showcase the all-new 2011 Sorento CUV, Forte compact sedan and Soul urban passenger vehicle."
"I am thrilled to partner with Kia and proud to represent the company," said Wie. "Kia is a car that I have trusted personally, with a stylish and youthful spirit that I wanted. It means a lot to me when I can partner with a quality company, like Kia, that I have believed in for quite some time."
"You don't increase market share for 15 consecutive years like Kia Motors has accomplished unless you provide value, satisfy consumer demand, and adopt modern technologies and new designs," said Mike Whan, LPGA Commissioner. "Kia is driven to be the best, and has showcased its brand worldwide. We at the LPGA aspire to the same achievements, and therefore we're thrilled to partner with Kia. We look forward to working with them to showcase the best women golfers in the world."
Anticipation for the Kia Classic continues to build as the LPGA 2010 season opens next week in Thailand where Wie will don her Kia golf bag for the first time in competition. The southern California event marks the first time the venerable La Costa Resort and Spa has hosted the LPGA Tour. Tickets are available at www.lpgalacosta.com, or by calling 1-888-SEE-LPGA.
Kia Product Line
Kia Motors is in the midst of a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share. The vehicle line features the stylish Forte compact sedan and all-new two-door Forte Koup, the highly personalizable Soul, functional Rondo CUV, award-winning Sedona minivan, purposeful Optima midsize sedan and versatile yet fuel-efficient Rio and Rio5 subcompacts. The launch of the all-new 2011 Sorento CUV, the official vehicle of the NBA and the first vehicle to be built at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG)(1), Kia's first U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia, further enhances the lineup.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) 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 670 dealers throughout the United States. For 2009, KMA recorded its 15th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share and recently achieved its best quarter of sales ever. Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and dynamic vehicles. Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline "The Power to Surprise."
Kia Motors America is the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.
About the 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 28 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 Duramed FUTURES Tour 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 exclusive cable 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.
(1) KMMG vehicles are built with U.S. and globally sourced parts.
SOURCE Kia Motors America