AO Press Release, January 27, 2018
One of the biggest partnerships in Australian sporting history was cemented on Saturday as Tennis Australia signed a landmark five-year extension with Major Sponsor Kia Motors.
The new five-year deal will see Kia Motors continue as the Major Sponsor of the Australian Open until 2023, the longest running sponsor in the history of the tournament.
Australian tennis legend Rod Laver joined Tennis Australia President and Chair Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley and Mr Byung Yun Park, Executive Vice President of Kia Motors Corporation for the official signing ceremony.
“We are delighted to announce we will be extending the wonderful relationship with our major sponsor, Kia Motors, for a further five years,” Craig Tiley said.
“The Australian Open and Kia Motors partnership is one of the great success stories in Australian sport.
“Our incredible 17 year journey continues to evolve and is indicative of the extraordinary growth experienced by both our organisations during this time.
“As the Grand Slam of Asia Pacific it’s our mission and responsibility to grow interest and excitement in the sport throughout the region, in which Kia plays a vital role.
“This year at the Australian Open more than 170 players from the Asia Pacific region competed, and we are so excited to see the breakthrough of the first ever Grand Slam semifinalist from Korea, Hyeon Chung. It’s these successes, and these players, who will inspire interest in tennis and our event in the years to come.
“Kia has always been much more than just a sponsor of the Australian Open, they are a highly valued member of our tennis family.
“The Kia fleet ferrying the players around Melbourne during January, and the tremendous activations for fans onsite at Melbourne Park, have become synonymous with the tournament and an important part of the AO experience for our players.
“We can’t wait to work with Kia for another five years,” Tiley continued.
“It has been an incredible partnership for Kia Motors, fully aligned to the youthful spirt of our brand,” Byung Yun Park, Executive Vice President at Kia Motors Corporation, said.
“We are excited to be part of the world’s most thrilling Grand Slam tennis tournament for another five years. I’d like to thank everyone at Tennis Australia and everyone involved in organising this incredible event for their hard work in providing unforgettable experience, every year.”
· The partnership between Tennis Australia and Kia Motors Corporation dates back to 2002 and is believed to be the biggest partnership in Australian sporting history
· The landmark deal is the longest-term partnership in the history of the Australian Open
· Over the past 17 years, Kia’s Australian Open fleet of courtesy cars has clocked up close to six million kilometres in tens of thousands of journeys, carrying tennis players and officials in comfort and safety
· In 2018, the 120-strong fleet of Kia vehicles, manned by more than 300 Australian Open drivers, clocked up more than 300,000 kilometres in thousands of journeys throughout the tournament.
· 16-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has been associated with Kia Motors as an ambassador for 14 years
· Rafael Nadal was joined by Lleyton Hewitt for the official Kia fleet handover ceremony on Wednesday 10 January, with Craig Tiley accepting the Kia Stinger, 60 Kia Sorento SUVs and 60 Kia Carnival SUVs for the 2018 tournament.