AO 2018 x Kia, Together for a Greater Surprise January 29th, 2018
“The first sign of the Australian Open is the sight of Kia cars all over Melbourne, ferrying the world’s best tennis players between the city and Melbourne Park.” – Craig Tiley, Chief Executive Officer at Tennis Australia
It’s that time of the year again!
This year marks the 17th year of Kia’s partnership with the Australian Open, and the 14th year of our association with Rafael Nadal. Over the past 17 years, Kia’s courtesy fleet has traveled close to six million kilometers carrying tennis players and match officials in comfort and safety.
The Kia fleet continues the tradition once again this year, driven by more than 300 Australian Open drivers expecting to record up to more than 300,000 kilometers during the tournament. The fleet of vehicles are supplied for the Australian Open after the completion of an epic 1,700 kilometer road trip.
Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt traveled from Brisbane to Melbourne in the Stinger to get together with our global brand ambassador Rafael Nadal, winner of 16 Grand Slam titles and currently the world’s top-ranked tennis player.
Together, they handed over the official key for 120 strong fleet of vehicles over to Australian Open organizers at the official vehicle handover ceremony. The ceremony was held at Kia Drive located near Melbourne Park where Australian Open organizers accepted the Stinger, 60 Sorento SUVs, and 60 Carnival SUVs. The vehicles will play their part in transporting players, match officials, and VIPs until the very end of the tournament.
This year also marks the 14th year of Kia’s participation in the Australian Open BallKids program, there are a total of 350 BallKids that were selected from more than 2,500 applicants from all around the world. Kia began the Australian Open BallKids tournament in 2003. BallKids play a vital role that requires knowledge of the tennis game, ability to communicate in English, concentration and physical strength.
These children have the opportunity to participate in the Australian Open 2018 alongside Rafael Nadal and Lleyton Hewitt and play an integral role in ensuring that the tournament runs smoothly.
The Australian Open kicked off on January 15th and will finish with the men’s singles final scheduled for January 28th at Rod Laver Arena. Various exciting programs, both on and offline, will be available for tennis fans’ enjoyment throughout the tournament in celebration of our long-term involvement with tennis and one of its most successful players.
Meanwhile, make sure you stay tuned on our website and continue cheering for Nadal!